A new British Musical Theatre Company which is raising funds to produce modern musicals for the West End stage, is applying for Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme recognition.
Shaftesbury Avenue hopes to raise up to £150,000 to help finance its first production – Lucky, a musical set in apartheid era South Africa, based on the tale of Oliver Twist. It is issuing 500,000 shares at 30p each.
The company is looking to take capitalise on the popularity generated by a host of modern musicals including Hamilton and the Harry Potter franchise. Last year London’s theatres had record box office takings of over £700m with audiences topping 15m for the first time in 30 years.
Shaftesbury Avenue Managing Director Nevern Johns said: “Traditionally, musical producers have relied on their own network of tried and trusted investors, many of whom support twenty or more musicals over years. Those who invested in Mama Mia or Cats many years ago are still enjoying the returns.
“But it is sometimes difficult for potential investors to become aware of opportunities in musical theatre as an alternative investment asset class. Shaftesbury Avenue addresses that opportunity.”
The longer term aim of the company was to offer investors an outlet by listing Shaftesbury Avenue shares on NASDAQ First North – the European arm of the USA’s NASDAQ.