Investing in Theatre is unique in that it combines entertainment with investment. Often an average person isn't aware that the world of theatre investing could be an option available to them
I’ve created this FAQ for Investing in Theatre. If you've ever thought about investing in a theatre show but never been sure how or if it is something that you'd like more information about; I think you’ll find these Qs incredibly helpful. If there are any questions that remained unanswered at the end, feel free to get in contact
How do I invest?
While most theatre producers have a list of regular investors they work with, they are often introduced to new investors through their circles, or by networking. People who are interested in investing in theatre should reach out to the offices of producers whose work they are passionate about. You can find the names of producers of shows above the title in the show's programme or on the show's website.
You can also add your name to the Society of London Theatre's investor list for free. Producers are charged a fee to send out information about their shows to this list.
If you're interested in future investment opportunities with Chuchu Nwagu Productions, then feel free to contact us for a chat.
How much money do I need to invest?
The amount of money needed to invest in a show varies from production to production. There is often a misconception that you need around £100k to £200k to invest in a show, which isn't true. The lowest unit of investment in a West End show is £10,000 but half units (£5,000) are sometimes made available too. At their discretion, producers might offer new investors lower entry amounts and more favourable terms.
Investment unit sizes for investors are small but, provided the show is not oversubscribed, the investor could invest more. Sometimes multiple individuals partner together in order to reach the investment threshold, this is sometimes referred to as a syndicate. You can also spread your risk by investing in two or three shows, speak to your producer about whether this option is available
How do I pick my first show to invest in?
It is important you put your money into something that you love; so if it does disappoint you and doesn’t recoup, you will still be proud to have helped make it happen. It is also important to invest through a producer that you know, trust and has a good track record for producing quality shows and communicating with his/her investors. Another way could be that you hear about a project you're interested in, if that's the case then you can Google the producer and contact them directly.
What are the benefits of investing?
Some of the benefits of investing in a show include:
- Red Carpet Events & Opening night parties
Invitations to dress rehearsals
Exclusive merchandise and gifts
- Advance notice of future opportunities
- A rare view of the inner workings of putting a show together.
Fundraising Events and Private Performances
Access to House Seats
Not to mention you'll be networking in a club of adventurous and exciting individuals who enjoy the world of creating and supporting theatre.
Is investing in theatre risky?
The risk level of investing in a Broadway show is akin to that of a start-up or small business. A possible risk is that a show will return investors' original investment but not make a profit. Another possible risk is that a show closes without recouping but on the other hand, many shows succeed and bring financial returns for many years even after the show's original production closes.
Can I lose more than I put in?
No. Whatever amount you invest in a theatre show is typically the most you can lose. This is different than some business venture investments or real estate investments where there could be significant costs to maintain the asset. Investing in theatre is like a loan, that has a chance of being paid back with interest.
How do investors make money?
Once the capital raised to put the show on has been recouped and repaid; investors will share in 60% of the production’s profits, with the producers retaining the remaining profits of 40%.
Investment in a show also allows you to participate in "subsidiary rights" or financial involvement in ongoing exploitation of the property including national tours, international productions, cast album sales, licensing, movie adaptations, etc.
What's the difference between an investor and a producer?
The core difference is that a producer has a higher financial responsibility in the show and manages the day-to-day running of the production.
The team of lead producers on a show makes all management decisions while co-producers contribute to advertising and marketing discussions as well as special events and award campaigns. Investors can be invited to become co-producers and have their name listed above the title if they agree to raise a higher level of capital either of their own money or in partnership with other investors.
Why should I invest?
Because you love theatre. Yes, you can make money. Yes, you can make great networking connections. Yes, you can learn if you’re looking to produce/develop your own shows. But the bottom line is to only invest if you couldn’t live without the money that you've invested.