Tuesday 7 January 2020
2019 proved to be another significant year for Trafalgar Entertainment with highly-acclaimed productions, new faces, awards recognition, creative partnerships and exponential growth driving the business forward.
On the production front it was a memorable year for Trafalgar Theatre Productions, with 12 Olivier Award nominations for its productions including five at Trafalgar Studios. Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara and Ruthie Ann Miles reprised their roles in a record-breaking, sold-out run of The King and I at Theatre Orb in Tokyo whilst the UK tour continued to great acclaim. The Rocky Horror Show also completed a year-long tour of the UK with exciting future plans for the show in South Africa, New York and Germany.
In October Trafalgar Entertainment announced the launch of Jonathan Church Theatre Productions with award-winning theatre director and producer Jonathan Church CBE and continued a successful collaborative partnership with The National Theatre. The company also announced plans to commission new work with HOME in Manchester and develop a major musical in London.
At Trafalgar Studios production highlights included Nine Night; Admissions; Education, Education, Education; Equus; A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and A Taste of Honey. Trafalgar Studios was also named Best Entertainment Company for The London Prestige Awards and further steps were taken to make the venue more environmentally friendly including the removal of single use plastic from the bars.
Trafalgar Entertainment’s Joint CEOs Sir Howard Panter and Dame Rosemary Squire were recognised in The Evening Standard’s The Progress 1000: London’s Most Influential People 2019 list and continued to move up The Stage 100 published last week, listed at number 15. Woking Borough Council bestowed the Honorary Freedom of the Borough upon the couple, both long-serving members of the community and Rosemary was named one of the UK’s Kindest Leaders when she appeared on the Kindness & Leadership 50 Leading Lights list.
In 2019, the company forged new creative partnerships with Luke Shires Marketing, who work on some of Theatre Land’s most exciting projects and leading ticket agency London Theatre Direct; one of the largest providers of theatre tickets in the West End and a pioneer of online ticketing. Through its partnership with Trafalgar Entertainment and to mark 20 years in the business, LTD introduced the latest addition to its family of leading ticketing brands – Tickets.co.uk – allowing LTD to expand its inventory to encompass different ticketing sectors within the UK entertainment industry. In April, Trafalgar Entertainment and Stagecoach Performing Arts opened a new shared Head Office in Woking.
Trafalgar Entertainment made some significant appointments in 2019 including Vin Govender as Chief Information Officer, Serena Hill as Casting Director for Trafalgar Theatre Productions, Jo Scalpello as the company’s new Group Marketing Director; and at London Theatre Direct, Michelle Dunn as Head of Ticketing Inventory, Rob Edwards as Chief Operating Officer, Mark Lambert as Chief Growth Officer and Mark Prethero as Business Development Director.
Trafalgar Releasing continued to be the leading global distributor of event cinema into 100+ countries. 2019 highlights included winning the Screen Award for Event Cinema Campaign of the Year for The King & I at the London Palladium, BTS breaking the 2018 record of largest event cinema release, and Metallica becoming the largest rock release ever. In November, Trafalgar Releasing announced an investment in cinema specialists More2Screen to assist their future growth.
There were major gains for Stagecoach Performing Arts with the opening of 200 schools and classes globally achieving a 15% year on year growth in international student numbers and there was strong new franchisee growth in Berlin, Canada and Western Australia with further exciting plans for US and Canadian expansion in 2020. There was increasing demand for Stagecoach across TV, film and advertising throughout 2019 and the company hosted two major summer events, the Summer Showcase production of The Sound of Music and Dance the Dream at Disneyland Paris.
Trafalgar Entertainment Joint CEO and Executive Chairman, Dame Rosemary Squire, said: “We’re delighted with the company’s growth and progress during our second full year of trading and as our 2019 highlights show, creativity, collaboration, innovation and excellence are at the heart of everything we do as a company.
“Looking ahead to 2020 we will be presenting a slate of exciting productions and are particularly excited about our growing partnership with The National Theatre. The King and I recommences its acclaimed UK and international tour following a Christmas residency in Birmingham whilst The Rocky Horror Show continues to play in South Africa until March with more international dates planned for the year ahead. Starting this month, we’re co-producing War Horse with The National Theatre in Australia, Singapore, Manila and Korea and our new partnership with Jonathan Church and his team offers exciting prospects helping to strengthen our production capacity and audience reach.
“At Trafalgar Studios A Taste of Honey continues to play in Studio 1 until the end of February, followed by a transfer of award-winning Irish writer Sebastian Barry’s On Blueberry Hill starring Niall Buggy and David Ganly in March. We also have a number of exciting projects planned for Trafalgar Studios which will be announced soon. The Chiswick Cinema will open in late 2020 and we will continue to scope out potential acquisitions in the UK and make further progress in developing our Asia-Pacific network.”