Walt Disney Theatrical on hunt for West End productions chief

Walt Disney is looking for a marketer to head its theatre division and promote stage shows, such as The Lion King.

Current marketing director theatrical Heather Epple is moving to New York to head marketing operations on Broadway. The position, based in London, has responsibility for overall marketing of Walt Disney’s West End theatre productions, including the driving of partnerships.

Walt Disney Theatrical is developing a musical version of Mary Poppins, which is being co-produced with UK theatre impresario Cameron Mackintosh. The show is planned to open in the UK.

The company spent &£850,000 promoting its Lion King and Beauty and the Beast musicals in the year to June. The Lion King is still enjoying a run in the capital four years after opening.

However, like other West End productions, it has suffered from the drop in tourism following the terrorist attacks of September 11 and has had to run promotional campaigns based on ticket offers.

The Lion King, which opened in 1997, is also running on Broadway, as is Beauty And The Beast – the first Disney stage musical. It opened in 1994 and is now the longest-running American musical in the city.

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