Christmas Magic was brought back to China in 2017, from 23 November to 16 December, as we felt it was important to continue to share the Christmas message of faith, hope and love with the Chinese. The four cities we visited this time around were Shanghai, Chongqing, Xiamen and Hangzhou. A total of nine shows were performed in these four cities.
It was Gateway’s second time back in Shanghai following our performance of VISION at the Shanghai Culture Square in 2014. Our venue for the Shanghai leg of the tour was Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, which had a seating capacity of close to 1,000. As with all Christmas Magic productions, having children involved in the performance is a must, and we had ten of them for our Shanghai shows.
Our tour was off to a great start as we achieved over 90% attendance, with 1,726 people showing up for the two shows held in Shanghai on 23 and 24 November. Some of the VIPs who came for our Shanghai shows included ex-radio deejay, Dong Fang Billy, Executive Director of Hong Kong TV International Media Group, Xu Lu, Project Director of International Center for Cultural Exchanges, Xiao Sijing, and TV and Broadcasting Producer, Yang Dajian.
For the second leg of our tour, we performed at the Chongqing Cultural Arts Grand Theatre, which had a seating capacity of over 1,000. This was Gateway’s first time in Chongqing. Although the set-up and rehearsals were relatively bumpy, we were encouraged by the full-house crowd we saw at our two shows on 1 and 2 December. We achieved over 95% attendance, with a total audience of 2,046 people.
The city of Xiamen was the location for our third leg, and it was the only city where we would perform three shows on 8 and 9 December, one of which was a matinee performance on Saturday afternoon. The venue for our shows was the Xiamen Song and Dance Theatre, which had a seating capacity of over 1,000. Unfortunately, we could not get a permit for the children who were going to be part of the shows. We had an average attendance of 87%, with a total audience count of 2,789 for this leg.
For our final stop of this tour, we came to Hangzhou, where we would perform two shows on 15 and 16 December. Our venue, the Hangzhou Theatre, had the largest seating capacity of the four theatres, with up to 1,600 seats. Once again, we saw a great turnout at both shows, with an average attendance of 86% and total audience count of 2,765 people.
We also received wonderful reviews from the audiences following the shows. Some praised the fascinating magic, while others were impressed by how the message of faith, hope and love was beautifully woven into the storyline.
All in all, close to 10,000 tickets were sold and our overall attendance percentage stands at 89.5%, which is an amazing feat for a local performance. But, our greatest accomplishment of this Christmas Magic tour is not our ticket sales, but being able to share the true meaning of Christmas with the Chinese in these four cities. 2017 marked the fifth tour of Christmas Magic. The show has been performed in 14 cities across Asia, and touched more than 160,000 people.