Obtaining rights for the use of copyright music in theatre productions, both in the US and in the UK, can be a tortuous task. Increasingly, major labels want to negotiate on a per-show basis, but their frame of reference is often limited to film or television, and their awareness of the state of most theatre companies’ financial affairs is virtually nil. I was once involved in a show about soccer called Elton John’s Glasses, which involved a number of the great man’s songs as scene-drop ...

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