Is Circus a Gateway Drug?

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Ok, so I might be guilty of a slightly sensational headline but hear me out.

There are a large proportion of the general public who just don’t consider themselves the kind of people who would ever go to the theatre. Whether they consider it to be “not their kind of thing” or “too elitist” or more often than not “too expensive”, I would estimate it to be at least 75%. You can’t really blame them when you consider that the average price of a theatre ticket in Australia in 2017 was $49.24, and that’s just the beginning. Most nights out also include either public transport or parking fees, maybe dinner? Interval Drinks? For a family of four to go to the theatre is going to be the best part of $200 – easily. Then when you consider that the less likely you are to be able to afford that ticket, the more likely you are to consider the show content elitist and a really rather large proportion of the population is being excluded.

We at Laughter House believe that this needs to change. The transformative effect of a breathtaking theatrical experience means so much more to someone who never considered themselves worthy of that experience in the first place.

So why the gateway drug reference?

The way that we have decided to combat this problem is to offer the general a free, immersive, transformative group theatrical experience. We offer them a bite-sized theatrical experience that hopefully whets their pallet and gets them hooked!

We keep the show length down to maximum of 20 mins, the content is highly theatrical, character based comedy circus or similar – often with a narrative. Another key component is that it is truly multi-generational. Something that 3 generations of the same family can sit down and watch together. Laughing and clapping at the same thing. The venue is a beautifully decorated mini Spiegeltent that oozes sumptuous charm and theatrical intrigue making the audience want to be a part of what-ever happens in there! The Spruiker at the Front of House subtly weaves information to potential punters into comedy improvisation telling them just enough to prick their interest but not enough for them to decide that it is not for them.

At the end of the day the results speak for themselves. At an average festival or event, the queue for the next show in the venue will start earlier and earlier as more and more people come back to watch another show. 90% of festivals that book the venue will book it again the following year based on its success and the unique experience it offers. On average we run at 98% capacity throughout an event, often squeezing in extra audience for each show.

We have toured this “Transportable venue with Shows” model all over Australia and Europe and it ticks four crucial boxes.

  1. It is free. Anybody can walk through the door of the venue without having to consider if it is worth it or not first. We recently performed to an audience of 7 – 10-year-old boys who had just arrived from war torn Syria. These boys without exception were transfixed and 100% in the moment. They loved every second of it and watched every single show that day. They didn’t pay a penny.
  2. It is 100% Multi-generational. A lot of Festival entertainment claims to be this whilst children get their I-pads shoved in front of them or their parents grab a coffee. Whether you are 4, 40 or 140 you will laugh yourself horse and clap your hands raw at every show that we produce.
  3. The quality of the entertainment is never compromised. Due to our extensive global touring over the last 30 years we have an unrivalled access to the world’s best variety/comedy/circus performers both here in Australia or those who are currently touring Australia. We regularly host international touring artists for a short tour of Australia.
  4. It comes to you. We set up and perform at your community event/festival. The audience enjoy a fully immersive, world class theatrical experience right there in their local park or street. Bringing world-class entertainment to the audience’s door-step.

At Laughter House our mission is to get as many people as possible to experience the transformative joy of live entertainment. We aim to give them a glimpse of the supposed elitist world of theatrical entertainment and get them a little bit hooked. We have put smiles on literally millions of faces and hopefully “pushed” our brand of theatrical silliness onto thousands of impressionable people and fingers crossed, they have since progressed onto the hard stuff!

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