The news that showbiz store, Dress Circle, was likely to shut up shop and focus on its on-line business shouldn’t have come as a great surprise especially knowing the problems facing much of the High Street including the majors such as HMV and Waterstones. However, there was a torrent of emotion from those that want to keep the store open at all costs and those that think it would be a case of pouring good money after bad and in the long term may have a negative impact on the on-line business. Overtures thought it was time to get a balanced perspective on the issue and to understand why such a little shop demands so much attention.
James Yeoburn, co-producer of the Dress Circle Benefit Gala at Her Majesty’s Theatre talked to us about how he and Stuart Matthew Price got behind a campaign to support Dress Circle.
Ov: James, when you first heard the news that Dress Circle was likely to close their store and operate solely as an on-line business, what was your immediate reaction?
JY: I was deeply saddened that such an institution may face closure. I was approached by Stuart with a view to doing something, anything we could to help- and here we are! What we would like people to understand is that this shop alone has been instrumental in helping launch the recording careers of many of the musical theatre stars we all know and love today. The shop has given unending opportunities for signings, launches and promotions of new shows. In side those four walls is a haven of theatre related items with the browsability that most retailers have lost. It is a theatrical hub for all the latest news and gossip with likeable, friendly staff who know absolutely everything there is to know about the world of musical theatre. As an actor, this information is invaluable and simple cannot be obtained anywhere else. The fact is that if the shop were to close, there would be no single focus for the fans, performers, and creatives of this industry to commonly share.
Co-producer of the Dress Circle Benefit Gala - James Yeoburn talks to Overtures about the importance of Dress Circle to the musical theatre community.