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Cirque du Soleil acquires production company behind The Illusionists

The Works executive producer Tim Lawson and creative producer Simon Painter with Cirque du Soleil's Daniel Lamarre and Louis-Francois Hogue
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Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has purchased The Works Entertainment, the company behind shows such as The Illusionists.

The company said the move confirmed its leading position in the industry and marked its expansion from a company solely focused on circus arts to a “live entertainment creator, producer and promoter”.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, marks the third acquisition for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group in as many years, following its purchase of the Blue Man Group in 2017 and VStar Entertainment Group in 2018.

The Works Entertainment produces shows in the UK including The Illusionists, which returns to the Shaftesbury Theatre this summer, and Circus 1903, which ran in 2018 at the Southbank Centre.

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group president Daniel Lamarre said: “This transaction is a perfect example of how our group is diversifying through acquisitions, while always investing in our core activities. The Works productions have natural affinities with our own, in that they are high-quality universal live experiences that appeal to different audiences from different cultures around the world without having to adapt the show to each market.”

He added: “Magic, a genre of live entertainment that The Works has successfully mastered through its hugely successful Illusionists franchise, has been performed for centuries and continues to enjoy a steadfast popularity among audiences worldwide. I’m honoured to have their creative minds and theatrical expertise join our ranks.”

Simon Painter, creative producer at The Works Entertainment, added that Cirque had “completely revolutionised circus arts”.

“Cirque du Soleil’s global touring expertise as well as large-scale production insights will undeniably fuel our desired future growth in addition to giving us access to new creative resources that we could ever wish for,” he said.

The Illusionists review at Shaftesbury Theatre, London – ‘a kind of magic’

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