Bonnie Royal and Michael Stevens (Photos by Andy Staples), Sony Music Masterworks' Mark Cavell

Industry News: Sony Music Masterworks acquires a majority stake in Vanya & 2:22 A Ghost Story producer Roast Productions

Sony Music Masterworks, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, has taken a majority stake in West End producer Roast Productions, to forge a new strategic joint venture together.

Roast Productions is the London-based live entertainment company founded by Bonnie Royal and Michael Stevens, and produces theatre, concerts, and family entertainment in London, the UK and internationally.

Their current and recent shows include Macbeth starring Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma, which comes to London’s Dock X from 11 February; the current UK and Australia tours of 2:22 A Ghost Story; recent festive concert Christmas Actually curated by Love Actually filmmaker Richard Curtis; the recent, acclaimed West End run of Vanya starring Andrew Scott; new musical Cowboy Rob, in Houston Texas; and the 2024 UK tour of The 13-Storey Treehouse, based on the best-selling book by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton.

The company will also offer production, general management, and marketing services in the West End and elsewhere.

A statement said that Royal and Stevens will “continue to lead the company’s day-to-day operations and collaborate with Masterworks on the development of a range of new productions”.

They will work in close partnership with Masterworks President Mark Cavell, and Ollie Rosenblatt, founder and CEO of Senbla, a UK producer and promoter primarily of concerts, and which is majority owned by Sony.

Roast Productions has also struck strategic agreements with National Theatre Productions and Various Productions, as co-producer for Standing at the Sky’s Edge, which transfers to the Gillian Lynne Theatre in February; and with the Ambassador Theatre Group as Creative Producer of the inaugural Wimbledon Children’s Festival at the New Wimbledon Theatre, launching in Summer 2024.

Mark Cavell, President of Sony Music Masterworks, said in a statement: β€œI’m absolutely delighted to welcome Bonnie and Michael to the Sony Music Masterworks family. Their creativity and expertise will further support our endeavours in securing and creating new quality and original live productions that will captivate and entertain audiences across the globe, and provide first-class content for our other partners to promote and market.”

Bonnie Royal and Michael Stevens, Producers and Co-Managing Directors of Roast, said: β€œIt is an absolute honour to join Sony Music Masterworks and develop new work and new markets together. The strength of its vision and values makes it the ideal partner for us as we develop a diverse body of work in the UK and internationally.”

Sony Music Masterworks is a label and content business within Sony Music, centred on classical, concerts and show recordings. They have been forging a number of partnerships and acquisitions over the last few years, in its bid to become a multi-faceted worldwide entertainment business.

They operate in more than 30 countries, with a network of companies that includes the UK’s Raymond Gubbay Ltd., the music, dance & Light Trail/Lightscape promoter; Culture Creative, a production and project management team specialising in developing site-specific and bespoke projects in unique heritage and landscape settings; and The Luna Entertainment Group, the UK market-leader of open-air, drive-in and pop-up cinema experiences which also stages high quality location-based entertainment experiences, exhibitions and events.

📷 Main photo: Bonnie Royal and Michael Stevens (Photos by Andy Staples), Sony Music Masterworks' Mark Cavell

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