Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Last minute culture

In one week precisely the curtain will come down on the opening night of Once Bitten. I cannot wait for that moment as my job will be complete and I hope there will be excited applause as the audience have had a fun couple of hours. I fear a quiet theatre due to lack of ticket sales not lack of performance.

Most of my evening has been spent on the production side of the show hunting down sound effects and images whilst checking we have all props and sound effect queues covered. I also spent 15 minutes writing and rehearsing a pitch for the Elaine Page (currently Barbara Windsor) radio show. I am a huge fan of the show and hope we make it on. To be honest all publicity counts at this stage. Despite only having to sell a little over 660 seats next week over six shows we are struggling. I recall ten years ago being able to sell nearly 300 tickets a night for a week run. What has happened? On the Saturday night of La Cage aux Folles we sold out the six hundred seater theatre!

I believe our culture has changed. In the age of the internet, mobile phones and social media we are less planned. It is forgivable to be late for appointments, because you can call or text that you are running late. I completely disagree with this complacency that has kicked in. Likewise whereas friends used to book their theatre tickets in advance they now leave it till the last minute and many buy on the night. Could you imagine not replying to a wedding invitation and simply turning up on the day?

Perhaps it is a combination of poor planning and organisation by most people, a change in attitude in others trained by our new technologies and finally our societies should take responsibility as we rarely execute with the marketing force of a real company, but with wafer thin budgets how can we?

This is perhaps more negative than I'd usually like, but a topic that I am sure many amateur dramatic enthusiasts will have an opinion on. My focus is on producing a fangtastic show and ensuring all the ducks are now lined up - I hope the cast have all done their bit to ensure there are punters lining up too as they deserve a great audience.

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