Violet Online has been a joyous surprise. Granted, I don’t need to do the hard work of going on stage every night, being the director. Lovely Lynita Crofford has managed that very nicely, thank you very much. The surprise hasn’t even been how well received the work has been, even though it has, with two out of three reviews that I have seen being really, really good. The big surprise has been in how unbelievably well the show has done at the box office.
Firstly, it is clear that this kind of show, and by that I mean content, has a huge and responsive audience. Its target market is middle aged women, and friends and family of middle aged women (even though I believe it has broader, and universal appeal). People heard about Violet Online and booked for it. Our run has been pretty much totally sold out and we decided to add 4 performances next week on our opening night last week. I know that the Alexander Bar theatre is really tiny and easy to fill, but the truth is, none of us did huge publicity. People want to see this show. And this makes me very excited, because Lynita got it right. She chose the material, knew it would be popular, and then we made something beautiful and funny of it.
But I am even more excited by the idea that theatre doesn’t have to be back breakingly difficult to sell. I am excited by the notion of making accessible, enjoyable theatre for people who will come. I am excited that Alexander Bar has built an audience who will trust what is on, and come regardless.
I was scrolling through my blog this week and I saw a post from a few months ago where I wrote about how I was done being desperate about selling my shows. And something has clearly shifted for me. I am (currently) able to keep my promise to myself. I am able to make work, be proud, and let it be seen.
Violet Online extends with shows Mon 21 – Thurs 24 October at 9pm. Book here on Alexander Bar.