Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group is working with co-producers Clear Channel (headed by David Ian) on Daisy Pulls It Off at the Lyric, and the two companies are now expected to work together more closely in the future.
Industry newspaper The Stage picked up on Lord Lloyd Webber's comments at a press conference about Daisy, at which David Ian was also present, along with director David Gilmore. Lloyd Webber said that he hoped RUG and Clear Channel could form a "strategic relationship" together.
This is common sense rather than a radical change of direction, and reflects an informal coming together on individual projects (like Daisy) rather than any sort of official link or merger. RUG is the biggest theatre owner in London and Clear Channel controls a huge number of provincial theatres.
Lloyd Webber's presence at the Daisy press conference, and his comments regarding RUG and Clear Channel reflect the fact that for all the continued success of Phantom and tours of his other shows, his role in contemporary London theatre is increasingly that of a theatre owner and producer rather than composer. Bombay Dreams is an example of this, as is the aptly named The Sound of Music, which he will bring in (as producer) to the West End as soon as a theatre is available.
—By Paul Webb Theatrenow