Are we as devoted to our favourite shows as Football fans are to their teams?
I liken my fanaticism of musical theatre to someone who is a mad footy fan. I think more people understand being devoted to your team if it's football, but is it any different to being devoted to say team Wicked or team Les Miserables?
As a musical theatre fanatic I'm a great fan of Twitter, although I only joined in June of this year. One of the fabulous things about Twitter is the updates from different West End shows and their hoards of fans. Trawling through the posts made me wonder, which show has the most devoted fans?
The big shows like, Wicked, Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables are seen by thousands of people each week all over the world. Most people enjoy the experience but for some it's like supporting their favourite football team. They watch the them many times and totally immerse themselves in the culture of their most beloved show.
Here is what I believe are the main reasons why the big shows are big and get the most devoted fans
1. Quotes that only your friends and other fans will understand
"Witch is Witch?"
"Tomorrow is a latter day."
It's like a football chant that only other supporters will know!
2. Have a team colour or costume.
Green for Wicked
A mask for Phantom Of The Opera
Even a white shirt and black tie for the The Book of Mormon
Wearing your tribe's colours shows your loyalty.
3. Make sure you have the best players!
Keep the star strikers playing the lead roles!
Kerry Ellis, Wicked
Gemma Arterton, Made in Dagenham
Roman Keating, Once
4. Keep in touch with your fans.
The Twitter accounts that are shared by cast members are great. The best in my opinion is the cast of Miss Saigon. Really good, fun tweets by a different cast member every week.
5. Occasionally have big events.
Anniversary and Charity Galas keep your fans engaged.
Recently the 25th Anniversary Gala of Miss Saigon was amazing. Over 18000 fans trying to buy just 1700 tickets.
I hear the Urinetown Gala for water.org was also fabulous. Would love to see the show.
6. The cast Album.
I'm sure most devoted fans know every word of their beloved cast recordings and if you're like me, also know all of the lyric changes (Miss Saigon and Les Miserables)
7. Make a film.
To keep your fans company in the times when they can't make it to the theatre and to try to educate those who haven't quite found the fandom yet. Lovely sunny Mamma Mia!, dark and moody Phantom of the Opera and the epic Les Miserables all prove this.
8. As much merchandise as possible!
The more fans can buy to remind them of their team the better. From mugs to tea towels, watches to umbrellas. The quirkier the better. The strangest merchandise I ever bought were some Spamalot coconut shells. I still have them.
9. The Tour.
If, like me you live in the darkest reaches of the British Isles, you may find a trip to the West End sometimes a bit of a jaunt. To keep your devotion in tact you can visit your local theatre and watch you favourites there.
10. The Musical
It does actually have to be good!
By Nicky Sweetland
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