Ambassador Theatre Grup (ATG) owns some of the premium touring theatres round the country, including theatres in Woking, Richmond, Brighton, Bromley, Milton Keynes, Stoke-on-Trent and Glasgow. They’re a major presence in London too, with the Donmar Warehouse, Trafalgar Studios, Duke of Yorks and Comedy Theatres among others.
In a new deal costing some £90 million pounds ATG has acquired Live Nation’s UK Theatres. This includes some capacious auditoria – Edinburgh Playhouse; The Auditorium, Grimsby; Liverpool Empire; Bristol Hippodrome; The Palace Theatre and The Opera House, Manchester; Southport Theatre; Sunderland Empire; Grand Opera House, York; Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham; Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone; The New Theatre and The Old Fire Station, Oxford; the Princess Theatre, Torquay and The Lyceum and Apollo Victoria Theatres, London.
OK, the Old Fire Station isn’t that big. But when the new ATG-operated Waterside Theatre opens in Aylesbury next year the new company will be running 40 theatres in England and Scotland.
Former BBC Director General Greg Dyke will be joining the company in the new role of Executive Chairman. Sir Eddie Kulukundis OBE will remain as Life President.
ATG certainly has a strong 17-year track record for well-cast revivals and new work. And, with the combined company valued at £150 million, it make you wonder if they’ll be able to drop those dratted booking and transaction fees at last.