I am currently in the middle of writing copy for a show I’m producing, and so far I haven’t come up with anything I really like. The show is called The Site by Frances Bushe and is both hilarious and tragic, and comes with a twist. Perfect subject matter for copy writing. However it also deals with the Internet including Facebook and match.com, both subjects that could take the show from clever poignancy to Hollyoaks cheese fest, something it most definitely is not. So where to start my copy?
I am convinced that writing good copy is not just an art form but a huge responsibility. These 70 or so words are meant to act as the hook that will reel your audience in. There are of course other factors, such as popular actors or directors, that attract audiences, but in the case of a new writer the copy must say it all. Think about the Royal Mile at Fringe time and the hundreds of leaflets thrust at you. Which do you pick? Chances are you won’t go for the one with boring copy because if they can’t even get the copy right what will they have done with the show? Of course this isn’t always the case and the excitingly marketed show may turn out to be terrible, but it got the audience into their seats; the copy’s job is done.
So back to my marketing campaign. The first thing to consider is who the show is for. Is it for adults or children or both? I feel The Site is aimed at “young people”, which probably stretches from young teenagers to thirty-somethings. Still, the show could also appeal to parents, and by directing it towards young people you may prevent them from coming. Alternatively, you could market the show towards families but for me ‘family show’ suggests an experience for the kids that parents are forced to endure. I would like to avoid this especially as aspects of the show are not suitable for small children.
Copy must also take into account the location of your show and how this affects the audience it will attract. The Site will be at the Accidental Festival at the Roundhouse. The festival set-up should provide a more relaxed and youthful approach to theatre and through this hopefully attract some who aren’t regular theatre goers. The Site would be a perfect introduction to the theatre for young people, not because it is watered down or simple but because it provides an insightful and clever look at our society without preaching to its audience. Plus, there is a rather hilarious scene involving karaoke and French porn. What more could you want?
So back to my writing I go and hopefully inspiration will come calling. With not long until the show the race is on but I am sure I will get there. And hopefully so will my audience.
The Site by Frances Bushe will be showing at the Accidental Festival on the 21st and 22nd May 2011
Image by Alan Dayley