Profits fall at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s company Really Useful Group

The Really Useful Group has seen its profits fall by 50% in the past year. Even with the celebration of The Phantom of the Opera‘s 25th anniversary couldn’t help lift the company’s profits above £4.6 million, compared to £10.7 million the year before.

It has been a financially challenging year for Really Useful Group and owner Andrew Lloyd Webber. £1.6 million had to be paid in severance to chief executive Andre Ptaszynski and  finance director Howard Witts who both parted ways with the company this year.

Also damaging to the finances was the fall through of Lloyd Webber’s sale of four venues to Lord Grade. Really Useful Group was set to sell off The Palace Theatre, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Cambridge Theatre and New London Theatre. The deal was worth £50 million but fell through after a deal was unable to be struck.

From a recent BBC Radio 4 interview, Lloyd Webber does not look optimistic for the year ahead. He has said that the 2012 Olympics, which will descend upon London this summer, will cause a ‘theatre bloodbath’. He claimed that theatre bookings have been 10% of their usual number leading up to the games.

For more information on the Really Useful Group visit their website:

www.reallyuseful.com

Lloyd Webber classics set to hit school stages across the UK

It has been announced that schools in the UK and Ireland will be allowed to perform Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End favourites, Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, for the first time.

The Really Useful Group has marked the event as, ‘significant’. Licenses have previously been granted to perform Lloyd Webber’s work in the US, and following that success they are now planning to roll out the plays to the worldwide market. Chairman Mark Wordsworth said: ‘They are complicated shows, but the experience that we’ve had in America is that the schools are absolutely up for the challenge.’

There are plans to release more of Lloyd Webber’s titles for amateur use. Whistle Down the Wind and Starlight Express are among the titles listed.

In relation to the announcement, Lloyd Webber said: ‘Such is the extraordinary growth of interest in musicals at grass root level all over the world, plus the astonishing capabilities of our younger performers, that now schools, colleges and amateur societies put on productions that give professionals a huge run for their money.’

For further information, contact The Really Useful Group licensing department www.reallyuseful.com/putonashow