The theatre breaks business has gone well this month with plenty of future bookings via our Reader’s Offers site. January and February are always popular months for booking breaks for the coming year.
It is good news that The Bodyguard has extended to September as it has been well liked. It is a good mix of strong songs and a bit of action, so something for everyone, “romantic but not soppy” was how one chap described it. We’ve seen quite a few bookings for early March and I’m wondering if they might be Valentines gifts. I do hope so! What could be more romantic than “I will always love you”?
Of course the old favourites still take the bulk of the bookings but among the newcomers Viva Forever! seems to be finding an audience, what ever the critics might say about it. We are seeing quite a few group bookings for 2 day coach trips to Viva Forever! and I can’t help feeling these might be hen nights. A theatre break is a brilliant choice for a hen night but until recently there has been no obvious replacement for Dirty Dancing. That used to be the #1 choice for hen parties, might it have had something to do with the gorgeous male dancers? Maybe? Mamma Mia is another hen night favourite but, would you believe it?? not everyone loves the music of Abba! (I know! Strange eh?) Anyway Viva Forever! now seems to be filling that gap. It has a great Girrl Power vibe so just the thing for female bonding weekends. Of course that doesn’t have to be a hen night and some of them might just be old friends reliving their teeny-bopper years. I think tapping into the Spice Girls generation just as they reach their mid twenties is a very smart move and not just for Viva Forever! If they get into theatre going now and develop a taste for musicals, well, that’s the future audience for everything else the West End has to offer. Once you have experienced a good theatre trip you will always want to go again. Next time maybe they’ll want to go to see a romantic show with their partner, maybe something romantic and approachable, like the new show Once. Or maybe something riotous and outrageous like The Book of Mormon! There hasn’t really been anything to fill the gap left by Avenue Q and I suspect that is exactly the demographic The Book of Mormon will appeal to, judging by their Facebook page!
Anyway we need some high energy, young, lively shows in the West End to keep that age group coming. Of course we hoped Loserville would do that but the less said about that the better.
Already booking well is a show aimed at an even younger audience, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is going to be huge. Of course if won’t just be families that want to see Charlie, Roald Dahl’s timeless stories appeal to everyone whatever their age. That 20 something audience will also be keen to see this show, I suspect, given their attachment to their childhood icons.
One show that I thought would be doing better is A Chorus Line. Maybe there just hasn’t been enough media hype about it yet. It will probably take off over the next couple of weeks. It is likely to be a great production of a classic show but it just doesn’t seem to have caught people’s attention yet. I’m sure it will once it gets going. A real Broadway style musical it fills the niche left by Chicago or maybe that wonderful production of Sweet Charity from a couple of years ago. There’s nothing else quite like it on in the West End at the moment, it has a great cast and so it should do well. I certainly want to see it myself and hope lots of other people will too.