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Michael Grade: original musicals planned as part of ENO deal

Michael Grade. Photo: Jeff Overs/BBC
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Producers Michael Grade and Michael Linnit have revealed plans to stage original musical theatre productions at the Coliseum in London as part of their partnership with English National Opera.

As reported by The Stage earlier this year, the deal between ENO and the GradeLinnit Company will see the two organisations work together to produce musicals at the Coliseum over the next five years.

The first of these was revealed this week to be Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, starring Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel, in a semi-staged concert version next March.

Speaking to The Stage at the launch for Sweeney Todd, Grade and Linnit outlined their plans as part of the partnership with ENO, revealing that there would be one fully-staged musical production a year, combined with one or two concerts.

Linnit said they were aiming to produce “iconic musicals that will be talked about for many years to come”.

Grade added that, while they would revisit classic musicals, they were planning to bring original productions to the stage.

“Once the policy is established and the audiences are established, if we can find something we really believe in that is new, we will produce it. We have plans to do some workshops and develop some new shows,” he said.

Linnit added that the advantage with partnering with ENO was that it gave the producers “access to creative facilities” which would normally cost them a “great deal more”.

He also said the partnership was aimed at “improving profitability” for ENO and that anything staged would be at “no risk” to the organisation.

Linnit said he and Grade wanted to “return a large profit to ENO to enable it to continue its amazing work under artistic director John Berry”.

Sweeney Todd, starring Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel, will run at the Coliseum, London, from March 30 for 13 performances with press night on March 31. Each performance will have 300 seats available for £10


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