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Another Top 10 World Records in Theatre

With many of the West End’s hottest shows and highly anticipated seasons just around the corner, including the ENO 2018/19 season, the Pinter at the Pinter season, and the new 2018/19 Old Vic Theatre season, we have compiled a list for another top 10 world records in theatre, many of which can be found in the Guinness Book of World Records. To read our first list for the Top 10 World Records in Theatre, click here.

Another Top 10 World Records in Theatre

Pictured: Erik takes Christine to his underground lair beneath the opera house in the timeless classic, The Phantom of the Opera


Longest Time in the Same Production (West End performance)
This record is held by Philip Griffiths in London, UK and was verified on 22 February 2016 with 25 years and 185 days for his performance in The Phantom of the Opera.

Longest Theatrical Run of a Musical in the West End
Les Misérables currently holds this record, having been running in London's West End for over 32 years now.

Most Prolific Theatre Producer
This record is held by Canadian hotelier Howard Pechet with 485 productions across 10 theatre-restaurant venues between 1975 and 2008.

Most Visitors to Musical in a Single Theatre
This record is held by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express, a musical performed entirely on roller skates that has enjoyed over 16 million visitors and counting. This rock musical has been running in Bochum, Germany since 1988 at a special purpose-built venue and had 13,044,148 visitors by the time it was inducted into the Guinness Book of Records in 2010.

Most Theatre Productions Attended
This record is held by Dr. H Howard Hughes, a former professor at Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth, Texas who managed to attend 6,136 shows between 1956 and 1987.

Oldest Professional Theatre Actor
The oldest professional theatre actor was Romanian actor Radu Beligan, who was verified in the Guiness Book of World Records on 20 November 2013 at 94 years and 350 days old. Having been acting since 1937, he was performing at the National Theatre of Bucharest at the time of this record but passed away in 2016. Beligan was honoured by the President of France with an Ordre National de la Legion D'Honneur.

Longest Career as a Theatre Producer for the Same Production
This record is held by Vado Souza of Brazil with his one-man show O Navio Negreiro (translation: The Slave Ship), which ran from 23 October 1971 to May 2012 and was an adaption of a Castro Alves poem that was pivotal in abolishing the Brazilian slave trade. Vado also played 16 characters and directed the production.

Most Expensive Theatre Production in the West End
The Lord of the Rings musical (2007) currently holds this record with a whopping £12 million budget. This record was previously held by the 2002 Eon Production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium, which cost £6.2 million and beat the previous record set by Cats, which cost £6 million back in 1981.

Most Expensive Prop from a Theatre Show
The flying car designed by Anthony Ward for the 2002 production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang holds this record with an estimated cost of £750,000.

Most Characters Played by One Actor in a Single Theatre Production
This record is held by Indian actor Laxman Deshpande, who played all 52 parts in the three-hour, one-man play Varhad Nighalay Londonla and performed the show 2,125 times from the first production in December 1979 in Aurangabad, India until the actor was verified in the Guinness Book of World Records.


For tickets to The Phantom of the Opera, click here.

For tickets to Les Miserables, click here.


Ephram Ryan, born Nicholas Ryan Daniels, is a jack of all trades and loves attending theatre and classical music concerts. He is particularly a fan of absurdist theatre and can write about Harold Pinter in his sleep. In addition to writing theatre reviews, Ephram also works as a freelance translator from Czech into English. He is also an accomplished illustrator, having created over 200 illustrations for his ongoing Dystopian Society art project.

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