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Universal Music Group pushes into theatre production with Scott Landis hire

Scott Landis co-produced Funny Girl, which will soon transfer to the West End starring Sheridan Smith. Photo: Marc Brenner Funny Girl, which will soon transfer to the West End starring Sheridan Smith. Photo: Marc Brenner
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Universal Music Group has hired West End producer Scott Landis as it begins a major push into developing and producing theatre.

Landis has produced a number of West End and Broadway shows, including the upcoming transfer of Funny Girl, starring Sheridan Smith, to London’s Savoy Theatre.

In a statement, UMG said Landis would help the company in “forging stronger ties with the theatre community”, as well as assisting in the development and production of stage projects based on UMG’s music roster.

The move follows the Broadway premiere of Motown the Musical in 2013, which features music from the Motown label owned by UMG and is due to open in London next month.

Reacting to his appointment, Landis said: “There’s a glorious treasure trove of possibilities in UMG’s amazing artist roster and song library, and I’m looking forward to helping unlock those gems and opening the door even wider to the theatrical community.”

Landis was hired alongside David Blackman – named as head of film and television development and production – as part of an expansion by UMG into areas outside of music.

UMG chief executive Jody Gerson said: “Music is not only essential to film, television and theatre, but the stories behind our artists and their music offer narratives that provide a natural foundation to build exciting and compelling experiences for audiences around the world.”

She continued: “With David and Scott, we’re focused on working with the Hollywood and Broadway communities on delivering stories that will delight fans, reach new audiences and open up new commercial opportunities for our songwriters and our legendary music catalog.”

In 2014, UMG forced a number of Motown tribute acts to change their names ahead of the West End premiere of Motown the Musical in February.

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