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Delve into the fascinating world of musical superfans with new documentary Repeat Attenders

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 11 June 2020, Last Updated 16 June 2020

Fancy yourself a theatre superfan? Well, then you’ll definitely want to check out brand-new documentary Repeat Attenders, which dives deep into the fascinating and unexplored world of musical theatre superfans. 

Produced by Australian independent filmmaker (and former TKTS colleague!) Mark Dooley, the feature-length documentary was filmed over a six-year period and takes viewers on a journey from Broadway in New York to London’s treasured West End and Bochum Germany to Australia’s Melbourne and Brisbane.

Get ready to meet some of the world’s biggest, most extreme superfans from Sally who has seen Les Misérables in the West End 977 times to Christine, who has the world’s largest collection of Cats memorabilia in her garage and has enjoyed the musical an astounding 105 times! (Yeah, we thought we were superfans too…apparently not?)

Christine holding Skimbleshanks wig in garage © Hello Dooley Productions 2019

Shining a spotlight into the growing global phenomenon of ‘repeat attenders’, the documentary delves into the psychology behind each superfan and reveals the quirks and complexities of their obsessions. It also examines just how far the most extreme fans will go for their passions, some with devastating consequences. 

In a message to the audience, Mark Dooley said: “With the world’s stages shut down for the foreseeable future, Repeat Attenders now plays a different role for the viewer. The film was originally created as a love letter to fans of theatre of all levels, but is now an archive of what going to the theatre used to be like, before COVID-19 put an end to being an audience member anywhere. It will be detrimental to the well-being of the human race that this experience can no longer occur.

“I hope Repeat Attenders gives comfort to those missing theatre and performing arts at the moment. It will be back, and we will be able to enjoy our passion once more. For now, hold onto those memories and treasured moments, because they can’t be taken away from you.”

It’s wild, it’s wacky but most of all, it offers a healthy dose of magic and joy! We enjoyed it so much, our very own Kitty Underwood caught up with Mark Dooley to talk about his process, his subjects and what theatre means to people. Check it out below! 

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To watch Repeat Attenders, pop over to Vimeo.  You can also catch it on BroadwayHD from 15 June and on Amazon and Apple TV from 16 July. And if you’d like to learn more about it, click here

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