Arthur de Bok
The last weeks of December are always special to me when we plan and get ready for our Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. The warm and cheery atmosphere on the streets and in people’s houses more than compensates for the cold weather and short days. Christmas decorations and colourful lights add to the overall sense of joy and festivity. This is also a time for personal reflection on our work and loved ones, who we like to surprise with a nice present under the Christmas tree.
In my position, I often find myself speaking with leaders of other companies, and they frequently share stories with me about the many challenges they face in their work: intense competition, small margins, threats due to disruptive innovations or complex digitalization processes, to name but a few. Then they look at me and my situation, and more often than not they say they’re envious and that they consider me a lucky guy. Which I am. Why? Because they see, as I do, the live entertainment industry as an exceptional line of business with a very appealing product. We give our customers—our audiences—memorable experiences that are always unique and personal. No upgrades, batteries or replacements are ever needed; our guests keep their happy memories of our live performances for a lifetime. That’s special!
The good news is there is clear potential for further growth. We have increased the focus on our business processes, that is true, and we have been very busy with the sales process resulting in new long-term ownership for our company. But let’s not forget that we had a great year in creativity and productions!
This year, we demonstrated our excellence as live entertainment company. I cannot think of any other company that presented, like us, four original new musicals in just one year working with some of the best creatives worldwide. Tina: the Tina Turner Musical was launched in April at the West End to become a phenomenal success that will be replicated in various markets. We will start the roll out of the title with two new productions, in Germany and on Broadway. Anastasia, our other original new international title, had a strong year on Broadway. One after another, a Spanish and German production were launched to great success in Madrid and Stuttgart. We also developed original new musicals for the local markets: Fack Ju Göhte in Munich, an experiment to try a different musical in a very different and cool theatre setting. The musical received the award for Best Musical in Germany. And we presented Was Getekend Annie M.G. Schmidt, a touring musical for the Netherlands that exceeded everyone’s expectations
Our creative and production efforts won’t get a rest. In the first half of 2019 no less than six new shows will premiere: Amélie in Munich, Tina: das Tina Turner Musical in Hamburg, Aladdin in Stuttgart, The Band in Berlin and Paramour in Hamburg. Many dreams came true in 2018, the new year already presents itself with new dreams that are waiting to be realised, by us as a team.
So, the way we operate nowadays enables us to bring even more new and creative ideas to the stage.
I like to thank you all for your creativity, production skills, sound commercial thinking and overall enthusiasm. Let’s continue to surprise our audiences with amazing performances.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous and healthy new year.