Last May, Ambassador Theatre Group co-founders and joint chief executives Rosemary Squire and Howard Panter left the company at the start of a major shake-up and expansion plan driven by Providence Equity Partners, which acquired a majority share of ATG in November 2013. The latest of many staffing and structural changes in the company is announced today as this year’s panto season draws to an close.
After twelve successful years, Kevin Wood, Chief Executive of First Family Entertainment, has decided to step down at the end of the current pantomime season to return to independent producing. Associate producers Laura Taylor and George Wood will also be leaving the company to pursue new opportunities.
First Family Entertainment was set up in 2005 to produce traditional pantomimes with high production values. Since then many exceptional artists have made their pantomime debut for the company including Katie Price and Anita Dobson (pictured), Pamela Anderson, Jo Brand, Simon Callow, David Hasselhoff, Barry Humphries, Priscilla Presley, Torvill and Dean, and Henry Winkler. The shows, with sets and costumes designed by Terry Parsons, garnered critical acclaim and broke box office records.
ATG has today announced a new partnership with former competitors, Qdos Entertainment, to build further on the successful tradition of pantomime in ATG’s venues. Led by Nick Thomas and Michael Harrison, Qdos Entertainment is the world’s largest pantomime producer with over 600 productions to its credit, including at the West End’s London Palladium, this Christmas’ Cinderella and next year’s Dick Whittington.
Qdos’ pantomimes are renowned for star-led comedy, spectacle, and innovative special effects. Qdos’ 2016/17 pantomime headliners include Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary, Amanda Holden, John Barrowman, Craig Revel Horwood, Marti Pellow, Shane Richie, Jessie Wallace, Brian Conley and Gok Wan.