Thursday, 24 July 2008

Musical Theatre goes to Pot... Noodle!

Ask any of my friends what they think I can't consume enough of and they'll tell you straight, it's the performing arts. No question. Well, that's what i'd like them to say anyway. In reality, they're more likely to say junk food, much to my disappointment. But it seems at That Fringe Festival Over The Border is welcoming a show that has an unusual marriage of the two; Pot Noodle the Musical.

The Guardian blogs have been getting quite feverish about this, and it certainly raises some interesting arguments about sponsorship or corporate involvement. It doesn't help the prosecution either when the event appears to be under the umbrella of the the now seperate comedy festival, which hasn't been met too favourably with a lot of people.

Obviously it's a two edged sword, on one hand artists strive for creative control and integrity, but to do so often demands are placed on corporate sponsors to simply cough up the cash and let them get on with it. The full scale musical advert is hardly a subversive idea, they've got a very committed and experienced team on board, and weighing it against the tone of the advertisements on television it would be expected that more slightly self deprecating absurdist humour will follow. We've self funded for two years now, and it's been a struggle for the most part, so funding may be something we could be cofounded with facing in the not too distant future. What to do if only corporate cash is on offer? Naturally, there's the fear of 'selling out', which is prevalent in the minds of all artists. I think if it’s done subtly and sensitively there’s no problem with strong show sponsorship. The over-riding fear, I guess, is that people will be worried if the floodgates open and soon the theatre will be subject to instructions from corporate advertising chiefs. I suspect this is irrational, but time will tell.

For WLTM = (Bait&Switch), I did daydream of how funny it would have been to get a dating site to agree to sponsor the show, perhaps persuading them to empty their pockets without seeing it or knowing what was to unfold… I doubt we’d have ever gotten away with it. if you see the show, perhaps you will agree as well.

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