THEATRE fans have blamed 'exorbitant' ticket prices for poor turnout at Shakespeare's Rose Theatre at Blenheim Palace.

As reported last week, the theatre is on the verge of liquidation after a summer at the Woodstock home, citing 'unsustainable losses' from its seasons in York and Oxfordshire.

A spokesperson for the company, run by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, said: "Sadly, due to Brexit and the economic and political uncertainty this has created, the anticipated audience numbers needed to sustain a project of this scale were not achieved."

READ MORE: Shakespeare's Rose Theatre set to go into liquidation

However, many Oxford Mail readers have thrown doubt on the Brexit 'excuse' and said ticket prices were instead to blame.

According to the company's website, tickets for Blenheim shows started at £15.

One reader said tickets for Richard III came to £140 for a family of four, however, plus food at the venue and extra if you wanted to visit Blenheim and its grounds afterwards.

Commenting on our website, one reader branded the prices 'exorbitant' while another said they were 'astronomical.'

Another person said: "I logged on to book tickets. Saw the price and shut the website down.

"Gutted. I would have loved to have gone but at those prices...Nope."

Jeannette Jenkins commented: "Sadly I agree that the lack of ticket sales was directly due to the very high prices alone.

"Such a shame for the hardworking and professional actors and staff involved."

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One reader said there was a 'lovely atmosphere' at the theatre for Richard III but added: "The pit was empty as were half the other seats.

"There was plenty of competition from a wealth of great Shakespeare productions all over Oxford.

"It's sad for the company and sad for Blenheim, but was their market research adequate?"

Commenting on the Oxford Mail's Facebook page, Lynne White agreed: "It was very expensive, and at the same time there were lots of opportunities to see Shakespeare and other plays in Oxford at reasonable prices in college grounds.

"I'm sure the productions were good, but there was too much competition at better prices."

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The company brought the 900-capacity pop-up theatre to Blenheim from July until September, with audiences enjoying a rolling programme of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, Richard III and Macbeth.

The pop-up theatre started in York in 2018 and attracted 78,000 visitors that year, but only 47,000 attended in 2019.

At Blenheim just 38,000 people attended - much less than the 75,000-strong crowd that was anticipated.

Some readers defended the cost of tickets, and said negativity in the local area was likely the reason that Countryfile Live decided to quit Blenheim.

Scott Sean, also commenting on Facebook, said: "All this nonsense about tickets being expensive, we paid £15 each for groundlings.

"Perhaps it’s time locals started getting behind events in our county instead of any excuse to moan.

"Thank you Shakespeare theatre and Countryfile. We loved both events this year and it’s a shame they will not be returning to Blenheim!"