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 Post subject: Re: Backstage tour in London Show
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:02 am
Posts: 4
Dear All,

First of all thank you for your kind welcome. Secondly, thank you ever so much for all your feedback! It has been more than I expected. I actually feared that backstage tours would not be formalized in any way and therefore very hard to arrange.

Would you then agree that the only way to get backstage access (I wouldn’t even call it a backstage tour) and to be shown around, maybe shake some hands and take a few pictures is to actually know someone who knows someone who can take you for a quick informal walk-around?

Cheers
Matt


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 Post subject: Re: Backstage tour in London Show
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:21 pm 
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Billy
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:26 pm
Posts: 5530
Location: England
Welcome to the Forum.

I am only aware of one non-celebrity having a backstage tour and that was a long time ago.

They told me that it is extremely cramped backstage so I can understand why they don't do tours.

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Billy Whiz is the Gallery Admin. Please send your photos, articles etc to forum.gallery[at]billyelliottheforum.me.uk Please replace [at] with @

In the email can you also please let me know the date where and when the photo(s) was taken, who is in the photo(s) as well as your forum name.

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 Post subject: Re: Backstage tour in London Show
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:25 pm 
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Billy
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Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:33 am
Posts: 17597
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
MattCH wrote:
Dear All,

First of all thank you for your kind welcome. Secondly, thank you ever so much for all your feedback! It has been more than I expected. I actually feared that backstage tours would not be formalized in any way and therefore very hard to arrange.

Would you then agree that the only way to get backstage access (I wouldn’t even call it a backstage tour) and to be shown around, maybe shake some hands and take a few pictures is to actually know someone who knows someone who can take you for a quick informal walk-around?

Cheers
Matt


That was occasionally possible in New York, but it is not likely to happen at the Victoria Palace.

I hate to seem very negative, but you also need to know that Stage Door access to the kids in the London show is not allowed either. The chaperones are very strict about this, and they do not allow meet/greet with the kids. In fact, they are not even happy with fans attempting to photograph, wave to, or otherwise engage the children as they leave in the Billy Bus after the show. As long as the children are in the chaperones' charge, you will not be allowed access. This is quite different from the more lenient atmosphere of some other productions; for example, the Netherlands show, where controlled access to the children is allowed after the show for photos, etc.

This forum also has some important guidelines about behavior at the theatre, especially in London, that you need to review before going to see the show there. The link to Forum Rules can be found at the top of every page, but here it is for you: ucp.php?mode=rules

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"I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who have to dance.”
-George Balanchine 1904 -1983


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 Post subject: Re: Backstage tour in London Show
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:31 am 
Audience Member

Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:43 am
Posts: 1
hey matt!

I visited London in May this year and I requested something similar to a backstage tour of the show too, however it was declined due to the delicate nature of the show having child performers and Child Protection Laws.
If you do manage to get a backstage tour of billy elliot the musical, please do share your experience!

-mary


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 Post subject: Re: Backstage tour in London Show
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:02 am
Posts: 4
Hi Mary,

It did work, but it required pulling quite a lot of stings and calling in few favors. Actually at some point I started questioning the whole idea but I ultimately decided to see it through for the kids and in the end it was worth doing it for them – they were thrilled and they still keep taking about it – I guess this is one of those little things that give a lot of joy.

To make the long story short – after all the feedback from the Forum I abandoned the idea of even trying to go officially through the Theater. Instead I put my business contacts to work, but that yielded little effect. I then went back to my business school alumni network and started looking at all of the entities involved in BETM and connections between them. I looked into VPT, Delfont Mackintosh, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd, Universal Stage Productions, Premier PR, Old Vic, Harbottle & Lewis, Working Title, AKA, Robertson Tylor and few others. And then I had “the aha moment” – I realized that a friend of mine, with whom I graduated from business school, is working for The Vanguard Group and they are the second largest institutional investor in Comacst – the owner of NBCUniversal which, through various subsidiaries, owns Universal Stage Productions and Working Title. He reached out to his Comcast contacts and they connected us with an executive at Universal and at Working Title. That in turn opened all other doors. Just as I was wondering in my previous post, it comes down to finding someone who knows someone who would be willing (that’s the key word) to take time to organize it.

The show itself was remarkable, I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be so good. Ollie, Nathan and entire cast performed spectacularly and it quickly became obvious how much fun they all have doing it. There was a small technical glitch at the end of the flying sequence when they couldn’t unhook Ollie from the rope, so they stopped the show for a few minutes but then resumed it flawlessly. The kids were totally amazed and overwhelmed with the performance. One of the staff members fetched us at the bar after the show, walked us backstage (incredibly packed and tight space), showed us how the set looks from the other side and explained few details about some machinery they are using on stage and the construction of the set. We then almost literally bumped into Mr. Walmsley, had a quick chat with him (it turns out he is an avid cyclist too) and on the way out we passed by Ollie in the corridor, he stopped for a moment, we praised him for a great performance, kids shook hands, took a picture and we were out. The whole thing took around 10-15 minutes, it was very low key and informal. It almost felt like rushing through. We were done before we knew it.

So Mary, to sum up, if I wasn’t for the kids I would not go through all this hassle just to have a quick walk-around. Having said that, my advice would be to try to connect with someone who works in the Theater or in one of the companies involved in the production. It is worth keeping in mind that various social media provide a vast network of potential contacts and connections. After all the theory of six degrees of separation actually proved to work (it was four degrees in my case).

Best of luck!
Matt


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 Post subject: Re: Backstage tour in London Show
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:25 pm 
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Billy
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Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:33 am
Posts: 17597
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
And here I was thinking you were just trying to get an individual backstage tour, since you never mentioned that you were taking a group of kids to see the show. :? Or were they just your own children?

In any case, congratulations on achieving that goal for the kids' sake.

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Ellen



"I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who have to dance.”
-George Balanchine 1904 -1983


To follow the forum's Twitter at http://twitter.com/BEForum, click on the direct link in Applies to All Forums above.


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 Post subject: Re: Backstage tour in London Show
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:02 am
Posts: 4
These are my own kids, 2 boys: 10 and 13yo. And now they want to take dance lessons… go figure ;)


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