Bush Theatre hail live streaming debut as ‘huge success’ after record ticket sales

by | Feb 3, 2021

London’s Bush Theatre are celebrating record ticket sales from its online broadcasting debut of Travis Alabanza’s critically acclaimed play Overflow.

Overflow, tells a hilarious but devastating story of women’s bathrooms from the perspective of a trans woman. The ‘Lockdown Theatre’ was delivered online amid the COVID-19 restrictions and enjoyed by a global audience. Almost 4,000 viewers tuned in from more than 25 different countries, including Finland, Kenya, Peru and the United States.

Beatrice Burrows, Head of Marketing at Bush Theatre, said: “Our seven live streamed performances of Overflow were a huge success. Attendance and ticket sales were more than double what we predicted before launching the show. The number of digital tickets we sold was comparable to a five-week continuous run of performances in our own theatre – no one at Bush Theatre expected that kind of response.”

A champion of playwrights and operating in one of the most culturally diverse areas of London, Bush Theatre has been at the forefront of producing ground-breaking new plays within its 210-capacity venue in Shepherd’s Bush. Support from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund allowed Bush Theatre to recruit The Umbrella Rooms to film the productions. It now plans to develop its online broadcasting output with further productions.

Beatrice added: “The revenue we have harvested from Overflow has proven to us that there is a large audience for online theatre. It’s hugely exciting for the Bush Theatre to have more ways to reach audiences and make watching our shows as inclusive as possible.

In December, TicketCo Media Services’ pay-per-view and video-on-demand online broadcasting solution was integrated with Spektrix, a powerful technology platform for ticketing, marketing, and fundraising in the arts. Bush Theatre is the first to benefit from the integrated approach.

Beatrice said: “It enables us to establish a better understanding of our customers’ booking habits and how tickets are sold for each performance. Overflow was a live stream performance, so customers were able to purchase tickets minutes before the show went live. We witnessed the power of this tool when twice we had to increase our streaming capacity in the hour leading up to a performance.”

Joe Edwards, Senior Key Account Manager at TicketCo Media Services said: “It was fantastic to help Bush Theatre successfully deliver its first ever digital shows online and engage with a new revenue paying global audience. The viewing figures Bush Theatre has managed to achieve is testament to the company’s proactive approach towards live streaming and marketing a performance to suit their target audiences on a global scale. Broadcasting online is proving to overcome the challenges of the pandemic to break down barriers and help theatres increase audiences globally.”

TicketCo Media Services is a cloud-based event payment and online broadcasting company, with offices in Norway, the UK, and Sweden. Its technology combines event payments with live streaming and on-demand services.

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The goal of this guide is to provide the absolute best, most up-to-date, definitive guide for theatres and production companies to learn how to live stream shows to their audience as part of their integrated approach to sales and marketing.

Written by Shaun Reynolds

Communications advisor and expert storyteller with Fortitude Communications. A former news reporter and sports editor of five years across several UK regional titles. Experienced in photography and social media management with a passion for the outdoors.

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