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Live Entertainment

Jora Entertainment launched two new park shows this summer, at Fort Fun in Germany and Dierenpark (Zoo) Emmen in The Netherlands.

As part of our focus this month on live entertainment (see Hot Ice feature on previous page), Park World has a quick chat with the company’s managing director Marjolein van de Stolpe (pictured)

Neila and Babu’s Great Adventure Show at Dierenpark Emmen, The Netherlands

It’s all about the talent! Dutch company discusses live entertainment Jora entertains

Premiered on 12 July at Fort Fun in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Cowboys & Indianer is based around a classic tale with a modern twist. with cowboys playing comic bad guys who want to expand their territory over the backs of the Indians. The result is an unusual fight for territory: the ultimate dance battle, bursting with dance, song, acrobatics and humour. Meanwhile at

Dierenpark Emmen, in the Dutch town of the same name, Jora Entertainment produced a second show this season in the form of Neila and Babu’s Great Adventure Show. Featuring character mascots Kai the Rescuer and his assistants Neila the Hippo and Babu the Baboon, the kid-friendly production is full of theatre, jokes, music and variety. Its arrival at the zoo comes as precursor to the big adventure shows which visitors will be able to enjoy in the new look Wildlands Adventure Zoo Emmen, which will open in 2016 following a massive revamp by Jora Vision.

Why do parks choose to work with an external producer like yourself rather than produce their own shows and live entertainment? Producing a show is what we love to do, but it takes a lot of specific talent. From music directors, set designers, costuming, casting, directing and training, a lot of people are needed in a short amount of time. We have most of this talent in house or in our extensive network. It is easy, turn-key and a reliable production or co-production when park operators are choosing to work with Jora Entertainment.

How easy is it to recruit and retain performers? We have been producing shows for a long time therefore we have been able to build up a reliable and quality crew of talents that we can work with. It has been a lengthy and sometimes not easy process to find, train and work with new talents. We are happy to say that now we are at a place that we are always considering and looking for new talents but have a steady group of talented performers available.

What are the operational challenges a park needs to consider when adding live entertainment?

The challenges do not vary too much from any others associated with operations. When a ride operator calls in sick he needs a replacement and the same goes for a performer. This is an advantage of working with a production company like ours since we always have performance crews on standby.

Do live shows have the same marketing potential as large rides?

50 RIGHT: Cowboy & Indianer at Fort Fun, Germany

Yes, they do! A show can substitute a new ride, boost capacity in your park, draw extra visitors and put your park in new or existing target groups. It’s a perfect tool for the marketing department, with lots of possibilities to put the park and its message in the media.

What is the audience’s typical attention span?

Of course this depends on the target group that the show has but we would say on average between 18 and 22 minutes.

How important is live entertainment to seasonal events like Christmas and Halloween? It’s the key to the success of your event. Seasonal events like Christmas and Halloween are driven by shows, parades, walk trough experiences and street performances. It’s in your face, different the normal daytime entertainment and it makes the park experience very different from in high season. Retheming of your rides, shop and F&B is crucial for seasonal events, but it is the live entertainment makes the difference.

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