ATG to dissolve their Panto division First Family Entertainment
First Family Entertainment (FFE) have produced their last pantomime, it has been announced today.
For 12 years, Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) – one of the largest and most successful theatre operators in the world, have produced their Pantos in association with their own division – but will re-partner with Qdos Entertainment for 2017 onwards.
So the chances are you’ve heard Brian Blessed shout “PANTO IS ALIVE” for the last time.
How it affects regional pantomimes remains to be seen – including those that welcome back the same stars every year. One of the biggest success stories to come out of FFE Pantos has been the Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent, widely regarded as one of the best in the country – but has Jonathan Wilkes performed his last Panto in Stoke?
ATG released the following statement:
“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 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 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. 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”.