Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Gleneagles Hotel – Faith Healer by Brian Friel
Impacts: Health and wellbeing, Education, Tourism, Arts and culture
Gleneagles is a world-famous 5 star luxury hotel in Scotland with an award-winning spa and golf resort located in Auchterarder, Gleneagles. Its main aims are to provide excellent customer service and to be dedicated to the leisure and pleasure of their guests. Their brand identity is centred on luxury, opulence and exclusivity. They have become an institution in Auchterarder where generations of local families have worked for the hotel for the past 90 years providing world-class service to its loyal customers.
Credit: Eoin Carey
The Lyceum approached then Chairman, Peter Lederer regarding a possible partnership with The Lyceum. Gleneagles celebrated their 90th anniversary year during our anticipated sponsorship period so there was an immediate connection with The Lyceum due to our own rich history in Edinburgh's cultural life spanning the last 50 years. We presented Gleneagles with an opportunity to align with The Lyceum and reach our dedicated audience base of season ticket holders who fit the demographic of Gleneagles' target customer perfectly. In addition, Gleneagles wished to provide a bespoke networking event for their Scottish and American client base and The Lyceum's theatre and private function room offered the ideal setting and location.
Our values were aligned as The Lyceum is also dedicated to excellence and providing memorable experiences through our programme of world-class theatre. We were able to present Gleneagles with the perfect setting to engage potential new customers and clients in our opulent late Victorian proscenium arch theatre complete with ornate gold leaf decoration and crystal chandelier. Our values also matched in our ability to offer exclusive hospitality opportunities and our pride in providing bespoke high standard service throughout the sponsorship period.
It was important to choose a fitting production to sponsor and after much discussion Gleneagles chose The Lyceum’s production of Brian Friel's Faith Healer to sponsor (14 January to 7 February 2015). Faith Healer was directed by John Dove, The Lyceum's Associate Artist, who recently directed the widely acclaimed Pressure by David Haig. Brian Friel is one of Ireland's greatest playwrights, and Faith Healer defines Friel's uniquely poetic and intensely human voice. It is a landmark play in the rich landscape of Irish theatre.
It also particularly wished to associate its brand with a production that is widely considered Brian Friel's masterpiece - therefore Faith Healer was a natural choice for sponsorship by Gleneagles.
Arts/cultural organisation story
Gleneagles held two events around the run of Faith Healer. The first: 'Taste of Gleneagles' was held on 26 January 2015 and was an evening of hospitality for The Lyceum Patrons and Season Ticket holders with around 80 guests. Gleneagles was able to take advantage of The Lyceum's Front of House spaces to showcase the different experiences that are a key feature of staying at Gleneagles. This included golfing demonstrations, spa and massage treatments, wine tasting with a Sommelier and cookery demonstrations with Gleneagles Head Chef along with competitions for Gleneagles prizes. The cast from Faith Healer were invited and mingled with guests. Having a sponsor of the calibre of Gleneagles acted as an endorsement of The Lyceum, its calibre of productions, and in particular of our production of Faith Healer. The sponsorship itself was a talking point with Patrons and audiences, who were interested in Gleneagles' involvement and how it had come about. Having an event hosted by Gleneagles for our supporters allowed Lyceum staff to chat and further develop our own relationship with our audience outside of their usual theatre visits.
For the second event on 5 February 2015, Gleneagles invited 20 VIP clients from Scotland and America to see The Lyceum's production of Faith Healer with pre-performance, interval and post-performance hospitality provided in The Lyceum's Patrons Lounge. The cast were invited to attend the post-performance hospitality to chat to guests about the production. This event included key players in Edinburgh's financial sector such as Baillie Gifford, KPMG, Virgin Money and Standard Life, providing The Lyceum with valuable introductions to these companies.
The funding received from Gleneagles, and also the funding from Arts & Business Scotland’s New Arts Sponsorship Grants programme was vital for us - as we were able to put this funding towards the costs of rehearsal, build, and performing of Faith Healer.
Gleneagles have also indicated that they are interested in further sponsorship of a Lyceum production during our 50th Anniversary Season 2015/16. Thus the Arts & Business Scotland New Arts Sponsorship Grant matching Gleneagles' sponsorship, generously provided in January 2015 has enabled The Lyceum to form a lasting and lucrative partnership with Gleneagles.
Gleneagles provided a grant of £4,000 towards the production of Faith Healer. This was generously matched by a grant from Arts & Business Scotland’s New Arts Sponsorship Grants programme. Benefits included:
Branding and profile raising:
- Aligning Gleneagles with one of Scotland's leading independent producing theatre companies
- Raising company profile with The Lyceum's audiences
- Opportunity for targeted business development events
Corporate Social Responsibility:
- Highlighting Gleneagles' commitment to the cultural life of Edinburgh and Scotland
- Opportunities for colleague reward and recognition through events
As Production sponsor:
- Logo acknowledgement in approximately 15,000 printed Lyceum mid-Season mail shot on the Faith Healer page.
- Full page advertisement in the Faith Healer programme of which there were 2,000 copies
- Logo on the supporters’ page of The Lyceum website.
- Logo on 14,000 production programmes (on supporters’ page)
- Logo displayed in The Lyceum's theatre foyer on a supporter plaque.
- Complimentary hire of The Lyceum's hospitality spaces throughout the year.
- Opportunity to invite Lyceum Board and creative staff to receptions.
Gleneagles held a ‘Taste of Gleneagles’ event for The Lyceum Patrons and Season Ticket holders giving guests an opportunity to explore the different experiences that are on offer at Gleneagles. Mark Thomson, The Lyceum's Artistic Director welcomed the guests and the cast of Faith Healer participated in this lively event. Additionally Gleneagles held a VIP event around a performance including post show refreshments with the cast.
Gleneagles was able to attract new clients with face-to-face contact at an event they hosted for our regular audience members. With their established clients they were also able to offer a unique evening of entertainment, and showcase themselves as supporters of the arts in Edinburgh.
We were delighted at the response of audiences and critics alike to the production. The Lyceum's production of Faith Healer was nominated for three Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) award:
- Best Male Performance
Sean O'Callaghan (Francis Hardy), Faith Healer, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
- Best Director
John Dove, Faith Healer, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
- Best Production
Faith Healer, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
For Gleneagles to be aligned with such a highly acclaimed show has been particularly rewarding and fruitful for both The Lyceum and Gleneagles in terms of PR, profile raising and ensuring that the guests came away from their receptions having had a very positive and memorable experience.
The New Arts Sponsorship Grant doubled the impact of the Gleneagles sponsorship. Gleneagles branding was strategically placed throughout the foyer and public areas of The Lyceum to be seen by our audiences during the critically acclaimed and highly successful run of Faith Healer. Without the grant it might have been more difficult to secure Gleneagles' sponsorship even at a reduced level.