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YOUR NEWS – Mute MusicScope?

YOUR NEWS – Mute MusicScope?

Above: Lionel Bart’s Oliver! is one of the UK’s all-time favourite musicals… licensed, historically, by MusicScope.

Bromley Little Theatre’s 2011 December production.
Photo: Tim Hinchliffe


At Sardines we like to think of ourselves as consistently having one ear to the ground.
However, we were recently contacted by a society that was looking to push its confirmed dates back for Oliver! (it’s been happening a lot). And so the mystery began. MusicScope hadn’t responded to any emails and its phone line was dead. Hence the plea to Sardines.
We hadn’t been made aware of any official changes in the licensing world but, after looking into the situation, we discovered that Music Theatre International (MTI) – which used to be Josef Weinbergers to the like of you and I – is now handling licenses for Oliver! ( – although if you want to perform it after 1 January 2022 you’ll have another, seperate non-MusicScope-related problem.
Cameron Mackintosh is rumoured to be reviving his own professional production which could be opening at the Prince Edward Theatre after Mary Poppins closes.
Oliver! appears to be the only title that MTI is handling licenses for. Ryan Macaulay, Director of Operations, Education and Development at MTI told us:
“I’m not too sure what’s happened with MusicScope – our taking control of the Oliver! rights was separate to the Concord/Tams/MusicScope changes (it just so happened, as coincidence would have it, they happened around the same time). Have you reached out to someone at Concord? Perhaps Bob Hamilton?”

Bob Hamilton is in fact the ‘Robert’ Hamilton mentioned on the home page of MusicScope’s website, where it says:
“For new license requests please contact:
Robert Hamilton.
Concord Theatricals,
71-91 Aldwych,
London WC2B 4HN.

Tel: 020 7054 7200


Catherine Thomas, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications (Europe) at Concord Theatricals responded with:
“Concord Theatricals took over the licensing of the Tams-Witmark catalogue on 1st April 2019, with the understanding that moving forward we would administer all new licences from that catalogue. Licences already made by MusicScope will continue to be handled by MusicScope, and licence-holders should address their enquiries regarding their productions to Sally at MusicScope (info@music, which we understand continues to operate as its own company independently of Concord. In the event MusicScope does not respond in a timely manner to enquiries regarding existing licences for Tams-Witmark titles, they should contact”

Whatever was said to us, it would appear that all communication to and from MusicScope’s office in the UK (75 Furnival Street, Crewe, Cheshire CW2 7LH) does seem to have come to a sudden halt. It’s very telling that all of MusicScope’s other titles are now handled by Concord Theatricals