I have been trying to think of ways to promote the Hercules show for the Hammersmith run. As I have more programmes for the show than I will ever realistically be able to use I have stuck stickers with the details of the show to a few hundred programmes and am distributing them at gigs and leaving them in coffee shops and in the locker room at the British Library. This is quite a nice idea, as you don't just get a leaflet for the show, but several pages of information that gives you a taster of what it's all about. It might tempt in a few people who would otherwise not have come along. Who knows?
I carry a few with me most of the time and I've taken to leaving one programme on every tube train I get on. I like the randomness of this, and the fact that it must be advertising at its most minimal possible level. But my feeling is that people are always looking for something to read on the tube and that the programme looks more interesting than a crumpled up Metro. There's a chance that the person or people who end up reading this lone programme might decide to come along to the show. More chance than if I just leave the programmes rotting in my basement.
I have probably only distributed six programmes in this way so far, but it has been slightly gratifying to note that at least four of those have been picked up by someone in the carriage within thirty seconds of me leaving the train. I've seen them through the window. But they haven't seen me...watching.
It wouldn't seem right to leave piles of the programme or to walk down the train putting one on every row of seats. It's the serendipitous nature of it all that I like: it seems fitting that it is left to the powers of fate to bring potential punter and programme together, given fate plays a strong part in the creation of the show.
Doubtless it's an advertising technique that will sell a maximum of one ticket, but even if it is just one ticket then that is enough.
Tonight as I got off a train at Oxford Circus, Brian from off of Big Brother got on. I saw him sit in the seat I had just vacated. He saw the programme picked it up and began reading. Perhaps Brian from Big Brother is the one person who will come thanks to this scheme. Perhaps we'll meet in the bar after the show and fall in love (I mean, I'm not sure if he's gay or not, but perhaps the forces of fate will be enough to sway us both from out current heterosexual course). Perhaps it is that event this this whole show has been leading towards.
But if he does come along and you happen to be sitting in the audience on the same night as him, then why not go up to him afterwards and say, "I've got the weirdest feeling. Did you choose to come to this show after finding a solitary programme for it seemingly abandonned on the tube?" That would really freak him out, don't you think? And possibly lead to you and him falling in love and getting it together. Thus intersecting on my own fate and sending my own future spiralling off in an unintended and disastorous direction.
But one day you'd have to tell him the truth. That you aren't in fact magic and just read about this seemingly trivial incident on here. And then Brian would hate you for your duplicity and come running back into my arms, as fate had intended all along. If we learn anything from great movies like "Sliding Doors" and "Serendipity" it is that some things are just meant to be, and fate will find a way through, even though it doesn't have the power just to make the stuff it wants happen straight away, without it all messing up first.