How do we take theatre to music venues and new audiences?

Kindle Theatre, 7 October 2012

Attended by Sam, Marion, Cliff, Jake, Natalis

- New audiences

Who cares about them? We identify that it's important to reach new audiences but don't necessarily action anything. But the desire is there

- Punters

We need to hit people with theatre when they're not expecting it. Use big events for big hits. These hits need to be good quality. No need to frame it for audience necessarily, but needs good planning.

- Historical examples

There are successful examples of work going into music venues that aren't straight gigs, but a lot of these are more dance-based or physically led theatrical music events

Prog rock

- Fan Base

important to HAVE one! Venues more likely to take a risk on an unknown event if there's proof of a strong fan base. Also how many hits you have on YouTube has weight

- Labelling

Do music people just stick to theatre? Do dance lovers just attend dance events?

Theatre audiences just see theatre? Why do we have to label things ‘theatre’, ‘comedy’ etc. Do we need these distinctions? Festivals seem to be more open to putting on cross-art shows. Is a venue simply a space to put art on in / with? Does there really need to be a sense that venues go with shows that ‘fit them’?

- Wet Sales

Venues often weigh up risk by working out roughly how many pints they can sell.


- The commercial model

Is art incompatible with the commercial model? Art being synonymous with risk taking, creativity, experimenting.

- Pay to Play

Bands do it, should theatre makers do it? Is it worth the investment if you reach a new audience. Should it always be the artists that take this risk?

- Attention spans

How do you create an atmosphere with a music audience when in the theatre the audience is more captive. How do you suck them in and encourage them to follow a narrative when in a gig a narrative will only exist for a 3-4 mins song usually, not an hour.

- Call it a gig? Drop the theatre?

Not theatre, not music but rather an event / experience. A show.

Don't call it anything. Not helpful to limit through labelling

- Ditch theatre in a company name to reach a music audience?

Build separate tour packs for different venues - music, theatre, art. Call it whatever fits.

Call it nothing.

Build a separate identity for the show as if it's a band. If there's no history then work on the mythology.

- Nighclubs

Can also be music venues. Put on a show that leads into a party.

- Try it out

If it frightens you then try it. Try the risk. Share the risk. Get it out there. Always reach the venue by working towards reaching the audience