The Brief

RMPR was tasked with the promotion of the MAC’s main stage spring show – a revival of Mike Leigh’s acclaimed play, Abigail’s Party. It was open for a three-week run from 14 April until 5 May 2018.

The Approach

The award-winning writer and director Mike Leigh called his play “both a celebration and a lamentation of how we are”, because this isn’t just a play about 1970s Britain, it’s a peek into the frustrations and struggles endured by everyone who has ever floundered and grasped their way through life.

These were key themes we wanted to exploit along with the hilarious, disco-infused satire of British suburbia in the 70’s. The MAC had in place a cost-effective above the line marketing campaign and our strategy was to incorporate local and national online, broadcast and print elements to compliment this activity – achieving ticket sales.

RMPR worked with the MAC to pull together a list of press angles to be explored for the show. We matched each of these with the best media outlet and negotiated to secure coverage.  From talking points, human interest stories, interviews etc., RMPR identified and secured in accordance with cast availability. This timeline ensured there was constant engagement with target audiences and that excitement for the performances was built upon continually.

RMPR also explored and identify strong broadcast angles and pitched these into the main outlets.

The Outcomes

  • Target ticket sales: 3653 tickets, £55,000 revenue
  • Actual ticket sales: 3993 tickets (+9%), £66,130 revenue (+20%)
  • This was the MAC’s best performing production outside the Christmas show, out-performing the previous year’s Spring production, The Importance of Being Earnest (which had the same marketing budget and was at the same time of the year), and this despite having less overall shows than Earnest
  • Overall – 64 pieces of coverage = 32 print / 23 online / 5 broadcast
  • Most successful coverage haul for a MAC play since the partnership began. 93% increase in clipping coverage for the Spring show in comparison to 2017. Only 17% less than the MAC’s anchor Christmas show.
  • The MAC noted a specific uplift on sales after the publication of the Sunday Life feature with lead actress

Claire Murray, Marketing Manager “It was not only the quantity of coverage but the quality of the features, and suitability of message and tone for the various audiences that made this PR campaign stand out. We’ve had a long-standing relationship with Rumour Mill and their level of service is second to none. For Abigail’s Party the team at Rumour Mill created a strong and ambitious PR plan, our key Spring production and the most important one for us from a revenue point of view outside Christmas. We achieved all our joint objectives, securing coverage and awareness right across Ireland in both the Northern Irish and Irish markets which contributed to our overall box office success.”


WINNERPRCA Dare Awards – Low Budget Campaign of the Year – Abigail’s Party at the MAC