The stage is set for a new approach to bringing theater audiences back

James Dale, 40, wants to shake up the industry after scoring blockbusters through direct promotion on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and other platforms. The former lead singer of indie band Goldheart Assembly has now turned to theater marketing. His greatest hits, including 2:22 A Ghost Story, were secured without a single billboard.

The signs have been used to advertise shows for almost 500 years and are synonymous with the West End. But with theaters still struggling in a difficult post-Covid climate, James believes that social media is the answer.

He said: “Covid kicked in and I started telling theater producers, ‘If they’re going to go through with their pre-Covid plans, they’re crazy.’

“Why are you buying billboards when you have a lot less people on the streets of London, people who aren’t in the offices as much as they used to be? Tourism has not returned.

“Many people were carrying on with their same budget and their same allocation of how to spend.”

James said he recognized the power of the web when his music career stalled, even though his band sold 25,000 records and played Glastonbury.

He created the marketing agency Sine Digital and is now enjoying success. He added: “What we’re doing is radical for the theater, but it’s not radical for e-commerce in general. Digital advertising is the smartest way forward.”

The Daily Express’ Raise The Curtain campaign aims to get people back to cinemas after the hardships of lockdowns.

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