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The Magic of Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
About the Really Useful Group(RUG)
Phantom and Cats
Joseph,Superstar,Starlight,Evita,& Sunset
Aspects,Bombay,Jeeves,Game,Song,& Sunday
Woman in White & Whistle Down the Wind
About the Really Useful Group(RUG)

This page tells you about Really Useful Group


The Really Useful Group (RUG) was founded in 1977 by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It is an International entertainment company actively involved in theatre ownership and management, theatrical production, film, television, video and concert productions, merchandising, records and music publishing.


The Really Useful Theatre Company has produced Starlight Express, Daisy Pulls It Off (Olivier award – Comedy of the Year), The Hired Man ,Lend Me A Tenor ,Aspects of Love, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ,Sunset Boulevard ,By Jeeves ,Jesus Christ Superstar ,Whistle Down the Wind ,The Beautiful Game and Bombay Dreams.


The company co-produced Jeeves Takes Charge ,Cats (Olivier award – Musical of the Year), Song & Dance ,On Your Toes ,Café Puccini ,The Phantom of the Opera (Olivier award – Musical of the Year), La Bęte (Olivier award – Comedy of the Year), the recent West End revivals of Daisy Pulls It Off and Tell Me On A Sunday, and the new musical The Woman in White, which opened in London in September 2004.


On Broadway, its American counterpart produced and/or co-produced the Tony award-winning productions of Cats (and US tours), Starlight Express ,Song & Dance ,The Phantom of the Opera (and US tours), Shirley Valentine ,Lend Me a Tenor and Aspects of Love . Other productions include La Bęte (Broadway), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Los Angeles, Broadway and US tour), The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (US tour) Sunset Boulevard (Los Angeles, New York and US tour) Whistle Down the Wind (Washington), Jesus Christ Superstar (Broadway) and By Jeeves (Broadway).

Really Useful Records has existed as a label since the early 1980's when it began primarily as a producer of cast recordings for the work of Andrew Lloyd Webber.


Over the years the label has recorded and released original cast recordings of Cats, Song & Dance, Starlight Express, By Jeeves, The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sunset Boulevard, Jesus Christ Superstar , Whistle Down the Wind , The Beautiful GameBombay Dreams and The Woman in White . Like the musicals themselves, the cast recordings have been enormously successful around the world, selling millions of copies in major markets. Over 20 million units have been sold to date.


As a producer of recorded music, Really Useful Records is a repertoire and copyright owner. Many non-English language cast albums have been made to accompany musicals as they open around the world. For example, The Phantom of the Opera is available in German, Swedish, Dutch, Japanese and Spanish.


Really Useful Films was established in 1997 and to date has produced for video and DVD "Cats", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", "Celebration",  the International Emmy Award winning "Jesus Christ Superstar", "By Jeeves", "Masterpiece - The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber", "Salaam Bombay" a behind the scenes look at the hit musical Bombay Dreams and "The Gruffalo" based on the best selling children's book.


 Our productions provide a timeless memory of each of our shows and are not simply filmed in the theatre through the proscenium arch, but staged especially for filming, so that the audience is brought into the magical world of theatre, without ever pretending to be a live action show.


In 2004 we released the feature of "The Phantom of the Opera", which was filmed at Pinewood Studios, England.  The "Phantom" movie is directed by Joel Schumacher and stars Gerard Butler, newcomer Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson and is now available on DVD and the soundtrack on CD.


The Really Useful Group is active in Music Publishing, both in the United Kingdom and via its affiliated sub-publishers throughout the World. Our catalogue of the World's finest show scores enables us to rank at the forefront in all aspects of music exploitation. Our music can be heard in countless countries both on record and in live performance using authorised arrangements. Our show songbooks  have broken sales records on both sides of the Atlantic whilst commercially available pieces of sheet music for every combination from Electronic Keyboards to Marching Bands are a sought after commodity.


The company has a firm technical base, providing a depth of musical expertise not often encountered in modern day music publishing. A carefully maintained score library enables us to properly support both our "sit down" and touring productions, as well as providing the raw material for many one-off concert projects.


In addition to Music Publishing, the company is now active in the development of our shows for the Stock and Amateur performance market Worldwide. New properties for this area of the market are developed and promoted, as they become available. This type of show licensing represents an exciting new growth area for the exploitation of our works.


The Really Useful Group has an established in house Merchandise company whose sole purpose is to design, develop and produce product to sell alongside the Groups productions.

Supporting the productions around the world with branded products not only provide marketing support for stage productions but also a sizeable income to the Group.

Given the available space and time for In-theatre sales opportunities, all products have to be specifically designed and targeted.  In many territories the available product range is surprisingly small.  The selection of items is tailored to a production and items which have an unusual feature are of particular interest - for example, at The Phantom of The Opera a very popular line are the thermo-reactive mugs which feature the famous Phantom mask appearing and disappearing.


In addition to the in house activities, Really Useful Merchandise also runs a wholesale operation, supplying products to International productions and an online business providing direct sales to the public anywhere in the world. It is also the point of reference for all licensed productions, providing advice, artwork and approval for items produced for sale in territories as diverse as China , Korea , Mexico , North America , Hungary and Belgium etc.


Really Useful Merchandise has developed new artwork formats specifically with merchandising in mind, including new animated art for Cats and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with more titles planned.


Really Useful Theatres is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Really Useful Group which owns and manages seven London musical theatres. These are The Adelphi (1/2 share with Nederlander), The Cambridge, The Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Her Majesty's, The New London, The London Palladium and The Palace.

» Visit Really Useful Theatres website  






go there to find out more about Andrew Lloyd Webber

~~Memory...all alone in the moonlight...~~