ATG closes pantomime company but takes over US theatre

Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has made two major announcements in the last few days. Firstly, the UK’s largest theatre group is to partner with pantomime producers Qdos Entertainment and close its pantomime division. Secondly, it has taken over operation of Boston’s Colonial Theatre.

ATG and Qdos previously worked together on pantomimes until ATG formed its own panto company First Family Entertainment in 2005. Then 10 years later in 2015 ATG lost the management of the Churchill Theatre in Bromley to Qdos, an event that left the company ‘saddened’ according to former CEO Rosemary Squire. Now reunited, Qdos will take over production of ATG’s pantomimes from next season.

It’s the latest in a series of corporate changes for ATG, following the decision of co-founders and joint chief executives Howard Panter and Squire to step down in May 2016.

In other news ATG will reopen Boston’s Colonial Theatre, which has been shut since October 2015. The 1,700-seat theatre is owned by Emerson College, with ATG signing up for a 40-year lease. Both groups will invest money in revamping the theatre, which has a spectacular interior but is in urgent need of restoration.

Colonial Theatre is the latest addition to ATG’s growing US operation, which includes five theatres that the company bought in 2015.