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Lloyd Webber’s Other Palace drops musicals-only remit in leadership shake-up

The Other Palace. Photo: Craig Sugden
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Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Other Palace Theatre is to undergo a shake-up of its leadership team and will no longer be a dedicated musical theatre house.

The central London theatre will programme plays on its main stage, as well as continuing to produce and present musicals.

Lloyd Webber bought the theatre, formerly the St James, in 2016, promising to turn it into a home for new musicals. Paul Taylor Mills was hired as artistic director ahead of its reopening in early 2017, however he will now take on the role of affiliate producer.

Lloyd Webber launches first season at the Other Palace

Chris Harper, who runs Elliott and Harper Productions with director Marianne Elliott, is being brought on board as director of programming, and will “continue to expand the variety of shows presented” at the theatre.

Last year, Lloyd Webber reaffirmed his commitment to new musicals at the venue by launching a development scheme providing rehearsal space, workshops and networking events to help bring new shows to life.

A statement from the theatre said it would continue its producing ambitions, as well as presenting shows produced elsewhere. The studio will remain dedicated to developing new productions.

It described new musicals as “the beating heart” of the theatre, but confirmed it would now also be staging plays.

As an affiliate producer, Taylor Mills will work on Heathers the Musical, which transfers to the main house following workshop presentations in the studio.

He said: “After spending the last couple of months getting my hands dirty on the producing of Heathers the Musical, I’ve reminded myself that this is where I get really excited and am keen to be able to focus my attentions on more of my independent projects.”

Taylor Mills added: “I’m incredibly proud of the work the team and I have created and the Other Palace, so will continue to be involved as an affiliate producer.”

Bob Eady will continue as chief operating officer.