Co-founded by Sir Howard Panter and Dame Rosemary Squire in 2017, Trafalgar Entertainment is a premium international live entertainment business focussed on new productions, venue ownership, Performing Arts education, theatre ticketing, the distribution of live-streaming innovative content and the provision of amazing spaces where people can come together to share in the experience of live entertainment. TE is home to Trafalgar Theatres (comprising Trafalgar Theatre and Olympia Theatre in London, Theatre Royal Sydney, and 12 UK regional venues), Trafalgar Theatre Productions, Trafalgar Releasing, Trafalgar Tickets, Stagecoach Performing Arts, Helen O’Grady Drama Academy, London Theatre Direct, Jonathan Church Theatre Productions and The Chiswick Cinema.
In 2017, the company acquired Trafalgar Releasing who broadcast productions live worldwide, from The RSC, Glyndebourne, Met Opera, Bolshoi Ballet and Royal Opera House to David Gilmour, Muse, Coldplay, BTS, The Cure, Metallica, Shakira, Depeche Mode, Gorillaz, Nick Cave, Oasis, BLACKPINK, George Michael, Twenty One Pilots and Trafalgar Theatre Productions’ The King and I, live from the iconic London Palladium and Anything Goes, live from the Barbican Theatre, among many other events. Trafalgar Releasing distributes specialised content to over 8,000 cinemas in more than 120 countries worldwide.
The following year, Trafalgar Entertainment acquired Stagecoach Performing Arts, the UK market leader in extra-curricular Performing Arts tuition with over 2,000 schools and classes and over 60,000 students in the UK and worldwide. In 2019, TE began new partnerships with London Theatre Direct, one of the UK’s leading ticket retailers and distributors and More2Screen; distributors of over 150 ‘special event’ productions to a network of more than 7,000 cinemas in 65+ international territories.
Later in 2019, Jonathan Church Theatre Productions was launched to create theatrical work including new and classic musicals and plays for London, the UK regions and internationally with award-winning theatre director and producer Jonathan Church as Artistic Director. In 2020, Trafalgar Entertainment became the new operator of the Theatre Royal Sydney which opened in 2021 as the cornerstone of TE’s Asia-Pacific operation. In March 2021, TE acquired HQ Theatres, the UK’s largest specialist regional theatre operator with a portfolio of 12 theatres. TE will also open the ground-breaking Olympia Theatre, the biggest new permanent theatre to open in London since the 1970s, as part of the £1.3 billion Olympia development. TE’s acquisition of a 70-year lease to operate the Olympia Theatre is part of a broader ambition by TE to create a venue of national stature as the UK emerges into a new era. In September 2021, TE acquired the children’s extra-curricular drama specialist organisation, Helen O’Grady Drama Academy. The academy has been in operation for over 40 years and provides education in 36 countries, with over 100,000 students studying one hour of drama each week. In 2022, TE announced the creation of two new divisions – Trafalgar Theatres and Trafalgar Tickets – to consolidate all its venues under one name and to develop the company’s approach to regional ticketing.
The production arm of TE, Trafalgar Theatre Productions, produces new shows and classic musicals in London and internationally including the Tony and Olivier award-winning smash hit musical, Jersey Boys, now playing at London’s newly renovated Trafalgar Theatre alongside a UK & Ireland Tour, Broadway’s favourite multi award-winning musical, Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill (Theatre Royal Sydney and Australian Tour), a major revival of the classic award-winning musical, Anything Goes (Barbican Theatre and UK Tour), The Merchant of Venice 1936 (in partnership with Watford Palace Theatre and the RSC), the tenth anniversary UK & Ireland tour of the acclaimed National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the hilarious new comedy, Death Drop (London and UK Tour), the 2021/22 World Tour of The Rocky Horror Show, the Lincoln Center’s award-winning production of The King and I at the London Palladium and worldwide, and a co-production of War Horse with The National Theatre in Australia and Asia-Pacific. Current productions for Jonathan Church Theatre Productions include South Pacific, 42nd Street, Wendy and Peter Pan, Poirot and More: A Retrospective, Private Peaceful, East is East, A Monster Calls and Singin’ in the Rain. JCTP is also general manager for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
The largest shareholder of Trafalgar Entertainment is Barings Alternative Investment, which operates as a subsidiary of MassMutual Holding LLC, with assets under management of US$771 billion. Other shareholders include Greg Dyke, James Tanner, NWH Consulting Ltd, Sir Richard Branson and Griffon Corporation.
Before Trafalgar Entertainment, Howard and Rosemary built from scratch and ran for its first 25 years, the world’s largest and most successful live theatre business – the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd (ATG). Under their leadership, ATG became a premier international theatre owner and prolific, successful global producer.