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RTÉ musical plan had identified ‘difficult endeavour’

An internal RTÉ business plan, which analysed the strengths and weaknesses of ‘Toy Show The Musical’, identified that “musicals are a notoriously difficult endeavour, and success in this market is dependent on delivery of a product that exceeds significant expectations”.

The document, from November 2021, also warned RTÉ that the Christmas period is “.. well-served with many well-established events occupying prime calendar dates”.

The plan has been released to the Public Accounts Committee by the RTÉ Director General Kevin Bakhurst, who describes the document as the earliest business case available – a project which eventually lost €2.2m.

The document also points out RTÉ’s expertise is “… predominantly in broadcast output rather than events” and its “dedicated public events team is small and stretched in delivering the current slate”.

The plan concludes: “It will require significant upfront funding at a time… when RTÉ is losing a significant number of staff”.

On strengths, the document says, the Late Late Show is a well-established programme with a “… ready-made large receptive audience” and RTÉ has a “proven track record in delivering large scale events”.

It suggests that the broadcaster has a “… unique capacity to drive ticket sales and marketing using own media.”

It concludes: “Entertainment is at the heart of RTÉ’s remit.”

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