Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Calculating the cost of Christmas

I have somewhat of a confession this evening. It’s not something I’m proud of, indeed i’ve hidden it away for some time, however I can no longer control it, it’s dirty, it’s geeky, it’s an addiction. I’ve become a fan of Excel.

I never realised until now how geeky I have become, but yesterday I created a spreadsheet that literally made me smile when I’d completed it.

Please tell us more Sam, keep us in suspense no longer

I will actually. For three hours on the train I devised a Christmas show success spreadsheet that works out/predicts the financial impact of a show and the budgets that you assign to it. You enter the price bands, estimated ticket yields, guessed % of capacity to work out the gross income of each. Further more you add the band numbers into the spreadsheet underneath and it automatically calculates the gross, no more counting performances time after time, no more scraps of paper strewn over the desk, just a perfect chart!

Surely the fun cannot end there…

It doesn’t. You can add in your costs, actors etc… and it gives you a breakdown of success of the show and what it’ll take to break even, also what it’d cost to tour the show…


I’m terrified to think at what point in my life this happened, but I suspect I know the culprit. My friend, games designer Carl Dixon, stumbled upon the answer first. Spreadsheet the game, Football Manager. It is that game that has led me to this point, that game that makes me value good equations and functions. It has broken me with numbers. Number after glorious number.

If you’d like to have a look comment below, i’d love to see what you think, see if we can improve it!

Best, Sam






One response to “Calculating the cost of Christmas”

  1. Katherine Avatar

    This sounds like the perfect spreadsheet. You’re a genius!