To celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera, The Really Useful Group today announce the immediate availability of the show to be performed in academic schools and colleges in the UK and Eire.
Commenting on today's announcement, Andrew Lloyd Webber said:
"One of the first pieces I wrote was Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was originally written for a school. Later it was expanded to be a full length stage show but I still get a kick out of seeing it performed in the way it began over forty years ago.
No way was either Cats or The Phantom Of The Opera written for schools even if TS Eliot did write his brilliant cat poems for his godchildren.
But such is the extraordinary growth of interest in musicals at grass root level all over the world, plus the astonishing capabilities of our younger performers, that now schools, colleges and amateur societies put on productions that give professionals a huge run for their money.
I am therefore delighted that Cats and Phantom are available to be performed by schools and colleges for the first time. Good luck and have fun!"
Shows of the stature of Cats and The Phantom of the Opera very rarely get released for licensing by academic schools and colleges, which makes today's announcement all the more significant. Whilst the musical and staging requirements of both shows are complex, it is possible for academic institutions to produce successful productions which will attract a broad and interested audience.
The Phantom of the Opera, which has been seen by over 130 million people worldwide and has been performed in 14 different languages in 145 cities around the globe is, for many, the greatest musical ever written. It is still the longest running musical ever on Broadway and has won over fifty major awards.
When Phantom became Broadway's longest running show, it took over from Cats, which had played for over 21 years. The show, based on the poems of T.S Eliot, took over £115 million at the UK Box Office and regularly tours around the world.
To perform one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's shows, schools must, in the first instance, contact The Really Useful Group Licensing dept via its website at www.Reallyuseful.com/putonashow.
In the US, Canada and Mexico, the Lloyd Webber musicals are licensed exclusively by R&H Theatricals, including The Phantom of the Opera (high schools and colleges only), Sunset Boulevard (professional theaters only), Cats, By Jeeves, Evita, Song & Dance, Aspects of Love, Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. For more, visit www.rnh.com or visit www.facebook.com/rodgersandhammerstein.
Shows already available from the Really Useful Group include By Jeeves, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, The Likes of Us and Sunset Boulevard.
The release of The Phantom of the Opera and Cats, to the schools market, represents the start of a roll-out of all of Andrew Lloyd Webber's major musicals to both the education and amateur markets worldwide. Shows already being worked on include, Whistle Down the Wind, The Boys in The Photograph (produced in the West End as "The Beautiful Game") and the huge hit, Starlight Express.