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“In this complex business world, with its mixture of good and evil, it is passion, encouragement, trust and fairness that have made the business journey worthwhile.  —— Liu Li

The theatre business looks straightforward how to do it, but in practice, there are actually too many things unfathomable. Being an impresario is similar as being a West End producer, the abilities required and the risks involved are the same. It requires a good taste of art vision to choose a show coming from a foreign background and help it adapt to the West End culture; an all round knowledge of stage management; psychological understanding of artists temper and needs,  a braveheart of finance investment and a logistical head for scheduling details.

The success of a show is decided more by its promotion rather than the quality of the show itself in this commercial world, this adds another difficulty to many international shows which there are not much time and network for promotion, while a home-made production could have already sounded out and many audiences may already line up in waiting before it actual goes on sale. The showbiz is still relatively a small world in a country, every producer knows what other producing companies are doing, the public goes for those well-known producers and famous actors no matter what.

I appreciate Julius Green’s quote from Oscar Hammerstein II in his book How To Produce a West End Show, which describes what is a producer: ” a rare, paradoxical genius, …an idealist, a realist, a practical dreamer, a sophisticated gambler, a stage-struck child.”

The following acknowledgement was written 10 years ago:

The first person who helped Ms-L start the business was Pete Melanefy, a business advisor working in Education and Learning Wales (ELWa). He introduced Ms-L to the Employment Development Scheme, which made available funding of  £2,000 to start business and training courses. Pete contributed a lot of his personal time to guide the business in its early stages. 

Through Pete I met Duncan Foulkes, a PR consultant for ELWa, who helped to promote Ms-L’s first Wushu tour with his articles that were published in newspapers across Mid and South Wales. without this publicity, the martial arts tour would not so successful.  

Daniel Sanderson is the best language tutor I have ever met. The holder of a Master’s degree in English, he speaks several languages. He has dedicated to helping me improve both my written and spoken English.

Thanks are also due to Paul Clifton, chief editor of COMBAT magazine, who promoted Ms-L’s Wushu tour and introduced me to British Council for Chinese Martial Arts (BCCMA) chairman Tony Swanson, talented features writer Malcolm Martin and established British martial arts masters Ian Armstrong, Neil Adawy among others.

It takes perception, trust and encouragement for a solicitor to open a no-win no-fee case. Thanks are therefore due to our experienced solicitor, John Graham, who took and won Ms-L’s first commercial litigation case. 

It’s so easy to take for granted help from my friends and relatives. Among them, I owe so much to my master degree classmate, Warren Deer and my brother, Liu Bin, both computing and software experts. Without their charity, I would not have the computer skills that are essential for Ms-L’s business, 

Ms-L wishes to thank all theatre managers and marketing staff who have taken the company’s shows with trust and support. Special thanks go to Gareth Owen, Theatre Rhyl manager, who has generously supported every Ms-L tour; Bob Summers, Blackpool Leisure Parcs entertainment executive, who gave a great encouragement for Ms-L’s tours; Martin Holliday, Marina Theatre manager in Suffolk, who promoted the Za-Ji tour; technician Samuel Copson for his genuine work on Ms-L’s behalf and Ian Sime, Clear Channel Entertainment’s new business executive, who contracted a number of venues to Ms-L’s theatre business.

Ms-L is grateful to Wu Bin, chairman of Beijing Wushu Institute, who supported the first Wushu tour to the UK and Tianjin Wushu team and its instructors Su Changlai and Xu Caitong, for their excellent show and co-operation.

Ms-L is indebted to Tian Chuanjiang, Deputy Director General of Anhui Provincial Government’s Culture Department and Zhu Jianping, Anhui Acrobatics troupe leader, who supported Ms-L’s business and have become trusted personal friends.

Thanks are also due to Chinese Embassy’s Culture Department, whose officers travelled to attend the opening show of the Za-Ji tour; Councillor Mrs Geraldine Carter, Halifax City Mayor, who hosted our acrobats; Luo Chuanzhi, chairman of Manchester Chinese Arts Association, who volunteered as photographer; HSBC bank managers Graham Proctor and Mike Ryan for their understanding and support; Graham Williams, Penny Fray, Malcolm Martin and many other journalists who wrote supportive articles to promote Ms-L’s events; and the BBC news team,  S4C etc..

The list goes on