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 Post subject: Re: Publicity - Netherlands
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:56 am 
Small Boy

Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:19 am
Posts: 34
Location: Cape Town
DenP wrote:
I don't agree with the fact/opinion that the publicity campaign has been amazing. If it would have been the show would still be playing in the Circustheater.

Yes, by looking at the news items and tv series one might get the feeling that you almost know the Billys but in my view that has been a huge mistake as well. Too many publicity has been given to the Billys (don't get me wrong, all the attention was well deserved, I contributed to that myself as well) but the story of the miner's strike and Maggie Thatcher's era has not been given much attention. This caused that a lot of people, especially the ones who did not see the musical before nor the movie, went to see the show with wrong expectations. They were confronted with a story about miners on strike, harsh language, while instead they expected to see just a dancing boy and a feelgood story. They were given the impression that it was more of a family show because the publicity was all about the Billys.

The quality of the show and cast was perfect, the standard was high, throughout the entire year, the Billys, Michaels, Debbies, small/tall boys and ballet girls did a great job. That was not the problem. The problem was that not enough people bought a ticket and took the time to see the show. In that sense the publicity campaign was not able to convince people to come and see the show. And that's what the main objective of a campaign should be.


That's an interesting point of view. Are you suggesting that if the publicity (education?) around the miners' strike would have been better the show would have been more successful commercially? I am (on purpose) not agreeing or disagreeing with you at this stage, just wondering.
It is certainly true that the understanding of the Dutch public of the 1984 strike is (certainly by now) very limited. Has there been more effort in other non-UK productions (US, Scandinavia, Australia, Korea) to show the significance of the strike? And do you believe this understanding is important in the experience of the visitors to the VPT performances (many of whom are not British either)?


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 Post subject: Re: Publicity - Netherlands
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:11 pm 
Small Boy
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:26 pm
Posts: 73
My point is that Billy Elliot is not just 'about a boy who wants to dance'. By focusing on the Billys and the the whole process from auditions, training and performing, most people, especially the ones who are not familiar with the movie and/or the musical (and that's the majority of the potential audience in The Netherlands), had a wrong perception of the musical. Causing many people to think that it was a family musical about a boy doing ballet. Instead they were confronted with a story that is much more complex, with harsh language etc etc.

This all was mentioned in the programme book, but not so much in the publicity campaign. That made, in my view, that quite a lot of people were disappointed about what they saw which led to less mouth-to-mouth publicity as should have been.

So it is not just about informing people about the strike, as well as informing people in a more balanced way about what the musical is about. I don't know if the production would have been more successful that way, but I do think that the publicity campaign as was done was not so amazing as other people think it was.


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