In late November, the London production of the stage adaptation of The Shawshank Redemption got busted for putting a quote on their marquee that said the following:
“A superbly gripping, genuinely uplifting drama.” – Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph
Good quote, right?
Only one problem . . . the quote was referring to the FILM version of Shawshank, and the reviewer had gone on to say, “In almost every respect, the stage version is inferior to the movie.”
Ballsy move on behalf of the Producers, right?
I’m a big fan of pushing the envelope, especially when it comes to promotion. On the first poster of The Awesome 80s Prom, we put a quote on the top that said, “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life!” We listed the source as, “The Awesome 80s Movie, Dirty Dancing.”
But there is such a thing as going too far, and this certainly qualifies. David Merrick’s Subways stunt had a wink to it (and hopefully The Prom’s did too), which made them work. The Shawshank stunt is just about pulling the wool over a customer’s eyes.
And it gives us all a bad name.
Although, I guess it did get the show some publicity. And I am writing about it here, and I bet that a lot of you never even knew there was a stage version of Shawhank in London, so . . . dang it, they succeeded in some fashion.
However, this stunt looks like the prods could get in some legal trouble as well, and more importantly could cause bigger problems for the Producers that have much smarter and savvier ideas in the future.
And that makes this stunt just selfish.
Oh, and for a future blog? Why the bollocks are Londoners fascinated with play versions of successful movies? Rain Man, Shawshank, When Harry Met Sally, etc.? Think the movie companies would ever allow those productions here? I bet not (and I’m sorta happy about that), but I am oh so curious how one would sell. Your thoughts?