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Israeli Show Cancelled In London (14/04/2017)

Due to poor ticket sales, well-known Israeli dance troupe Mayumana saw its show cancelled by Hackney Empire

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CURRENTS (source: Mayumana)

A globally renowned Israeli dance company saw their show in London’s West End due to poor ticket sales.

The Mayumana dance company, which is headquartered in Tel Aviv and has performed in dozens of countries since it was founded in 1996, was scheduled to perform its show Currents at the Hackney Empire theater from April 18th to May 7th.

Despite an “extensive marketing and press campaign” selling the show about the famous rivalry between Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla, not enough tickets were sold to financially justify going through with the performances, according to Hackney Empire chief executive Clarie Middleton.

“We have been admirers of Mayumana’s work since 2011 and been trying to bring them to Hackney Empire for a number of years”, Middleton said in emails to the press. “They are a very special and exciting company.”

“However, sadly, the piece just did not ignite the public imagination in the way we had expected” she added. “Therefore, with huge regret, we were forced to cancel the season to avoid untenable financial losses for our organization (which is also a charity in receipt of public funds) – the cancellation was purely a business decision.”

When asked if there was any evidence of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign or a similar protest group attempting to drive down ticket sales of an Israeli company, Middleton denied that Hackney had received any “communication or threat whatsoever from the (sic) BDS”, and reiterated that it was purely a financial decision.

“We tried everything possible in terms of marketing, press work and discounting to boost the season and delayed our decision until we felt we had exhausted every avenue. There was little or no take up across the board. As the financial risk was solely and completely ours, the decision to cancel on financial grounds was solely our (sic) to take. We have already lost money on this event but stood to lose considerably more which would have been untenable for our own business”, Middleton said via email.

When asked about the uncommon cancellation of the entire run, as opposed to a single or several shows, Middleton told Alondon, “A shortened run would, I am afraid, just have involved losing more money than we have already done.” She added that although it was “certainly rare” for Hackney to cancel a show, but “not unheard of”.

“As I am sure you are aware, (show cancellation) happens in the theatre world all the time- especially in the West End.”

Erez Bek, the theater company’s general manager, told the Jewish Chronicle he was “very disappointed by the decision”, which delayed Mayumana’s first UK performance to this September at the London-Tel Aviv festival.


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