Monday, January 18, 2010

Evam's Five Point Someone and 3 Idiots

This doesn't exactly fall under technology marketing, but I'm posting this here as there is some connection with marketing as a whole. Yesterday I watched Evam's play Urban Turban at Chennai Museum theatre with Suraj and Rejitha, where co-founder and artist Karthik Kumar mentioned that their most famous play Five Point Someone (adapted from Chetan Bhagat's book with the same title) will be  on an all India tour, performing 60 times in a span of 75 days, and will be taking 3 idiots the movie head on. Majority of the audience will be seeing a play for the first time [emphasis mine].

The bit that is most interesting is this - taking 3 idiots head on, because I feel that arrogant jargon apart, he is going to cash in on the interest generated by 3 idiots. The original book is now close to 5 years old, and the play is around 2-3 years old and has had a successful run in cities like Chennai and Bangalore. By a re-run of the 2-3 year old play in new cities, and banking on those youngsters who have read the book, there is a market for about 15-20 more shows, not 60. The nationwide tour with 60 performances is having a good chance of success because of the renewed interest generated by 3 idiots the movie. Considering the excellent run the movie is having at the box office, even if Evam is able to create curiosity in 2% of the movie audience, the play will run packed shows. As Karthik rightly mentioned, the target audience is mainly first time theatre goers and the not-so-serious theatre goers like me and Rejitha who watch like, say, 2 or 3 plays per year at the most. Notwithstanding the public stances taken by Evam, Chetan Bhagat and the producers of 3-idiots, all of them are benefiting from each other - I am sure many (including Shashi Tharoor) have been inspired to read the book after watching the movie. Public posturing is more aimed at creating controversies to create even more interest and getting increased media coverage.

Update: Suraj has a different take on the issue which can be read here.

Update 2 [20 Jan 2010]: The new tour by Evam is not the same show that I have watched earlier. I'd watched the show by Madras Players directed by Nikhila Kesavan where Evam was the logistics partner. The new tour is an entirely new play, with a different script, director, cast, etc etc.

Update 3[20 Jan 2010]: Thought I'd share an almost 4 year old blog post from my earlier blog where I'd reviewed Five Point Someone the book (shameless self promotion). Disclaimer - old review when I was 4 years younger. I might have viewed the book differently if I were to have read the book now