Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group (RUG) has announced a new strategic partnership with Shanghai Media Group Live (SMG Live) to develop the musical theatre industry in China.
As RUG’s first Chinese language production of Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me On A Sunday gets ready to tour the country in 2018, RUG and SMG Live will work together to build awareness of and interest in musical theatre and to develop new content – either in terms of culturally sensitive translations of existing works or of new works drawing on Chinese heritage and literature.
The two groups have also announced an initiative with London’s Arts Educational Schools (ArtsEd) to develop professional musical theatre talent in China. Vocal, dancing and acting tutors from ArtsEd will travel to Shanghai in September 2017 to deliver an eight-week musical vocational training course at the new SMG Arts Education Center – launched on 16 August 2017 by RUG and SMG Live.
Shorter courses on different aspects of musical theatre will begin in late October 2017 while SMG Live will also sponsor local technical professionals and, with RUG’s support, send selected theatre technical staff to be trained overseas from 2018.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said:
‘The Really Useful Group has been bringing my music to China since 2001. Our ambition is that Chinese audiences should enjoy musical theatre productions every bit the equal in scale and quality to those in North America or Europe. Now, in Shanghai Media Group, we have a partner with whom we can achieve this goal.’
Wang Jianjun, SMG Live, said:
‘SMG Live has always been keen on producing entertainment content of the highest quality, particularly for live performances. We are excited to be working with RUG to develop musical theatre in China and hope this partnership can grow into a successful case study for international cooperation.’
UK Arts Minister, John Glen, said:
‘From the days of the Victorian Music Hall to the latest shows dazzling audiences in the West End, the UK has a proud musical theatre history. This fantastic partnership will take some of our most iconic shows to China and allow even more people to experience the very best of British musical theatre.’
Header photo: Andrew Lloyd Webber with cast members from four shows © Nathan Johnson