- by Jacob Coakley
The UK-based Ambassador Theatre Group, the UK’s largest theatre owner/operator, would like to expand its presence in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. To do so they’ve hired Tim McFarlane as CEO of the newly-created ATG Asia/Pacific. Ambassador Theatre Group already has several shows open in Australia (The Rocky Horror Show, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Legally Blonde) and intends to duplicate its integrated business model of combining theatre ownership/management with producing and ticketing marketing operations in Australia and Asia in an effort to create “an unrivalled international touring circuit.” McFarlane comes to Ambassador Theatre Group from The Really Useful Company Asia Pacific.
TIM McFARLANE TO BE CEO OF AMBASSADOR THEATRE GROUP (ATG) ASIA/PACIFIC
New York, NY (November 29, 2012) – Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), the UK’s largest theatre owner/operator and producing group, has today announced that Tim McFarlane has agreed to join ATG in the newly created role of CEO for ATG Asia/Pacific.
ATG is already an active theatre producer in Australia (The Rocky Horror Show, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, and having just opened Legally Blonde in Sydney) and now intends to replicate in Australia and elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region the integrated business model that ATG has successfully followed in the UK – combining theatre ownership/management with producing activity and ticketing/marketing operations.
This expansion would be a key part of creating an unrivalled international touring circuit, which it is intended should also include increased activity in North America (where ATG already has a New York office) and Europe. A strong operation in Australia with its established theatrical market and high quality talent pool (both artistic and technical) would provide an excellent platform for growth elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region which will be led by Tim as CEO of ATG Asia/Pacific, based in Sydney. He will start his role in 2013.
Tim is currently the Managing Director of The Really Useful Company Asia Pacific where he is responsible for The Really Useful Group’s (RUG) activities in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Tim has enjoyed 18 very successful years with RUG producing Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and most recently an acclaimed production of Love Never Dies.
Prior to joining RUG, Tim was General Manager of the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust and the world renowned Adelaide Festival from 1986 to 1994. Tim produced many theatre events while at the AFCT, including co-producing with John Frost the acclaimed production of The King and I and a production of South Pacific which toured Australia and Hong Kong. Tim also co-produced with Helen Montagu the Australian and New Zealand tour of 42nd Street, beyond its Sydney, Australia season.
Tim was President of the Entertainment Industries Association (now Live Performance Australia, LPA), Australia’s National Theatre Industry Body from 1992 to 1994 and is a life member. He was a Trustee of the Sydney Opera House from 1997 until 2005 and Chairman of the Sydney Opera House Risk Management Committee from 2002 - 2005. Tim was appointed a Director of Opera Australia in June 2006, where he is also Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee.
Tim McFarlane said, “To work with Howard and Rosemary to take their vision for the theatre and entertainment industry into the most dynamic and exciting region in the world is an opportunity I was not going to miss. China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Australia and Singapore have become major entertainment markets and continue to grow. For nearly 20 years I have been part of developing the entertainment industry in these markets. Audiences in Australia, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, and other major Asian cities are sophisticated and discerning. I look forward to working with ATG and the many partners I have worked with in Asia to build on this success.”
Howard Panter, ATG’s Joint CEO & Creative Director, said, “I am thrilled that Tim with his ability, passion and unprecedented experience in the Asia/Pacific region has agreed to head up this new exciting development for ATG. We look forward to a new period of growth with Tim.”
ATG is the British commercial theatre success story. Co-founded by Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire in 1992, ATG is the largest owner/operator of theatres in the UK with 39 venues, an internationally recognized theatre producer with co-productions in New York, across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia and is a leader in theatre ticketing services through ATG Tickets. Bucking current retail trends, ATG continues to achieve steady year on year growth.
ATG presents an average of 30 productions a year and is an award-winning producer in the West End, the UK regions, on Broadway and internationally. ATG production companies and partnerships include Sonia Friedman Productions (SFP), First Family Entertainment (FFE), Jerry Mitchell Productions, Tali Pelman Productions, Jamie Lloyd Productions, and Theatre Royal Brighton Productions.
Current and recent ATG co-productions in London, UK regionally and internationally include Posh/Jumpy/Constellations (Royal Court at the Duke of York’s in the West End), 9 to 5 the Musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Passion Play, The Mystery of Charles Dickens, South Pacific, All New People, Dandy Dick, Blue/Orange, Ghost the Musical, Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker!, Legally Blonde the Musical, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Being Shakespeare, The Misanthrope, West Side Story, Elling, Guys and Dolls, The Mountaintop, Exit the King, and The Rocky Horror Show.
For more info about Ambassador Theatre Group, please visit www.atgtickets.com