With the spotlight on our home city during Hull UK City of Culture 2017, we were challenged with delivering innovative PR campaigns for two major entertainment venues – Hull City Hall and Hull New Theatre.
More than 500 events are held annually across both sites and one of our key responsibilities was the official launch and ongoing promotion of the theatre’s highest profile show, the annual Christmas pantomime.
Recently re-opened following a major £16m refurbishment, our task was to encourage audiences to return after months of closure and attract new theatre-goers to enjoy the festive tradition in the revamped surroundings.
As the performance was Peter Pan, we arranged to take the cast on board the Spurn Lightship in Hull’s marina for an attention-grabbing media call with stars including Darren Day and Coach Trip’s Brendan Sheerin.
And when we heard EastEnders’ Jonny Labey, who played Peter Pan, had a fear of heights, we took him and a group of slightly nervous reporters to the top of one of the region’s most ionic structures – the Humber Bridge – to help him cope with the high-flying scenes demanded for his character.
Our work generated thousands of pounds worth of coverage on ITV’s Calendar programme, BBC Radio Humberside, commercial stations including Viking FM and KCFM, and newspapers such as the Hull Daily Mail and the Yorkshire Post.
The result? A record-breaking pantomime befitting of the city of culture year and which attracted more than 42,000 people – around half of whom were first time visitors to the city.
“It’s great to see the pantomime breaking records. For many people panto is their first taste of live theatre and we hear so many heart-warming stories of families coming together every Christmas to see the show and share the experience with new generations.”
Councillor Terry Geraghty, Chairman of Hull Culture and Leisure Board
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