19th century playhouse / 21st century Brand (thatís Russell Brand)
Date: 3 September 2012
I think we did a world record today…or at least I know I hit a PB (to use the abbreviation I am only getting used to with the Paralympics). The time it takes to sell out a show, using as a starting point the moment it is confirmed in the diary as an event – record personal best in the team event of 160minutes.
Today (Monday) we had a call from Russell Brand’s office to see whether he could do a gig at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. The catch was he wanted to do it on Wednesday before flying back to LA. At around 3.30 we had sorted out the fact we could pull back the tec team from holidays to clear the Summer School set, we could gather enough volunteers to staff the event, and we believed we could get the show on the system and ready to sell by 4pm. We managed to email 10,000 e-newsletter subscribers, all our Patrons and Sponsors, and to use twitter to reach our followers, and their followers. By 6pm the show was sold out – around half the tickets sold over the internet and a half by personal arrival and telephone.
So on Wednesday we will welcome Mr Brand for a show in aid of the amazing Focus 12 charity in Bury St Edmunds, of which he is a Patron.
We are now trying to see whether he might possibly be available to meet the cast of Mansfield Park who will be doing an in-costume dance rehearsal on Wednesday before moving into our 19th century playhouse to prepare for our new production. We think there could be some great photos (and maybe even TV) to help the show and the national tour if he might be up for it. We can but ask.
Its amazing what a small family/management team can make happen when the challenge is there. The Theatre Royal has an immense advantage over theatres within massive chains, or corporate management structure. The box office, the marketing & press team, the development team, finance, computer and web management, and the executive are all in one house. A quick call down the corridor, and a lightening opening of a packet of biscuits, and decisions can be made fast.
And there’s a rather wonderful energy rush when, alongside the 6 month campaign to launch Mansfield Park (1st performance 13th Sept prior to national tour), we can drop everything and deliver a full house in a few hours.
When we occasionally wonder whether our customers, the social media followers and the press are “listening” to our messages and promotion; this is a shot in the arm to know that they will hear our call if they are interested in hearing.
And we sold another good number of panto tickets and Mansfield Park tickets on line and on the phone today as well….book now to avoid disappointment.
We look forward to Wednesday night and cheering Focus 12 and Mr Brand
- by Chris Grady
Any opinions expressed above do not represent the view of Whatsonstage.com nor any of its staff or contributors beyond the bylined author.
|Chris Grady is a freelance arts manager/trainer working with Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, Mountview Academy of Theatre, London and Stage Entertainment Licensed Productions, Holland. An associate of Wonderbird EU and in development for StoryMusic2020. Over 30 years he has run, built, raised money for, programmed and invented for theatres; conceived festivals, produced trade fairs, shows and galas; taught plate-spinning and sold computers. He runs a series of mentor/coaching sessions for emerging creatives who work in theatre, art, film, dance, spirituality, conjuring, astrology and beyond. There are more things in heaven and earth, good reader, than are dreamed of in your philosophy. Look out beyond Zone 2, beyond the establishment, beyond the horizon, over the edge. The futureís bright and entirely unpredictable.|
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
|X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 |
The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L...
First things first, it's great to see the Southwark Playhouse open again. Set halfway down New...
|Clint Eastwood on board to direct Jersey Boys film?|
Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood has reportedly been signed up to direct the film version of Jersey B...
|Michael Coveney: Big Apple bites and Manhattan memories|
You should always do new things in familiar cities. Over the past few days in New York, I walked a...
|Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus |
The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...
|Podcast: Kendal & co in Relatively Speaking Q&A|
Last night (21 May 2013), 140 Whatsonstage.com theatregoers attended Relatively Speaking at the West...
|1st Night Photos: Kimberley Walsh & Denise Van Outen toast Tointon in Relatively Speaking|
Strictly Come Dancing stars Kimberley Walsh, Denise Van Outen and Artem Chigvintsev toasted former S...
|ATG acquires Broadway's largest theatre The Foxwoods, home of Spider-Man|
In another significant step for transatlantic theatre relations, the UK’s biggest theatre ...
|Video: Sheila Hancock shows wild side in Barking in Essex trailer|
As this new trailer reveals, Sheila Hancock has had a dramatic TOWIE-style makeover for her forthcom...
| Review Round-up: Critics convinced by Relatively Speaking?|
Lindsay Posner's revival of Alan Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking opened at the Wyndham's Theatre las...