ATG: Yesterday Broadway, Today Sydney, Tomorrow —? | Playbill

News ATG: Yesterday Broadway, Today Sydney, Tomorrow —? Ambassador Theatre Group, the London-based company that owns 40 U.K. theatres and recently added Broadway's largest playhouse, the Lyric on 42nd Street, has expanded its international reach once again, striking a deal to lease and manage the Theatre Royal in Sydney, Australia.

Owned by QIC and The GPT Group, the 1,180-seat Theatre Royal is part of the MLC Centre, located in the city's Central Business District. It's the city's oldest theatrical institution, founded in 1827 and relocated twice. It's one of the city's top theatres for touring productions, having hosted the Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Cats, Rent, Dirty Dancing, My Fair Lady and a long-running production of Jersey Boys. The recently-broadcast production of Driving Miss Daisy, featuring Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones, was taped on the stage of the Theatre Royal.

Sir Howard Panter, who founded ATG in 1992, said, “We plan to showcase the very best of theater from Australia and the rest of the world, placing the MLC Centre and the Theatre Royal firmly in the center of Sydney’s theatrical life."

The new operators announced that they are planning a "major refurbishment" of the landmark venue, which will dovetail with the renovation underway at the entire MLC Centre.

GPT Chief Investment Officer Carmel Hourigan issued a statement saying, that thanks to the planned refurbishment, "The MLC Centre will become home to a new world class theatre, which supports our vision for the precinct as a unique and exciting place, where people gather for both business and leisure. The owners chose to work with ATG because it has a strong track record of delivering premium productions."

ATG has been producing shows in Australia for much of the past decade, and continues active discussions with other Australian venues. Developments are also underway for additional theatres in Korea, Japan, Singapore and China, with new productions also earmarked for these territories. ATG Asia Pacific CEO Tim McFarlane said, “For ATG this heralds the dawn of its venue management operations in Asia Pacific, a region that will play a major part in our international expansion plan.”

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