I have written about my industrial theatre work before, but every time I start rehearsals it I am reminded of how awesome it is, and I get excited by the braveness of my clients, the creativity and commitment of the team I work with and the audience reach we get.
In SA we are not huge supporters of theatre. It is hard enough getting our friends and connections to support our work. Mostly our audiences are made up of repeat offenders. So, how extraordinary is it that for the past 8 years a petrol company has been providing live training and entertainment in the form of theatre?
Initially they took a huge risk. Doing a road show of this size and reach is very expensive and a massive organisational undertaking. But it paid off immediately because of the response of the petrol pump attendants, cashiers, dealers and management. And they have stuck with it because of the huge pay off. Service delivery improves every time we come around. Pump attendants and cashiers feel special and important and part of a huge team. They adore the performers and treat them like celebrities. And, where I get excited is that these audiences have become more and more theatre literate. They understand character, story and humour, send-up and satire. They have grown as we have grown. And we inform and are informed by each other.
So, we have just completed our second week of rehearsals and we had our first client viewing today. I can’t wait for this show to happen in front of my favourite, and biggest audiences of the year.