The Success of Chinese Version of ‘Mamma Mia' Musical

Topics: Marketing, China, People's Republic of China Pages: 8 (2372 words) Published: February 14, 2014
Yurun Gu (Rainie)
Professor Barbara Stewart
ESL: English For Research Skills
December 3, 2013

The Success of Chinese Version of ‘Mamma Mia!’ Shows to the Chinese Musicals Development

In recent years, musicals in China are being paid much more attentions than in the past. The show of Chinese version of ‘Mamma Mia’ has a bigger purpose than profit: it is part of a much larger drive towards a new Chinese creativity. The article will explain why Chinese version of ‘Mamma Mia!’ made such a great achievements in China, and examine what Mamma Mia!'s success means for Chinese theatre, including the copyrights introductions, marketing strategies, and management modes. Then it will seek ways of creation and survival of Chinese musicals and give some inspirations for them.

‘Mamma Mia!’ is the first musical that was purchased from western country and was translated into Mandarin in China. It made a huge success. Also, it is a breakthrough for Chinese musicals and made considerable significances. But before that, musicals in China actually almost have failed. According to Zipeng Ren writes in the Chinese Musicals Survey that in 2011, there were 285 musical performances in Beijing, but the number of audiences is less than 30 million. That means that compared to the total number of performances in Beijing is 13,470,000, the musicals only accounted for 2%. The drawbacks are evident. First, the story is not moving which is unable to attract Chinese audiences. Hui Lu criticizes in the Survival and Development of Chinese Musical that the level of Chinese musicals is not high enough to meet the requirements. The second reason is the inexperienced business operations. Marketing and operation of a musical is indispensable. Third, because of the immature market, Chinese musicals lack professional actors and creative directors. However, everything is changing really rapidly in China, including musicals industry. The success of Chinese version of "Mamma Mia!" showed it was possible to save hope. The whole country is opening up in a way that hasn’t happened before. It has achieved an excellent grade, which was reported that it created myths. The stage drama has drummed up huge amount of enthusiasm among Chinese theater, who are curious to see how one of China’s first translated attempts of a classic Western musical will turn out. Every detail in this show, gave the development of Chinese original musical for references and enlightenments.

Main Body
Currently, Chinese market increasingly shows high enthusiasms on dramas, dance performances, and comic performances. As Kirsty Lang writes in The Guardian (2013) that the Chinese government is now investing money into building dozens of lavish theatres, opera houses, cinemas, museums and arts centers across the country. In contrast, the musical structure in the domestic industry is not mature enough with weak audience’s identity. Centralized economies are good at building infrastructure but they're weak on creativity. Luckily, the "Mamma Mia" Chinese version’s prosperity shows broad market prospects of the domestic musical in China and dispel doubts before. The higher original artistic attainments and successful adaptation of localization in the performance market; provides for the domestic musical industry to introduce China a new copyright form, in accordance with international standard mode of operation of the new production. Musicals in China have to admire and learn the management from Chinese version "Mamma Mia!" on marketing planning capacity. The core of this huge success is to meet the target audience's entertainment experience, systematic planning, and experiential marketing strategies.

1. ‘Mamma Mia!’ is a Great Show
As one of the most classic musicals in the world, “Mamma Mia opened on the West End twelve years ago and has been translated into 14 languages to date. It was also made into a movie starring...

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Getty. Chinese Version Of Hit Musical 'Mamma Mia! ' In Shanghai. (2011). Huffpost Arts & Culture. Retrieved from
Justin Bergman.(2011). Will a Mandarin Mamma Mia! Be Lost in Translation? Time.
Jinghua Mao. (2013). Reflections on Chinese musical localization issue: the Take Chinese version of "Mamma Mia" as an example. The Cultural Industry Institute of Beijing University.
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