Wednesday 16 January 2019

'Heartbeat' to follow in profitable footsteps of 'Riverdance'

Images from rehearsals for ‘Heartbeat of Home’ before its premiere at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin
Images from rehearsals for ‘Heartbeat of Home’ before its premiere at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin

Gordon Deegan

John McColgan and Moya Doherty are set to add to their fortune with their 'Heartbeat of Home' production due to tour extensively in China and Europe.

A spokesman for the production said yesterday that it will tour China in late 2018/19 for 15 weeks and Europe in 2019 for eight weeks while a tour of the UK is also being considered after the European run.

The spokesman was commenting on new accounts filed by the company behind the tour, Riverdream Productions Ltd, which show that the show hasn't achieved the tall order of repeating the global success of the couple's Riverdance phenomenon.

The accounts show that the company recorded losses of €1.694m in the 12 months to the end of June 2016 and was sitting on accumulated losses of €5.16m.

However, the spokesman stressed that the €5.16m in losses "are not trading losses".

He pointed out that in line with accounting requirements that are normal practice in the industry, pre-production costs are capitalised and then depreciated over the show's early years.

The €1.6m loss in 2016 takes account of a non-cash €1.55m write-down in value of the company's intangible assets.

Created by Ms Doherty and Mr McColgan, the show premiered in Dublin in 2013 and has since toured the US and China.

The accounts - signed off by the board on February 9 last - show that the couple has reached deep into their own pockets to fund the show.

The figures show that Mr McColgan and Ms Doherty has each provided €898,338 - or a total of €1.79m - in loans to the company.

In the meantime, the couple is busy driving on the 'Riverdance' juggernaut across the globe with two companies leapfrogging around the world to perform to the show's tens of thousands of fans.

Each company employs 55 people with a further six people at its Dublin HQ.

The show is currently playing to packed-out venues in the US with dates in Dallas, Tulsa, Kansas, Houston, Sioux City and Salt Lake City to April of this year.

Riverdance remains a big draw here as well playing dates at the Gaiety Theatre between June and September of this year while the show will also be touring Canada in April.

The Riverdance firm recorded pre-tax profits of €774,095 in 2016.

Irish Independent

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