US production company RWS Entertainment Group has opened a London office in a bid to expand its operations into Europe.
The company, based in New York, creates theatrical brand experiences for hospitality, corporate and leisure clients including resorts, retail companies and cruise ships.
Its founder, Ryan Stana, said he wanted to bring “a new level of custom experiences” to the UK and Europe, as well as expand RWS’ theatre production department, with ambitions to produce shows in the West End.
“Our main focus areas are growth in the EMEA market, so France and Germany will be important for us,” he told The Stage.
He added that he had been drawn to London, which he described as “Europe’s capital for culture and entertainment”, as the base for its European operations.
RWS’ existing European clients include shopping centre company Westfield and German theme park brand Europa-Park, while the company also creates shows for cruise companies including Royal Caribbean and Virgin Voyages, which regularly run in Europe.
Stana said RWS’ business model revolves around a “one-stop shop” approach to creating entertainment shows and experiences for clients, from design and casting to operations and general management.
It has its own casting division, Binder Casting, and a recently launched theatrical arm, which Stana said he hoped would develop ticketed shows in the US to be brought to theatres in the UK.
The London office, which launches this week, is located in Monument, with 10 staff members led by Carl Hackett, formerly of Legoland and Madame Tussauds’ parent company Merlin Entertainments.
Stana added: “The new team in London will bring to the table a strong knowledge of the European market, and much-needed local insight to drive further growth throughout EMEA. We are excited for this new chapter in RWS’ story, and to continue revolutionising the entertainment sector both in the UK and on a global scale.”