Home Entertainment They performed 200 shows in less than 10 months, and they were “happy” doing comedy in Chengdu | Daily Economic News

They performed 200 shows in less than 10 months, and they were “happy” doing comedy in Chengdu | Daily Economic News

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They performed 200 shows in less than 10 months, and they were “happy” doing comedy in Chengdu | Daily Economic News

Every time by reporter Xie Tao Every time by intern reporter Shi Puning Every time by editor Tang Yuan

In 2021, professional theater performances will become the main force of the market rebound in the performance industry. On June 6, 2022, the Lighthouse Professional Edition released the “2021 China Performance Industry Data Insight Report” (hereinafter referred to as the “Report”). The “Golden Banquet” staged in July 2021 is the highest rated drama in the 2021 drama category in the “Report”. In the audience rating, the drama scored 9.7 points, ranking first.

Photo source for the stills of “Golden Dinner”: provided by the interviewee

“Stumbling, intermittent closures due to the epidemic and scene upgrades, (“Golden Dinner”) has performed 200 performances in less than 10 months.” In a circle of friends in May this year, Happy Twist Southwest Company (hereinafter referred to as “Southwest Company”) General Manager Li Yan once said so. In fact, this is also a microcosm of the national performance market since 2022. On the eve of this year’s Qingming Festival, due to the discovery of confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia in Chengdu, the city’s offline activities were canceled on a large scale.

In the first quarter of 2022, the national performance market was once again hit hard. According to data from the China Performance Industry Association, more than 4,000 performances were cancelled or postponed between mid-February and mid-March. The management problems of related cultural enterprises have once again attracted attention, and a series of relief measures have been introduced one after another from the central to local governments.

In this context, how should enterprises save themselves?

breakout twice

On February 7, 2020, the China Performance Industry Association pointed out in the “Proposal to National Performing Arts Colleagues”: According to the incomplete statistics of sample surveys among members, from January to March 2020, the national performance has been cancelled or postponed. With nearly 20,000 performances, the direct box office loss has exceeded 2 billion yuan. According to a rough estimate by Caixin Weekly in March of the same year, the epidemic caused at least a loss of 30 billion yuan in the domestic offline performance market.

Facing the complete suspension of offline performances, panic was the first emotion that Happy Twist felt. On June 14, Li Yan revealed in a face-to-face interview with a reporter from “Daily Economic News” that, as a three-in-one company that integrates an operation team, a production team, and an actor team, the main business of Happy Twist revolves around offline- Dramas need to be performed in theaters, prepared films need to be shot offline, and finished films need to be shown in theaters…

Specific to the Southwest Company established in 2016, the 600-seat theater could not be opened, the actors did not perform, and the operation team was useless. “The (epidemic) suddenly broke the ecology, the income was gone, and the flow of water stopped. already.”

Source of the theater photos:Respondentssupply

Out of the mentality of self-help, Southwest Company first chose to switch to the online battle and cooperated with a local media on an online short drama. However, after the epidemic, the intensive shift to the online track has become an inevitable choice for many companies. What’s more, some companies that were originally focused on online started to exert their efforts long before the epidemic. In a short time, the entire online track was staged. As soon as the “fight of the gods” came out, “the online track is very difficult, everyone is fighting, it is difficult for us to break through.” Li Yan said, “Many MCN companies are thinking about how to realize and bring goods, not to mention We are a company with a strong offline industry.”

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With the online breakthrough blocked and offline business stagnant, how to gain a firm foothold has become a top priority.

According to Li Yan, in order to allow the actors to ensure their status, the Southwest Company cooperated with the cultural, sports and tourism bureau in the district where it is located to perform some street performances and also undertake some street charity performance projects. Secondly, for the professionalism of the company’s internal employees, Southwest Company held internal training. The last thing is to reduce costs. The most intuitive manifestation is salary. “We didn’t dismiss people at that time. My salary should be reduced by 30%, and other employees also promised to be willing to work with the company to tide over the difficulties.”

With the four editions of the “Guidelines for Epidemic Prevention and Control Measures for the Reopening of Theaters and Other Performance Venues” released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism from May to September 2020, the performance industry has gradually ushered in a phased resumption of work and production.

According to a report from China Central Broadcasting Network, Li Yan can also recall the scene when the theater officially resumed business: On June 25, 2020, Happy Twist Global Theater officially resumed business. However, there were cheers higher than when the whole audience was full, and the audience applauded and cheered continuously.

Photo source of the stills of “My Son-in-Law”:Respondentssupply

In addition to resuming regular performances, the Southwest Company has also started a new breakthrough. This time, the choice is immersive drama.

Immersive theatre aka immersive theatre. In a specific play space, the audience can actively explore the plot, walk with the actors, pick up props to read, and even lead the actors and other audiences to develop new plot clues. The beginning of domestic immersive drama can be traced back to “Sleep No More” (Sleep No More), which was launched in Shanghai in 2016. The play has not yet started, and within 100 hours, 10,000 pre-sale tickets have been fully sold out. By the end of 2021, “Sleepless Night” will perform more than 1,400 times, with more than 440,000 performances and an average attendance rate. up to 95%, with a total revenue of 380 million yuan.

In fact, Happy Twist began to explore immersive drama in 2019, and it did not land in 2020 due to the epidemic. By 2021, although it feels that the venue covering an area of ​​more than 200 square meters is not “particularly ideal”, the Southwest Company decided to launch the “Golden Dinner” in July of that year, “We feel that the future market will be immersive dramas’ small and small. A world of beauty’ products”.

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This judgment comes from grasping the consumer needs of Generation Z. According to the “2021 New Youth Insight Report” released by Sina News, Generation Z pursues an “immersive” and “empathetic” entertainment experience. Movies, exhibitions, performances, and script killings are their favorite offline entertainment activities.

Li Yan told reporters that the stage setting of traditional dramas keeps a distance between the audience and the actors, and there is little interaction during the performance. What Generation Z wants more is to have a sense of participation. She took “Golden Banquet” as an example: “All our audience, he is not the audience to come to the show, but to participate in this banquet, they have identities, For example, maybe you were a bureau chief in the 1920s and 1930s, or the son-in-law of a big family.” It is worth mentioning that, in order to meet the characteristics of young people who “don’t like greasy”, the “Golden Dinner Dinner” comes with a set menu. Food, light meals are provided.

In addition to “Golden Dinner”, Southwest Company’s “Comedy Night Live” also focuses on immersive interaction. Li Yan told reporters that this kind of performance in the form of short comedy is “especially suitable for today’s young people, especially the fragmented consumption of IT enterprise employees. , a paragraph for seven or eight minutes, if you are late to see it, you don’t have to be melancholy.”

According to Li Yan, “Crazy Barber Shop” introduced by Happy Twist is about to land in Chengdu after Shanghai. The location is similar to “Comedy Night Live”, and it is also in Nanmen. a place”.

“Comedy Night Live” stills image source:Respondentssupply

The way of operation

For any market-oriented enterprise, it is crucial to grasp the needs of consumers. Data can speak, and by reviewing the sales situation, consumers’ preferences can also find some ways. Li Yan told reporters that although the platforms for ticket sales are different, the data can be opened up through technology. After a period of precipitation, the data has become an important reference for the company’s decision-making. For example, the theater project of Southwest Company has a higher age group, and the main focus is traditional theater; the new space project is a little younger, and the main focus is also the above-mentioned immersive and interactive theater.

After understanding the demand, we also need products with “market vitality”. Take “Golden Dinner” as an example, its launch is the redevelopment of the ideas from the headquarters of Southwest Company. According to Li Yan, earlier, an employee of the Beijing headquarters opened a restaurant by raising funds with everyone. Look, I think it is especially suitable for Chengdu.”

“Golden Dinner”“Still photo source:Respondentssupply

Of course, this is by no means a one-time thing. In the face of rapid changes in the market, in addition to the high quality of product content, innovation is also a major means to ensure competitiveness. For theater, the main form of traditional market-oriented products is standard theater performances.

Li Yan said that with the changes of the times, especially the development of science and technology, the drama has been given more “playing methods”: “It is immersive now, and VR can be added in the future.” And these different “playing methods” are essentially close to the consumption habits of the Z generation. “Young people will prefer games, and adding games to dramas will make everyone feel more fun. Some teams in China have already tried this kind of product. We are also doing it. We are good at storytelling, performance, and operation, and the game section will be jointly built with the head room in Chengdu to maximize the advantages of both parties.”

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Unlike the lightheartedness of making people laugh, creating comedy is actually a serious business. “Comedy has always been a form of performance that does not seem to be recognized by the mainstream in this market. People who do traditional dramas will think that we are not real dramas, which is too noisy,” Li Yan said. “In fact, as a company with comedy genes, We think that comedy is quite difficult, like creating a sketch, to give constant laughs, these all need to connect the past and the future, and the creator must be relatively strong in order to make it.”

Take root

As a branch of Happy Twist, the Southwest Company has its own originals in addition to the plays launched by the headquarters. For the nationally popular repertoire, the Southwest Company will intentionally add Chengdu elements during rehearsal, “so that local audiences have a sense of intimacy and no sense of distance when consuming.”

This intentional combination of local elements is more evident in Southwest’s original repertoire. Whether it is the restoration of the scene of the old Chengdu Quanyechang in “Finding Gold Dinner”, or the familiar “stalks” of Chengdu locals such as “Brother Zhang, you are still applying for loans” in “Kuanzhai People”, they are all intentional. Of.

Source of stills of “Kuanzhai People”: Provided by the interviewee

Unexpectedly, these elements with local colors can often impress foreign audiences. The Southwest Company once did a statistic, in addition to the audience in Sichuan Province, people from about 100 cities have come to watch “Golden Dinner”, among which Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Kunming, Lhasa and other cities are among the best. Li Yan was quite touched: “What’s more gratifying is that “Golden Gala Dinner” continues a kind of consumer entertainment that local young people prefer, and it has also become a consumption choice for cultural and tourist groups. At least when you come to Chengdu, you will feel that there is this products, with meals.”

After tasting the “sweetness” of local elements, Southwest Company has even greater “ambition”. According to Li Yan, the Southwest Company is currently closely preparing a repertoire with Chengdu’s intangible cultural heritage as the core.

Li Yan told reporters that this is a product with high expectations. The Southwest Company hopes that this drama can not only let people who come in understand the culture of Chengdu, but also hope to go out with this drama in the future and become the city of Chengdu. “The city nourishes us, this is a return to the city”.

Source of cover image: provided by respondents

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