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This is the ideal length of a play according to a YouGov poll of the British public

Andrzej Lukowski

In a poll conducted on May 17 with 4,479 UK adults, polling company YouGov asked three questions: was Len McCluskey right in saying 200 seats in the general election would be a good result for Labour, should tampons and sanitary towels be made free under certain circumstance… and the following. 

The National Theatre is showing a play in two parts, the second of which has a running length of 4 hours 15 minutes. Which of these do you think is closest to the ideal length of time for a play?

It then goes on to suggest a variety of answers, from '1 hour or shorter' to '5 hours or longer'. (The play in question, is, of course, Tony Kushner's 'Angels in America Part 2: Perestroika') 

Anyway… it turns out the British public like their plays medium-length, with most of the votes either going to '2 hours' (26 percent) or '2 hours 30 minutes' (27 percent). The next most popular answer was 'Not applicable – I don't like plays no matter the length' (12 percent – hey, we've all been there!) with '1 hour or shorter' (2 percent) ties in popularity with those hardy souls for whom the idea play is '3 hours 30 minutes'). Nobody was mental enough to go for either '4 hours 30 minutes' or '5 hours'.

Unsurprisingly, London had the lowest percentage of non-theatre goers (9 percent, vs the North's 14 percent), while UKIP voters – doughty patriots who you'd imagine would all uniformly love the works William Shakespeare – are the only political group to display a significant antipathy towards theatre: 19 percent would never go, vs Labour and Lib Dem voters who tie on a mere 8 percent.

For more facts and figures, check out the full results here. 

'Angels in America' is at the National Theatre until Aug 19, read more here.

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