THE HYPOTHETICAL AUDIENCE
by Park Theatre
One of the best things about working at Park Theatre is the range of activities involved in the standard working day. That's partly because building a theatre and programming the work that will bring it to life is a perilous juggling act. And it's partly because we're a very small team trying to cope with a huge variety of tasks, many of which are completely new to us.
'If you build it they will come' is a mantra that we throw around every now and again, but the reality is slightly more complicated than that. It takes time and effort to attract a loyal audience, and of course the first year will be when we need one most. Anyone unlucky enough to have been given my tour of Park Theatre will have been briefed about why Finsbury Park is a slightly magic place for a new theatre. It's not just about our excellent transport links and the current lack of arts provision - it's about the pre-existing demand for great art and a fun night out, balanced with a young and diverse potential audience that currently doesn't engage with any arts organisation.
Luckily this is not just speculation on our part. I've spent the last two days collating a huge amount of data about the potential local audience, and trying to make sense of it. Did you know, for example, that there are a staggering ten post code areas in the vicinity of Park Theatre where more than 40% of residents actively engage in the arts? We're very lucky to have information about how they engage, and what is likely to influence their choices.
Here's a pie chart with some of the information we've been analysing. Which category do you fall in to?