Catalonia and Madrid dominate Spanish theatre sector

Catalonia and Madrid account for more than 52 per cent of theatre attendance in Spain, according to a new report from the Society of Spanish Writers and Editors (SGAE). In financial terms, the two regions account for 72 per cent of box office receipts in 2015 (the most recent year available). The two areas make up just over 20 per cent of Spain’s population.

While perhaps not surprising – Madrid and Barcelona are the two cultural capitals of Spain – it shows just how dominant they are in this sector. However, Catalonia and Madrid do not monopolise all areas of cultural life; for example, they account for only 30 per cent of all cinema and music audiences.

In an interview with El Pais Norka Chiapusso, technical director of theatre and dance at Donostia Kultura, commented: ‘On the one hand, it’s normal; they are large centres, with powerful offers and many potential customers. But it would be better to have more balance…there are many theatres that are under-utilised.’

While the data shows an imbalance across the country, there is also positive news: the number of theatre companies in Spain increased by 23 from 2014 to 2015, while the number of theatrical spaces also increased.