Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Business Development and Failure

What has now become an annual entry, leads us to uploading this; A whole year's of creative progression and outcomes, rolled into a few paragraph.
As with so many occasions on our blog, we have approached the age old question of 'how to progress'. 
Every year we ask out actors for honest, constructive criticism. Who else would know better on how to improve a company than those on the front line? Every year we realise something that then seems so very obvious, yet had never crossed our thoughts. This usually becomes an easy addition or fix for the following year. Quite honestly, their feedback helps us grow and maintain a somehow stronger relationship with our highly talented actors and actresses. 
2018 has been our most expensive year to theory. Unfortunately though, theory doesn't pay out as much as practicality does. 
We launched a large campaign to roll out The Tudors. Directed towards the primary age, it incorporated one of Britain's most influential times in history. A month later we launched Shakespeare, aimed towards senior schools. Which included an interactive and educational show, plus thirty minute workshop. Now, when I speak semantics in regards to 'theoretically and practicality', said semantics are quite important. We practically launched both campaigns. Financially vested in both opportunities, with business models, finances and everything else that goes along with putting a show on. Unfortunalty the uptake was so small that breaking even looked like a faded memory. Thus concluding in pulling the plug. Which is never a good feeling, especially when it's your company. But 'take risks' and all that, is what they (they?) Say. 

So fast forward a few months, and the middle of September means all lights are green for our steady succession of teams entertaining children all over the country for the impeding pantomime season. However, I find myself in the middle of a risk taking venture. 
We have secured a theatre, The Stockwell Playhouse, quite a pretegious theatre by all accounts. A weeks run, with seven cast members. A full scale set, lighting rig, tech personal.....But scarier than that, 180 seats to fill per show. That's 360 seats per day. And, HOW.ON.EARTH.DOES.THAT.HAPPEN?? As mentioned on numerous occasions, residency within theatres is where the business needs to go. To be the largest touring pantomime company isn't enough. But to hold residency in theatres across the country would quench a thirst. 
So we start at number one, and when working out the business module and 'attack' plan, it becomes increasingly worrying that this may not be a business venture but a gamble. Now, I can't deny, I love a good gamble. Roulette is the one for me. Number 22. But I've always been one for increasing the odds. Why 22? Well, I always go black, bet the first thirds on the verticle lines and middle third for the horizontal. Then bet on an even. If number 22 comes in, I win big on all accounts. I digress. I think what I am trying to say is I enjoy a bet when I have a bit more influence over the outcome. 

Marketing seems like our biggest investment, but where? And I'll return, when I get the answer myself. So for now we quite quickly find ourselves moving forward. Posters created, scripts drafted, set secured (ish). As well as numerous other jobs in what seems like an endless list. But without leaving too abruptly. Marketing is our next and biggest job to tackle, largely the most important element in any theatrical production. So I'll return, to express our marketing strategy and to redeem this blog to a biannual entry. As ever, give our website a hit! 

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