Friday, May 20


Last night at the Adelaide Festival Centre’s ‘In Conversation – Building Audiences Collaboratively not Competitively’ – Fenella Kernebone asked me to describe the Culture Combo.

The Culture Combo created an opportunity to buy tickets to a theatre production and a dance/opera at the same time - with discounts.

In 2010 Brink Productions and Leigh Warren Dancers (LWD) found we were presenting shows over similar dates (LWD and SOSA presented Maria de Buenos Aires at Dunstan Playhouse at the same time Brink presented a return season of When the Rain Stops Falling at Her Majesty’s Theatre)

The aim of the Culture Combo was to expose Brink to a contemporary dance audience who might never have attended a Brink show and, vice versa, to expose LWD’s dance/opera to a contemporary theatre audience.

Each company promoted to its database so no data was actually shared, complying with privacy laws! But the exposure was a genuine collaborative attempt by both companies to build audiences across discipline, more than just cross promotion of live performance.

Later in the conversation Ian Scobie of Arts Projects Australia described Brink’s acclaimed production of When the Rain Stops Falling as an excellent example of collaboration.  It’s worth my noting that there were three levels of collaboration contributing to the success of this production. 

First and foremost, the collaboration of the stellar artistic team Chris Drummond pulled together for Brink to develop this major theatre project over several years.

Secondly the collaboration of both state and federal funding bodies, both of which contributed considerable special funding grants, specifically set up to nurture and develop new Australian work. This allowed Brink resources it would otherwise not have had to support the long term development of When the Rain Stops Falling.

Last but not least, by co-presenting the premiere season in 2008 with both the Adelaide Festival and State Theatre Company of South Australia, Brink’s production was exposed to a far wider audience than it could have reached through its own resources.  Nearly 10,000 people attended the 2008 world premiere of When the Rain Stops Falling at Scott Theatre.

That said, if Brink and our creative collaborators had not created a production of such quality and substance the exposure would not have created the word of mouth recommendations that resulted in such a marked increase in ticket sales after it opened and reviews were out.

The reciprocity is that all three organisations are still accorded acclaim for supporting the development of new Australian work and, in particular, the success of that particular work.  

So win win all round!

Hear the full podcast of the night below:

Others continue the debate outside of the #inconvo Twitter stream here:

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