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Tours in the UK

AndAllThatJazz22
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Tours in the UK#1
Posted: 7/28/09 at 11:29am
I am a Broadway fanatic (thus explaining why I have a BWW account, of course!) but I'm developing a curiosity of how theatre is seen around the world. Over her in the US, if a show is mildly successful, it tours North America. My question is, are UK tours as common as they are here in the US?
"There's nothing good on. The media hates Christmas. The media loves vampires, though. Maybe they will show a Twilight Christmas."
-Danmeg's 10 year old son.
Updated On: 7/29/09 at 11:29 AM
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keithp
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re: Tours in the UK#2
Posted: 7/28/09 at 11:34am
Yes - pretty much the same as The States in that succesful (and sometimes less so)West End shows tend to tour after London, and sometimes while the show is still running (Phantom, Mamma Mia, Les Miz, which is about to go out again in a new tour).
Obvioulsy our population is much less but there is a pretty healthy touring circuit. I live in Edinburgh (population 470,000) and we have 3 large theatres for touring shows including the UKs largest (seating capacity) theatre.
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Mark_E
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re: Tours in the UK#2
Posted: 7/28/09 at 11:50am
YEP! Also there are alot of shows that have new productions just for touring (See UK Productions/Bill Kenwright).
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Phantom of London
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re: Tours in the UK#3
Posted: 7/28/09 at 12:03pm
As Keith says, we are much smaller than the US, where you can think of the US as 50 countries, it so big, we can not sustain a tour like you guys do, where you can keeo someone on the road all the time and sometimes have 2 national tours such as Wicked.

We normally have a tour that last about a year and does 5/6 of the major cities in the UK, typically it will be Birmingham, Manchester, Sunderland. Edinburgh and Cardiff, but this can easily change depending on the producers preference. The show can sit down in a venue for anything between 1 month to 3.

Rarely you have a international tour, such as Mama Mia that will tour around Europe including the UK, this will be sung in English.

Tours happening in the UK now, if you want to check the individual websites are;

We Will Rock You
Sound of Music
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Minor tour)
Mama Mia (Part of the international tour)
Mary Poppins (tour coming to the end)

Coming soon
Spamalot?
AndAllThatJazz22
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re: Tours in the UK#4
Posted: 7/28/09 at 12:16pm
So do most UK tours hit the road after the show has closed?
"There's nothing good on. The media hates Christmas. The media loves vampires, though. Maybe they will show a Twilight Christmas."
-Danmeg's 10 year old son.
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Mark_E
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re: Tours in the UK#5
Posted: 7/28/09 at 12:25pm
^Some shows but then quite alot tour while they are still on in the West End like:
Blood Brothers
Chicago
We Will Rock You
Mamma Mia
Joseph
Woman in Black
Les Miserables

Alot wait until they close in London, like The Producers (which ended up getting pulled because of poor sales), Chitty, Mary Poppins, Sound of Music.

Others have tours in hope of reaching the West End but don't get enough business/don't find a West End House so never make it (Wedding singer, Witches of Eastwick, Flashdance).
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re: Tours in the UK#6
Posted: 7/28/09 at 12:27pm
It's not really set that it closes then tours, as said above most the big shows have had 2 productions going.

Some shows tour then come to town, others will tour after and some will tour both like never forget - shudder.

A lot of shows exist just as tours.


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re: Tours in the UK#7
Posted: 7/28/09 at 2:54pm
Let's not be deceived by geography. The land mass of the UK may be much smaller than that of the US but its population density is much higher: 60 million UK citizens to 300 million US citizens.

Thus lengthy national tours can be sustained.

Also because of the high population concentration there is a more coherent national culture that creates a more consistent theatre-going attitude.
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Phantom of London
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re: Tours in the UK#8
Posted: 7/28/09 at 3:04pm
The population would work out 5-1, but what I mean by sustaining a national tour is shows like Lion King who had 2 companies on the road, which have continued to tour for years, you would not be able to do that in the UK, where it would manage to tour for 1-2 years them disband.

I don't think there has been a Lion King tour of the UK?
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Scripps2
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re: Tours in the UK#9
Posted: 7/28/09 at 3:14pm
Whereas I get the impression that in Australia (Aussies to correct me if I'm wrong), that with all that land and a spread-out population of 20 million, a production has to have sit-down tours to most major cities if it is to be economically viable?
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Phantom of London
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re: Tours in the UK#10
Posted: 7/28/09 at 3:18pm
Australia is not big.............in terms of popu;ation, where London has 6 million = tourists = people coming in from home counties + people on business.
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Mark_E
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re: Tours in the UK#11
Posted: 7/28/09 at 3:24pm
Another thing is how close London is to the rest of the UK compared to how close NYC is to the rest of America.
AndAllThatJazz22
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re: Tours in the UK#12
Posted: 7/28/09 at 5:20pm
Interesting. Wicked has not yet toured the UK, am I correct? Wicked is North America's number one tour right now.
"There's nothing good on. The media hates Christmas. The media loves vampires, though. Maybe they will show a Twilight Christmas."
-Danmeg's 10 year old son.
Updated On: 7/28/09 at 05:20 PM
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Phantom of London
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re: Tours in the UK#13
Posted: 7/28/09 at 7:00pm
Agree it is strange that Wicked, Lion King & Spamalot have not toured the UK yet.
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re: Tours in the UK#14
Posted: 7/28/09 at 7:27pm
Lion King is still regarded by many as a 'big' show to see when they make their rare trip to London, meaning that's it still very profitable for Disney. Same for Wicked. Therefore they don't really need to splash the cash on a tour quite yet.

There were plans for a Spamalot tour, but they got pulled. I'm sure it'll happen eventually, as it's the type of show that would be a hit on the road.
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