So England may not be bringing the World Cup home this year, but with Gareth Southgates positivity they did England so proud getting to the semi-finals and in four years’ time maybe they will bring football home.
So with that said, is it not a good time now for theatre to come home? It is not time that this industry returns to its rightful place in our communities? Is it not time we to show the world what we are really capable of?
Can you imagine a huge amount of publicity and hype with people chanting ‘It’s coming home’ for an international theatrical production? And even though there may be no big celebrity bill boarded, businesses big and small a cuing up to sponsor, helping to promote by put adverts on anything from milk bottles to lorries and supply products to the event just because of it’s the highest quality reputation. Tickets become rare and sell out up to 6 months before the show hits town because of its a spectacle that is possibly a once in a lifetime chance to both the participant and spectate on home ground.
I think without a doubt one of the most powerful songs produced in 2017 that everyone resonate with is ‘This is me’ from The Greatest Showman. Now this film wasn’t just about entertaining the viewers or celebrating the work of one of America’s greatest showmen. As the Huffpost puts it in their review, ‘it’s about courage and acceptance’.
This is not a review for that film, but as I watched this amazing spectacular unfold before me, it really brought home the perspective of 21st century theatre. Disclaimer: Please be assured this has absolutely no reflection of amazing work of those theatre makers out there doing their best to keep theatre alive.
I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
The creative arts struggles to bring people into the industry with drama being dropped from the EBacc (English Baccalaureate) in the UK, drama schools are becoming more and more expensive and funding is drying up fast.
When was the last time you saw a theatre production adverted on television? Or even seen a production on TV? I’m talking about a production like the first 20 minutes or so of the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies before they do the flags, flame, parading the athletes and speeches. Yet you can see an international sports event daily on any channel you turn and yet they still have the same issues surrounding EBacc in UK schools and fans are so hyped up.
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are
We continually hear how less funding is available and that new works are far too risky (I have written posts on this). This industry pours nearly £6billion a year to the UK economy alone, but it can’t offer job security or consistently good working conditions. Then there’s a constant conversation about diversity and legation saying for example how theatres should be more eco-friendly, yet it’s clear that law makers have no idea of actual statics of how none friendly our buildings really are. And so the list of complaints just goes on.
What I worry about is that while all these issues continue to be talked about, the film industry continues to grow all the time, while theatre is being left behind and the idea of losing live theatre is terrifying.
Look out ’cause here I come
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies
As the director of The Greatest Showman, Michael Gracey said, “The idea of doing an original film is a terrifying alpha concept, the idea of doing an original musical that was just pure insanity.” and when the film hit the big screen it earned nearly £50,000 at box office in the UK alone on release day.
Creating theatre is hard. Working with original ideas is terrifying, wanting to fill a space the size of Wembley Stadium on an international scale it’s just pure insanity.
So here’s the dream, to create live shows that come somewhere between the high energy of the movie Fame which empowers and encourages those taking part of all backgrounds in the performance to continually work a high standards with the ease like an Andre Rieu concert, mixed with the emotional impact produced by The Greatest Showman that inspires spectators not only to be humming the tunes for weeks after they have seen the show, but feel empowered and encouraged to go out and achieve their own dreams.
I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious
A live international spectaculars that are performed for just one or two nights, maybe a long weekend in each location, a production that means cast and crew alike must always be top of their game. So it becomes competitive and though it’s not a competition like the X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent it something everyone will want on their CV.
Venues competing to play host to the smaller projects that lead to the big event as it will benefit through publicity and everyone become everyone’s partner.
This is not just going to be a one off event with its high energy and high pace, this the UK taking the international stage to show the world what it really means to produce theatre and then invite the world to participate. But this is not about one man trying to work a miracle, there’s a lot of work to make this production happen. It’s going to take communities, Unions, theatres, and a lot of dedicated people to put theatre back where it belongs.
The arts has no boundaries, this project is aimed to making arts accessible for everyone regardless of age, gender, class, ethnic or cultural background and it will remove the limitations of disabilities, as everyone has the same opportunities to be a part of it, only their dedication to their craft will stand in their way.
But most importantly it will help to raise those vital funds to look after our beautiful theatres, to ensure grants can still be given in support of the industry and of course for those crucial creative art project which so much benefit our communities can still continue.
So we are looking for singers, writers, dancers, actors, directors, creators, musicians, choreographers, costume designers, makeup artists, technical, and special acts from all walks of life to help create a brand new Greatest Show on Earth, to regenerate the arts industry we all love so much and do what President Trumps say, “Make [Theatre] great again”.
Also if you know people or businesses who may be interested investing in this project at all levels from local to international then again please do pass the word round.
So if you are interested in getting involved in this project or just finding out more please add your email address to our mailing list by clicking here, follow us on social media using the buttons at the top of the page. But most importantly talk to others about it and if you know someone who might be interested in being part of this project the please forward this post on using the ‘Spread the Love’ buttons at the top or side of the post.
Here’s to the Greatest Show in this Country has ever produced and possibly the Greatest Show on Earth!