Sell Out

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2011 7:36pm

#tcmc Christina Boonstra blogs from the Sell Out session….. SpeakersVicky Ireland, Co-Artisitic Director, A Thousand Cranes TheatreChristopher Skala, Senior Vice President, Programming & TV Sales, Guinness World RecordsJon Spooner, Creative Director, UnlimitedProduced by:Will Brenton, Director, Wish Films   Now if I’m honest, this session wasn’t exactly one I was especially looking forward to, but it turned to be a fascinating debate about artistic integrity versus making money out of your brand. Jon Spooner related his recent experience at live adaptation of a TV show his kids dearly loved.  After sitting through a wild and excitable show, they were led to the exit via corridor filled with merchandise, toys being ‘pimped out’ for a profit and neatly positioned to catch the eyes of children.  Needless to say, he found the experience rather lacking. But this, surely isn’t all theatre has to bring to TV.   Discussing the successes of the Lion King, Warhorse and the first shows of Charlie and Lola, at the Polka theatre,  Vicky Ireland argued passionately for the artistic minds behind theatre that have the potential to deliver something that is a completely unique experience for audiences, unparalleled to TV formats. At the root of this debate however, was a different question. If live adaptations of TV shows will continue as they do, and if they want to gain a reputation for being money well spent, will big brands be willing to relinquish control in order for experts in theatre to recreate something worth seeing? Are we going to see more large scale, profit driven productions or could this be the beginning of a new kind of partnership, where mutual respect for the different mediums forges away through the messy world of artistic integrity versus profit?