“Only in Sydney”! “Exclusive to Melbourne”! You’ve heard it before, haven’t you?
You know, the catch phrases that marketing teams use for major musicals in their debut cities. The words that are intended to attract interstate travel, generate millions of dollars in tourism revenue and are an important factor in the initial success of a musical in Australia.
Often these are the slogans which theatre audiences are apprehensive about believing because many major musicals end up touring the country anyway.
(Let’s not forget that the show’s financial success in its initial city often determines whether it tours or not, so bringing interstate revenue is an important factor in the show’s ability to tour … but that’s another column).
However, in the case of Global Creatures’ King Kong which is currently playing at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne, their catch phrase IS true. That ape is not going ANYWHERE else in Australia – anyone involved with the project has said as much to anyone who has asked for the last two years.
And they are STILL telling people. Yesterday, the team at King Kong launched the campaign
Global Creatures has undertaken to refund the cost of travel, ticket and accommodation for any interstate ticket buyers if the production of King Kong, currently in performance at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, plays in any other Australian city before it heads overseas for international engagements:
“This covers not only the ticket buyer, but any other people included in the ticket buyer’s group who live outside of Victoria” they said on their website.
“Ticket buyers should keep a record of KING KONG seat number and performance date, as well as all travel and accommodation receipts.”
I think this is a fairly good indication that the show isn’t going to tour. The ‘bowels’ of the Regent Theatre have been adapted and modified extensively to accommodate all of the equipment needed to control this incredible larger-than-life sized animatronic puppet.
In my experience, if a company are offering you money back for any reason, they are generally pretty sure they won’t have to fork out.
So if you are holding out hope that the big, beautiful beast will be travelling to a capital city near you, I suggest you let it go.
The show will travel, absolutely, but not in the land of Oz.