But what a year! After all the travelling, all the shows, the difficult choices, agreeing dates, venues, times and ticket prices, working with the Marketing Department on laying out the programme and planning the marketing campaign, and the endless proofing and proofing – it then goes public!
At the launch in Merrion Square I was so concerned with getting through the speeches that it totally took me by surprise when somebody came up to me and told they that they thought the programme was very strong. We’d kept it under lock and key for so long that I wondered how they knew! And since then, of course, all I care about is what the public think of the programme.
Having re-read all the previous blogs you could get the impression that we’re obsessed with ticket sales – but believe me, we are! Flicking through the Friends Priority Booking Forms was the first sign of neurosis – why is she booking for that and not that? Why has he chosen that Peter Brook production over that one? The neurosis is now full blown. I’ve learnt to restrict myself to checking the box office stats 20 times a day, but it’s not easy. As my colleagues have said below, box office sales are breaking all records, which is making us all very happy but continues to fuel my obsession. Some productions are already sold out, and all are selling well, but can I encourage you not to miss Hibiki and Ivanov in the opening weekend. They might well come and go before you get festival fit, and trust me, I think you might miss the best two productions this year if you don’t get organised in time.
And in the meantime I’m off to London this morning for the opening of The Pride of Parnell Street at the Tricycle, and to see the new Complicité show at the Barbican tomorrow night.
Plans for 2008 are already well advanced with many international productions pencilled in. But October 2008 seems like a lifetime away. The circus comes to town in three weeks time and we look forward to the coming madness with a great sense of anticipation, excitement and dread. But at least my first blog is done. And now it’s a mad rush to the airport – again! But just one last check on those box office stats before I go.