Young Marx Partying On-Sell

Barrister-turned-comedy-writer-turned-journalist Clive Coleman recently opened a jointly scripted play. Apparently in the first new commercial venue for eighty years in London’s West End, The Bridge Theatre.

Young Marx on the face of it may not be fertile ground for solution selling insight.

Yet I came across an interesting example of the much-sought on-sell.

When announcing the upcoming performance last April, the promoter and all-round luminati, Nicholas Hytner, duly took to the airwaves. Here’s his twenty-second ‘pitch’;

It’s a comedy about the young Karl Marx in 1850. When he was chaotic, young, horny, drunk, full of ideas, emotionally illiterate. A very funny character. A polar opposite to the image on top of the tomb in Highgate Cemetery.

I didn’t think much of this, until later that same day. I caught the co-author on the same station. He was also keen to ‘sell’. Here’s his forty-second ‘pitch’;

… as far as the play goes it may or may not be about a 32yr-old Karl Marx. Who in 1850 was living in two squalid rooms in Soho. He was broke. He was horny. He was married to a German aristocrat, Jenny von Westphalen. He was constantly in debt. She was sort of fobbing debtors [sic] off at the door as he was hiding under the table in these two rooms. And he was really quite unlike the kind of saturnine headstone that you imagine when you think of that headstone, that tomb, in Highgate Cemetery. He was probably the person who could have shown you the best night out in Soho in 1850 of just about anyone around at the time.

Noteworthy saleswise, was how stage owner and playwright separately described the production during that day.

There’d clearly been joint discussion on what to say.

Perhaps understandably, the writer had more detail to his pitch.

How well do you think the promoter got enough across in his halved effort?

This is a good example of an issue we grapple with daily.

How to ensure your advocates prospectside get your message across as you would if you were there is a perennial worry.

There is always dilution, omission and perhaps even the ‘wrong’ point focused on.

If they were to also only speak for twenty seconds, then what must they include?

And how do you test for this, and follow up on it after?

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