Audit of RTÉ's 'Toy Show The Musical' ordered after €2.2million loss
The musical was a financial disaster for the State broadcaster.
The Oireachtas Committee tasked with investigating RTÉ's financial dealings has today ordered that an audit of the Toy Show Musical be undertaken by Grant Thornton.
Produced at a loss of over €2.2 million, Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin could only describe the lack of fiscal oversight around the musical as a "disgrace" and "scandal".
Despite these remarks, RTÉ Director of Strategy Rory Coveney was adamant that those who attended the show "loved it" and that the loss was not down to a lack of effort on the broadcaster's behalf.
"We took a unique commercial risk", Coveney stated, before adding that the organisation had received "a lot of advice from theatre and musical theatre" before launching the show.
A breakdown of the €2.2 million loss was given to members of the Oireachtas committee, in which it was revealed that venue hire and production set up costs totalled €658,500.
Further expenditure worth €622,016 was also recorded under 'running costs'.
Contained within the documents is also an outline of the "detailed financial and business modelling" on which the business case for staging the show was based.
Tickets to the musical averaged at €46.50, meaning that the broadcaster had to sell 70% of tickets in the near-2000 seater venue per show to break even.
However, just 20,000 out of a projected 54,000 actually attended, with only 11,044 of them paying customers.
The other 9,000 attendees were compiled of guests of the broadcaster and prize winners.
Box-office projections contained within the report had claimed that the show would sell-out on 54 occasions, resulting in €4.1 million worth of revenue. Although, just half of those shows actually took place.
The forecasted marketing budget was over double in reality, with over €330k spent on promotion.
Also detailed within the report was the expenditure of €291,000 on pre-production costs and €182,553 on set-hire and other related expenses.
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