We’re currently 2.5 weeks away from opening our immersive/interactive/game version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream starting in Clapham before transferring to Oxford.
The show ran last year to exceptional audience feedback and five star reviews. Even armed with the most amazing testimonials imaginable we are faced with the same challenge that hit our advanced sales last year – how do we convince people who don’t like audience interaction and active participation that they will enjoy it?
Reference Mary and Richard, 60 something retirees and Creation regulars, also mildly anti-social introverts who despite Richard’s taste in shirts go to great lengths to avoid unnecessary attention being focused their way (I can say this as they also happen to be my mum and dad). Over the past nine years having resigned themselves to the all consuming job that is my working at Creation, Mary and Richard have realised that coming to see Creation shows is a possible way to see their daughter, or at the very least get a call 10 minutes after the performance has ended eagerly asking for a run down of what they thought.
Now there were a lot of reservations expressed pre-Dream attendance “They won’t make us do anything will they?” but eventually they found an evening they could make, where of course, they absolutely loved it. When I say loved though, I mean really, really loved. The previous 12 months, really the previous two years hadn’t been the best for them but speaking to my mum after Dream there was an excitement and happiness in her voice I hadn’t heard in a long time. Other family members were eagerly encouraged to get tickets and this year groups of friends are being organised to come with them.
If they weren’t the parents of the CEO though there is no way they would have booked tickets. So what do we do? How do we reach the many other Mary and Richards who are put off by the show’s interactive nature and find the word immersive terrifying? We have testimonials and are looking into if there are physical mailings we can post that might help to sway those who are unsure. A legitimate course could be to focus our efforts on the less reserved audience, but this seems such a great shame when we know the impact of this show is as great to those who start off unsure about it as it is to those who jump right in.
If I can be so bold as to ask, what persuades you to see a show outside your comfort zone? Is there anything that we could say or do to get you to take a punt on unusual concept? Tweet me @lucymaskew or post a reply with any thoughts.