Monday, 20 January 2014

Picture this

The poster and leaflet (that's "flyer" to the younger, US-influenced generation) are now being printed. The leaflet is being handled by a company in Southend - 2,500 double-sided A5 copies for £90 - and the poster by our usual printers in N7 - a mixture of A2, A3 and A4 for £58.75.  I'd like to have used the N7 printers for the leaflet as well, but their prices are considerably higher. It's a dilemma that has returned occasionally throughout my adult life - do I patronise the local supplier, whom I like and want to support, or do I patronise the cheaper supplier who may be hundreds of miles away? Usually the demands of my limited budget steer me towards the anonymous, larger firm that I am likely never to see in person. I have regrets, but they are few . . .

The poster (à droite) is suitably egoistical. It has my name but not those of the actors. I'm not fooling myself that anyone who sees this poster is going to say to themselves, "oh yes, Martin Foreman, the playwright who gave the world Californian Lives and Tadzio Speaks .  . .  and the author of the moving The Butterfly's Wing and the insightful First and Fiftieth, both of which I keep as close to my bed as Plato's Symposium and the most recent Twilight novel; I must book tickets forthwith". I'm simply playing an old advertising trick whereby the phrase "Martin Foreman's" on the poster will suggest to the observer that I am a dramatist of note, in the same way that "Alan Ayckbourn's" or "Alan Bennett's" encourages some people to open their wallets and hand over their credit card details to whichever organisation is selling tickets for those playwrights' latest new opening or revival. My name top left won't automatically sell tickets but it won't harm sales either.

More important is the image. I think it works. I think it's intriguing and will draw people to the theatre. There are the twin motifs of religion and celebration. It's missing the picture of Frederick Rolfe that we use on the website, and which we are using in some secondary publicity, but, as my aged mother has discovered each time she brings up the topic with friends and acquaintances, Rolfe is a mostly forgotten writer and an acquired taste. Anyway, we're printing very few copies, because there are few places to put up posters where the audience will not only notice them but be motivated to buy tickets and come to the show. On the other hand, if the poster and this blog persuade you to come, let me know when you've booked your ticket and a copy of the poster, signed by moi-même, will be waiting for you at the door...

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