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Timeless Theatre Productions

 



 

 

 

 

Timeless International Productions - World Class Entertainment 

 

Timeless Theatre Productions Ltd

 

Timeless Theatre Productions Ltd have the perfect portfolio of cabaret and production shows for any Hotel, Cruise Ship, Holiday Centre, or Corporate event. Any show can be tailored specifically to our clients needs, providing a first class production for any occasion.

With over 50 years experience in the entertainment industry, at the very highest level, our professional team will ensure the very best in costumes, choreography, and attention to detail.

Timeless Theatre Productions Ltd are also the number one nostalgia theatre show producers in the UK. With four superb theatre shows, each containing material from 'Music Hall' through to the 1970's, performed by world class singers and the stunning 'Memory Lane' dancers. Each decade is beautifully costumed, and choreographed to make each show a perfect trip down memory lane...

Here Digger talks to Colin Francis at Timeless Theatre Productions about what makes their shows so special.

 

Colin Francis and Marie Adele


Digger: Morning Colin.

Colin: Morning David. How are you young man?

Digger: Great thanks.

Colin: I was just in the middle of the blog for the past month, because we've been on the road and it's just one of those jobs that takes forever.

Digger: I know. There are just so many different things to remember to do these days - blog, Twitter, Facebook and the website, of course.

Colin: There is.

Digger: I suppose it pays in the long run.

Colin: It does because we get customers, and also theatre managers, who read us as well and it's amazing how you get real loyalty as a result. It was for that reason that we were told to do it in the first place.

Digger: And it's free.

Colin: Aha. And because the theatre managers know us so well, it does build a real loyalty to us. They say to other companies "Oh no, we can't take your show. Colin and Marie come here." 

Digger: Nothing wrong with that if you're on the receiving end of the loyalty. (Both laugh) Please tell us a bit about your and Marie's backgrounds.

Colin: The highlights... we both started as solo singers. I started out doing the normal clubs and then progressed to the holiday centres and so on.

Digger: Are you still doing it?

Colin: No, no.

Digger: How are your pipes these days?

Colin: Not bad actually, for a fifty year old, but I wouldn't like to go back to doing that sort of solo stuff.

Digger: And Marie?

Colin: Marie started out in a trio and then she did well on Opportunity Knocks on her own and ended up doing places like Caesar's Palace in the West End and working with big names like Shirley Bassey and Cliff Richard.

Digger: Very good.

 

 

Colin: So she's the one with al the glory. Then Marie decided to go on ships. And she was on the ships for about twelve years. The last five of them we kind of did together.

Digger: What ships were these?

Colin: Probably all the major cruise lines - Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Fred Olsen and so on. We then came back home after the five years on the ships looking for something to do. We fell into the production of shows as well as being in them.

Digger: It's a bit of a natural progression, like a footballer becomes a manager?

Colin: Yes. It kind of was although it started out by accident, as initially we were with another couple and just doing Music Hall - Flanagan and Alan and all of that sort of stuff. Then we had a difference of opinion, because we wanted to stretch the Music Hall concept to more variety and go to the fifties, the sixties and seventies and they didn't.

Digger: Because you're quite young to be doing Music Hall stuff if you don't mind me saying?

Colin: Yes, and the couple we were with were slightly older than us and they wanted to stay there. We wanted to diversify, so we went out on our own six years ago.

Digger: What is the inspiration for your shows? The scope and variety is impressive when you look at your website. I thought "There's a lot of shows." And then there's another one!

Colin: We knew from doing the Music Hall shows that the people that came to see the shows liked the idea of the variety and so many things happening. So you'd do Flanagan and Alan and The Charleston and the Can-Can and all this variety that people enjoyed. We just felt that people who were going to watch it were not as old as to just remember the Music Hall. Nostalgia to them was the fifties and Rock and Roll, the sixties and Flower Power and to a certain extent the seventies as well.

Digger: Is it a moving target in that slowly your audience is, as it were, moving forward as time goes by?

Colin: We're finding at the moment that it's not. If people were saying to us "Can you do some eighties stuff or nineties stuff?" But we don't get asked that and maybe it's us as well because my musical interest stopped at the end of the seventies. I'm not into eighties and nineties music so maybe we're a little bit selfish on that front. Maybe if enough people asked us to do some Queen or Duran Duran or whatever then, yes, we'd have to look at it.

Digger: You could always have other performers doing that.

Colin: Oh yes, but we have enough costumes and so on so we could actually do it. I just think that the need for our theatre audience who come to our shows - I don't think we actually need to do that to keep the shows alive at the moment.

Digger: What is it that makes nostalgia, retro and heritage so popular and seemingly even more so these days? When I started this in 2001 it wasn't anywhere near as big as it is today.

Colin: Maybe it's the music industry as it is now which has changed so much from back in the day. People like Jordan can become pop stars and have a song in the charts when technically she's got no musical skills at all.

Digger: But wasn't that the case in the olden days too where you'd get people who were comedians or TV characters or whatever doing novelty records?

Colin: That's right they would, but possibly the difference is that they'd done their trade as something else. And so Benny Hill with Ernie the fastest milkman in the west or Clive Dunne's Grandad or Dick Emery, these were all household names because they had a big talent.

Digger: Yes, that's true.

Colin: And so they ventured off into the music business.

Digger: Bernard Cribbins and Peter Sellers too, famously.

Colin: That's right.

Digger: That's a good point actually Colin, they'd already served their time and were established. What has Jordan ever done apart from have a programme on TV about what she's doing which doesn't seem to amount to very much. (Both laugh)  What gives you most pleasure about what you are doing?

Colin: Oh gosh! There's so many things. Obviously live theatre is live theatre.

Digger: Is it still like a drug when you get the applause and the audience appreciation?

 

 

Colin: Yes, you just can't help it and I'm sure everybody who's  ever been on stage will say exactly the same. Even if you're not feeling very well or whatever, but as soon as there's a live audience in front of you then all of that's behind you and you do what you've been trained to do. And I think because it's our business and we've started it from nothing, then the fact that people still want to come and see us. For example, I've just been talking to a theatre manager in Dudley, where we've planned to do two shows next season instead of one, and he's telling us that advanced ticket sales are exceptionally good. That fills you with a warm feeling and you can't help but get pleasure from that.

Digger: Well done you.

Colin: Yes, there's a recession out there and a lot of other shows have been cancelled in comparison with two years ago and we're still playing to the same kind of audiences that we were playing to two years ago.

Digger: That's impressive.

Colin: The numbers are up slightly.

Digger: How are you managing that?

Colin: If only I knew! I would bottle it.

Digger: I suppose it must be that you've got the formula right and are doing exactly what people want?

Colin: I'd like to think it was. Plus the one advantage we've got is that we never do the same show twice. Memory Lane, the show that we just finished touring now, toured two years ago but we changed a lot of the content of it. So that people who saw the show two years ago wouldn't see the same show this season just gone. We put new material in, new costumes in and we spent an absolute fortune on costumes, new choreography and new solo songs for the solo singers. So that the show gets a completely different feel to it to what it was two years ago. I think, six years down the line, people know what and who we are and are aware that they'll never see the same show twice. Yes, there'll be one or two bits of it that they will be familiar with but it does change. That does help.

Digger: There's an argument for saying that some people might actually want the familiarity and to see what they are expecting and what they know.

Colin: Yes. I think there is enough of that in the shows so that people are familiar with the songs. Also, these days, Facebook, as well, means that a lot of people feel that they know you. We go around and the customers get a chance to meet Marie and I and Jenny the singer - we sell a charity fundraising programme as we go round on the tour. They get to know us and they feel like they actually know us. I do a lot of talking to the audience during the shows, in between the numbers, and they feel as if they know me and the other singers. There's that sort of friendliness and they're coming to an environment where they know everybody and it's not like a show where they don't know what to expect. When they spend 10 or 12 on a ticket they are more comfortable when they know it's Colin, Marie, Jenny and co.

Digger: Do you ever get time to relax, Colin? it sounds as though if you're not coming up with ideas then you're getting future productions sorted out or having to book the shows in and do the rehearsals and then actually touring! When do you get a chance to take a break?

Colin: We don't. (Both laugh)

Digger: When's the last time you had a holiday?

Colin: We do insist on having a break and when we go on holiday we really do. We don't take any notebooks and pens...

Digger: No mobile or laptop?

Colin: Maybe the computer.

Digger: No, you should ban that too! (Colin laughs) I've taken my laptop before and it just draws you back into working and checking things.

Colin: It's funny but the reason I take the computer is because, as you know, I'm into my online poker. I very rarely look at emails because we've got Joanne in the office and we can very safely leave the office to Joanne for a week.

Digger: Somebody should put parental controls on your computer so you can't check emails but can only go into the poker sites. (Both laugh) I was going to ask what sort of feedback do you get from audiences and theatres but I think you have probably already answered that. It sounds as though it's very positive.

Colin: It is and I, touch wood when I say this because the theatre world isn't a pretty place at the moment in terms of recession. So, the fact that our numbers this season are exactly what I projected, no better, no worse.

Digger: I've been to a number of shows in the last year, nostalgia shows, tribute shows, original bands and I've noticed that most of them were half full. The only one that was full up like yours was another variety-style nostalgia show. Maybe people are harking back to variety.

Colin: If I could find the real reason why it would be great. We've done research but you can't put your finger on it. You think you're flying and then there'll be a theatre that doesn't sell anywhere near as much as you expected it to. But then the next time you go back, it does.

Digger: That's strange.

Colin: We have some large groups, for example. At one location we have an over fifties keep fit group that buy 100 tickets as soon as they go on sale. Now, if that lady decides to stop organising these parties, maybe for no other reason than she's on holiday when the show is happening, then our show is 100 down before we even start. You sort of rely on business like that and it's nothing to do with what we've done or not done.

Digger: Sometimes there's a momentum and when people see that a show is starting to book up then they want a piece of the action too.

Colin: Yes, that's right.

Digger: Is The Internet very important to you these days?

Colin: It is important from the point of view of being with the times. I don't know that at each venue it helps with selling a lot of tickets online. Most are the old-fashioned way, in person or by phone or post. But having that presence there is important.

Digger: And The Net will become more important to you as your customer base matures?

Colin: Definitely.

Digger: Can you please tell us about some of the future plans and ideas for your shows? Will it be the same sort of mix?

Colin: I think the system that we've got at the theatres will just continue until our audience says that it shouldn't. We've got the four shows. We've got Memory Lane, A Timeless Collection, All Our Yesterdays and Rolling Back The Years. All of them are Music Hall to the seventies but every one of them's got totally different content and we rotate them over a two year period, Spring and Autumn.

Digger: They're good names for the shows.

Colin: We were lucky with the names. Timeless Collection used to be known as Memories Are Made Of This but, on a whim, we decided to change the name of it one season. It didn't make any difference and we probably sold as many tickets as we would have done with the original title. I think those shows will continue until the audiences decide not to turn up anymore. The other thing we're trying to do at the moment is to get our show into other areas, such as a showcase for some cruise work having already had one of our shows on a Norwegian cruise ship. We need to branch out just to safeguard ourselves, I think. And we've got the possibility of doing a Christmas show - a couple of theatres have asked us if we'd look at doing those. And maybe we can get our shows into some new venues, like big hotels and that sort of thing.

Digger: Hopefully I can come and see a show and meet you.

Colin: I hope so. The success of the meet and greet at the shows is incredible. We have started selling CDs at venues and we were a bit wary whether that age group would want to buy CDs - but they do. We also find with our charity fundraising programme that we sell an awful lot more if we do a meet and greet and it's a great chance for the audience to get to know the cast, the dancers and the singers.
 

Digger: Thanks Colin for letting us know about your shows and I wish you continued success with them.

Colin: Thanks David.

 

 


 

Timeless Theatre Productions Ltd

 

Timeless International Productions is one of the largest show producers in the UK. Now an internationally acclaimed company specializing in show production, and supplying the very best in entertainment worldwide.

Formed by Colin Francis and Marie Adele, who together have more than 50 years professional experience, performing and producing shows all over the world.

Some of our breathtaking spectacular shows:

  • A Timeless Collection. 'Music Hall' through to 1970's

  • Showstoppers...A Night of Musicals.

  • Extravaganza on Ice.

  • Memory Lane. Featuring songs from 'Music Hall, 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's.

  • Lets Twist Again. An excellent evenings entertainment, based on all the favourite songs from the 50s & 60's.

  • Rolling Back the Years. Another great show based on the same theme as 'Memory Lane, and 'A Timeless Collection'. This time adding some of the greatest songs from some of the blockbuster Movies and Musicals. Grease, Singing In The Rain and The Sound Of Music, to name but a few.

  • Viva Las Vegas. This show pays tribute to stars such as Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, and includes the amazing 'Las Vegas' showgirls.

  • Moulin Rouge. A brilliant song and dance spectacular.

  • Tribute Acts and Tribute Production Shows currently available include ABBA, Elvis, Take That, Il Divo, and many more.

Timeless International Productions
P O Box 235
Chester le Street
County Durham
DH3 9DL

Telephone +44 (0) 191 3702718
Email. info@timelessinternationalproductions.com

 

www.timelesstheatre.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 


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