Joanne Sadler (@joelsa29) speculates the reasons behind the recent cancellation of the UK Bring it On tour.
Bring it On originally played on Broadway five years ago in 2012, winning dozens of awards and spurring the career of multiple Tony-award winning actor and writer Lin Manuel Miranda (the mastermind behind Hamilton, In the Heights and Moana). As with many hit shows, the demand for it to tour in the UK has always been high. Therefore when a 2017/2018 tour was announced, the response was almost entirely positive; with venues all around the country almost selling out before the tour had even started. So, with the Milton Keynes start just around the corner, what could have brought the project to a halt?
At present there’s very little information available from anyone involved, so I’m forced to speculate on the issue. To clarify, none of the following suggestions have been proven. The first prospect to take into consideration is financial issues, a problem which is currently prevalent in musical theatre all around the world. Since the beginning of the month, it’s been announced that two Broadway shows (Bandstand and Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812) are to close earlier than expected due to a combination of factors, but mainly down to falling profits making it uneconomically viable to continue with the show.
Alternatively, it could be that there is an issue with the cast; be it a double booking, an injury, illness or one of a dozen other things. While this is possible – especially if a number of the principals were affected – it seems unlikely, with the proximity of the run, that any of the principal cast members would depart this close to opening, and with understudies available and training for the show alongside the principals, it also seems improbable that the show would ever be without a principal.
However the most likely option is complications with the Creative Team; the creative team is usually comprised of the director, producer, designer and choreographer. A message can be found on the booking page of the Wales Millennium Theatre citing issues with the creative team of the show, and saying that the tour will be postponed for 2019. As this is the only piece of concrete information available at this time, it’s what I’m having to form my suggestion on. After a little bit of research, I found that the Bring it On tour was being produced by Neil Eckersley of Speckulation Entertainment, who had his last tour cancelled too (MTAS blogger Becky Mary wrote about this event last month: mtasambassador.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/producing-wonderland-or-stealing-it/). This is extremely interesting as it leads me to wonder if the two cancellations are related, and following the allegations and an investigation, the tour has been postponed in order to prevent something like that from happening again. All actors should be treated fairly and rewarded for their hard work, so if this is the case, maybe it’s for the best.
Although it’s impossible to tell until an official statement has been given, all that we’re certain of is that the tour has been postponed, and that refunds are available through the relevant ticket agents. Let us know in the comments what you think is the reason behind the cancellation, and how you’re feeling about the tour ending before it had even begun.