Theatrical production company Follow Your Dreams (Aust) Pty Ltd (trading as HIT Productions) is going into liquidation according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Run by Melbourne based Christine Harris, the company is reported to owe in excess of $1.7 million with a number of theatrical suppliers, theatre companies, international production companies and APRA included in the creditors list.
Members of the cast of Motherhood the Musical – one of HIT Productions’ successful touring shows – have expressed their disappointment, although one claimed the news was “not surprising”. It is understood that all the cast from Motherhood the Musical were paid and are not owed money.
“A ‘garage sale’ at HIT Productions’ rented Williamstown North warehouse in October 2012, was purported at the time to be a ‘fire sale’, with many in the industry jumping to the conclusion after a long history of bad debts and an extremely high staff turnover”, a source told AussieTheatre.
The garage sale, according to the company’s Facebook page was selling props, costumes and set pieces at “bargain prices”.
It is understood that the company owes $674,000 to the ATO, and an unknown amount to the State Revenue Office. The document obtained from ASIC online, itemizes an amount of $900,000 owed to company owner and Director, Christine Harris.
It is also understood that Ms Harris also placed her Beaumaris home up for sale last year ahead of the filing of documentation to liquidate her company. It sold on the 24th of November for just over $1.3 million according to RealEstate.com.au.
The company name was changed on December 21 and the next day it entered liquidation.
On the 22nd November 2012, however, a new company, HIT PRODUCTIONS PTY LTD, was registered in the same suburb, and Ms Harris has told StageWhispers.com.au that all planned tours produced by HIT Productions will go ahead in 2013 despite her apparently large financial woes.
“Yes, all shows scheduled for 2013 will go ahead as planned. Having supplied quality theatre touring productions since 1999, many venues across Australia relied on Follow Your Dreams Australia Pty Ltd (FYD) for their professional product and to remove this opportunity would have devastating consequences for those venues and their communities” Harris told Stagewhispers.com.au.
In an angry rebuttal, Sue Fabisch writer of Motherhood The Musical, has penned a response in anger and frustration to Ms Harris’ comments.
In respect to Ms. Harris’s cavalier comment about whether or not the tours she has planned for 2013 will go on: … to “remove this opportunity would have devastating consequences for those venues and their communities”, – please let her know that by not paying the people she currently owes, while continuing to run the same company under a different name, ALSO has devastating consequences – like perhaps putting food on the table for my three children while I wait years to recover my losses.
– Sue Fabisch, on StageWhispers.com.au
Fabisch calls for a national boycott of all HIT Productions shows “until they can make good on the money currently owed.”
According to an article in The Age, HIT Productions have been the recipients of over $800,000 in grants from the federal government since December 2010.
HIT Productions have slated for 2013 several shows including It’s My Party (And I’ll Die If I Want To), They’re Playing Our Song, David Williamson’s The Club and When Dad Married Fury, The Book Club and The 39 Steps.
Are you affected by HIT Productions’ liquidation? If you are, leave a comment below or contact [email protected]