As a fan of live entertainment as well as a businessperson, I have long been conflicted by the economics of show business. Take asset utilisation, for example. How can we be surprised at the lack of profitability in an industry where hugely expensive assets like stadiums and theatres lie idle most of the time – in some instances, more than 98% of the time?
Circus thrived in the Hippodromes of Edwardian London… but why has it disappeared from the West End and Broadway when it is going from strength to strength in Las Vegas? And might it return?