A fairy tale investment story

Colin Wilkinson co-founded Three Sixty Entertainment at the beginning of this year and raised £2.75 million for his show Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, ending a fairy tale investment story

Where did you get the idea?

When you look at patterns in the entertainment industry, you can see that re-imagining classic children’s texts in a way that adults can appreciate is an increasingly successful genre. For example, the success of War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. So I felt this was a real investment gem.

How did you raise the money?

We managed to get 58 investors on board in the space of three and a half months. I don’t want to make it sound easy, as the first two months were actually very difficult. But we were able to make a case for a scalable, international business.

What’s new about your idea?

We wanted to make a really big theatrical spectacle – using a screen three times the surface area of an Imax, with virtual scenery and a live theatre production housed in a £1 million purpose-built tented pavilion. It was such a success it has now moved to the O2.

How have you marketed the show?

The key for us was to find an arresting image. We kept turning down different designs until we found the one that really hit the mark. We also managed to persuade Visit London to choose the show as their pet project for 2009. Having a great PR agent who got us a page three in the Evening Standard has also helped.

Where next?

We will be taking the production to San Francisco in April. After that we want to do a series of shows, using London as the springboard for world tours. The next one is scheduled for 2011.

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