Tuesday, 12 May 2015

We'll Show You Ours - Cash & Company

On Thursday we opened Romeo & Juliet in St Olave's Church with York Theatre Royal, as part of the York International Shakespeare Festival. Tonight is press night, so I'm deliberately posting this before any reviews of our show come out. We transfer to London in a few weeks. 

 It's an all female cast. We wanted to make an all female show because we should be trying harder to redress the gender imbalance on our nations stages - especially in Shakespeare. And because, in an interview, we were asked -

'So how does it work, with the big fights and then the tender moments - how does that work when it's all women?'

- so making an all female show is important.

But what's more important is this review from a sixth former called Hannah who came to see the show on opening night. For a 17/18 year old girl to watch a production and not even mention the all female story. That's why were making an all female Shakespeare. 

We try to be very open and honest about how we make work. For us, this is a big show. A cast of 6 and a stage manager. 7 people on a weekly payroll. We applied to the Arts Council twice to help support the production, but we were unsuccessful. That's okay, it happens. But our options were lay off 7 artists to whom we'd promised 9 weeks work, or for us to work harder to sell more tickets. 

Our Arts Council bid would have helped us do some nice stuff - offer some paid placements which we had promised to do after last summer, offer healthier up front fees for other creatives, rather than relying on royalties, for me and Brian to get paid for the work we've done - and to plug a gap and help cashflow the weekly costs of the production. I was talking to someone about this and they asked why we don't set up a crowd funding campaign. We kind of have an in built crowd funding campaign just through Box Office. 

So we want to ask for your help. We'd like you to buy a ticket to the show. If enough people do that, then we're fine (ish). Because employing and paying artists is important - something we should work damn hard to do properly. On this occasion, the arts council haven't supported us, so we need to ask you to. 

The show costs £3,000 pw in people, for 9 weeks. 
The venues costs approx £5,000.
Creative fees come to about £2,000.
And a marketing budget of about £5,000.

So rounded up a little, we're looking at £40,000. That's what it costs to make a show which will hopefully mean that an all female Shakespeare is a little less unusual. 

And that's how much it costs to employ and pay -

Holly / Hannah / Sarah / Yoshi / Amie / Emma / Jane / Ed / Tom / Jim

Brian and I shan't take a penny unless everything else is paid.

So before the papers come, now we're open, we wanted to ask for your help. If you're up for helping, then we damn hope you enjoy the show. If you enjoy the show, we hope you might send some other folks our way. If you have a mailing list to hand, can we use it? If you meet with a group of people who like theatre / music / Shakespeare / a good night out - do you want to come on a trip? We can do workshops, talks, anything else thrown in if you're a school and would like to get a bit more for your dollar. We're always up for a chat.

For our York run, head here

For our London run head here

We'll hopefully see you there, and hopefully see you in the pub for a drink after!


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