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Former ENO artistic director John Berry launches commercial theatre company with musicals focus

John Berry. Photo: Christina Haldane John Berry. Photo: Christina Haldane
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Former English National Opera artistic director John Berry is launching a new commercial theatre company that will produce West End musicals.

Scenario Two, which will also tour work internationally, has been set up in partnership with producer and creative industries expert Anthony Lilley, who worked with Berry as a trustee of ENO.

The London-based team currently consists of co-directors Berry and Lilley, who is also chief executive of Magic Lantern Productions, and Terri-Jayne Griffin, who has joined Scenario Two as producing director, having worked with Berry in the same role at ENO.

When he was at ENO, Berry introduced musical theatre to the organisation’s output.

He will use a similar model to produce work with the new venture as he did at ENO, bringing together talent from the world of opera and musical theatre with performers and creatives from other industries including film and television.

The company plans to produce classic musicals and develop new commissions, to run in London’s West End and to tour internationally. The main focus will be on musicals, but the company may produce plays in the future, Berry said.

“The theatrical landscape in London is thrilling at the moment with many commercial and subsidised producers delivering breathtaking work.

“This new direction is therefore an exciting personal challenge for me and I’m enjoying the balance of commercial theatre and opera in my life,” he said.

He added: “We have a great balance in the company, with my artistic and producing experience combining with Anthony’s experience in digital marketing and new media. It’s a nice combination of skills.”

Details of the company’s first production will be announced later this month, with the show to premiere in June 2019. Berry said there are plans for this first project to travel overseas.

He will continue with his opera work separately to the commercial venture, including for his charity Opera Ventures, which he set up in 2017 , two years after stepping down from ENO.

Scenario Two has been set up with funding support from former Universal Music Group chairman Max Hole, and The Night Manager producer Stephen Garrett, as well as other private investors.

Lilley said: “I’m delighted to be co-founding Scenario Two with John and, in doing so, returning to my first love – theatre and musicals.

“The team at Scenario Two and the artistic collaborators we are lining up are world leaders in their fields and I can’t wait to announce our first productions.”

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