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Roald Dahl rights company moves into theatre production

Productions of Roald Dahl's work have included the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda, which has gone on to achieve lasting success in the West End. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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The company that manages the licensing rights of Roald Dahl’s works is pushing into theatre production, and is appointing an executive producer to facilitate its plans.

The Roald Dahl Story Company currently licenses Dahl’s work to organisations wishing to adapt his stories into television productions or stage productions. However, it is now planning to move from being “a traditional licensor of rights to a theatrical production company”.

In recent years, many of Dahl’s books have been adapted for the stage, including Matilda, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was co-produced by Warner Bros Theatre Ventures and Neal Street Productions.

Now, the Roald Dahl Story Company is looking to appoint an executive theatre producer, who will work alongside a recently appointed head of theatre, Jenny Worton, in a newly created in-house theatre department.

Worton, who formerly worked as an artistic associate at the Almeida Theatre, told The Stage that the theatre arm was an “evolution” of the work that had been begun between the Road Dahl Story Company and agency Casarotto.

“We feel now we are at a point where we would like to continue that and take a creative lead on the adaptations ourselves,” she said.

However, she said the company would not be a sole producer and would be looking for producing partnerships.

“But we would like to begin the development of the work ourselves,” she said.

The executive producer will be responsible for establishing partnerships on a national and international level, “to enable the development, delivery and exploitation of the Roald Dahl Story Company’s theatrical productions and projects”.

Worton said the company would focus on Dahl’s own catalogue of work and revealed a room within the company’s London offices would be turned into a rehearsal space, where artists will be able to experiment with the texts to help develop the work.

The executive producer, she said, will help shape the work that comes out of this, which will be both plays and musicals.

Worton said she was looking for an executive producer who “thrives on responding to work as it evolves in development”.

“It’s a hugely creative position for someone with strong opinions, innovative ways of working and an excellent knowledge of the theatre industry,” she added.

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