Crossroads Live has announced the acquisition of Qdos Pantomimes, the leading producer of pantomime across the UK. The transaction represents a further expansion of Crossroads Live, following its acquisitions of London-based David Ian Productions in 2019 and leading Australian producer, The Gordon Frost Organisation in 2020. The new company, Crossroads Pantomimes, will be led by Crossroads Theatrical Group chairman David Ian and former Qdos Pantomimes managing director Michael Harrison as chief executive.
The acquisition will see Qdos founder and Chairman Nick Thomas stepping down from the pantomime business. Since 1982, the company has produced over 750 pantomimes. A focus on regional theatres has made the Qdos pantomime season the lynchpin of the theatrical year for dozens of major UK theatres.
In 2016, Thomas and Harrison returned pantomime to its West End home at the London Palladium after a 30-year absence, with a new production of Cinderella. At the London Palladium, 2017 saw the first ever Olivier Award given to a pantomime for Dick Whittington.
Harrison as chief executive, whilst steering the new company strategically and artistically, will continue to produce independently under his own brand Michael Harrison Entertainment.
David Ian said:
“I am absolutely thrilled to be working again with Michael. Crossroads Pantomimes is a natural development of our long-time producing relationship and the passion we both share for creating world class entertainment. We look forward to creating something very special for the UK Theatre industry whilst staying true to the great tradition of British pantomime.”
Harrison added: “The creation of Crossroads Pantomimes marks an exciting next step in the evolution of pantomime, joining our unique experience as leading pantomime producers with the skill, resource and investment of Crossroads Live. Our operation will remain firmly rooted in the UK and will build on the long tradition of pantomime, but continue to push the genre forward, as we’ve done over the past two decades.”
Thomas commented: “After our 39th pantomime season in 2019/20, Sandra and I decided it was time to find a new owner for Qdos Pantomimes. After discussions with Crossroads Live, we are delighted that David and Michael will be taking the business forward. Our Qdos Entertainment Group will be embarking on new adventures, and we will spend our first ‘non-pantomime’ Christmas somewhere in the sunshine!”