Ex-Soho Theatre artistic director Steve Marmion has launched a new production company dedicated to pantomime.
Announcing his first move since leaving Soho Theatre last year, he said his new company – Panto Co – would operate in a similar way to department store John Lewis, in that his employees will be co-owners of the company and shareholders.
Every year the company makes profit, the shareholders will receive a percentage of profit relative to their shareholding.
“For a long time there have been people getting wealthy from pantomime and I want to see that happen more fairly. People will always work harder and more passionately if they have a vested interest in what they are doing,” he said.
He also said actors in the company would be rewarded financially the more they come back to work with Panto Co.
Marmion said he was focusing on pantomime as the “magic of it” was the thing that introduced him to theatre when he was a child.
He has previously staged pantomimes at the Lyric Hammersmith and the Oxford Playhouse and said his plan for the new company would be to grow it by one new production a year, with its first pantomime to be staged in 2020.
Because of his previous work with pantomime, Marmion has an existing catalogue of shows that he said he would be able to adapt to each location it is performed in.
The company will also offer theatres a year-round education offering, led by a team of local people who will run regular youth groups, with work feeding into each theatre’s production.
Marmion also said he wanted to hire a dance captain for each show from the local area.
The company will also comprise producer Michael Peavoy, set designer Anthony Lamble, costume designer Amanda Hambleton, composer Bobby Goulder, choreographer Stuart Rogers and lighting designer Ashley Bale.