Jump to content

A Night at the Musicals


Recommended Posts

At my School we are planning on putting on a "Night at the Musicals", in the past we have done whole musicals and bought the licence.


If we are planning to use only 1 or 2 songs in a concert style performance, will we need some form of licence for this.


Many Thanks


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not going to get involved in whether you need a licence or not and I'd advise you to do the same. This can be a minefield and as you appear to be a student at the school it really is someone else's problem.

These problems should be dealt with by people who carry fountain pens not leathermans.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These are really tricky ones. If performed in a concert setting, with no costumes or theatrical type lighting, then you probably will get away with it. Most schools when faced with this problem simply work on the "I thought X was sorting that out" basis. If you want to do it properly, then you'll have to source the rights holders directly - most musical theatre songs are not able to be licenced through the usual prs/mcps system as the titles have been (in PRS terms) 7F'd - removed from the global licencing system, back to individual negotiation. This is always true if the productions they come from are still running, or about to run again. This doesn't in my experience mean you can't do them. I actually got permission from Disney to do a concert version of Aida - great Elton John songs, but forgotten about in the UK. They would not allow any costumes or any of the script elements, just the songs.


Questions to ask (or at least have answers to) are how many people in the audience - invited or public - how much will you take at the box office - what proportion of the total running time will each song take up. If you do need to do it officially, then you'll need this info. Your teachers will probably assume they have some kind of educational freedom to do this kind of thing - officially, they don't but unofficially virtually every single school in the country does it anyway. The copyright holders are quite aware and in general don't wish to be informed 'officially' - becuase if you ask, they'll have to charge you and do stacks of paperwork for a small percentage of your box office which in all likelyhood will be so small as to not really be worth it to you, them or the actual holders of the rights. I did it the correct way for one college show a few years ago. Most of the big boys carefully suggested that I might not like to tell them. Interestingly, we got charged for "Sugar Baby Love" who if memory serves got £3 or there abouts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You need a PRS licence (www.prs.co.uk):


"What about “songs from the shows”?


Musical excerpts from dramatico-musical works (including operas, operettas, musical plays, revenues and pantomimes whose music is specially written for them) are sometimes interpolated into productions. PRS controls this music when performed ‘non-dramatically’.


PRS does not control this music when it is ‘dramatically’ performed. A performance is viewed as being ‘dramatic’ if:-


* through any accompanying dramatic action – whether acted, danced or mined


* through the use of costume, scenery or other visual effects


there is given any visual impression or other portrayal of the writer’s original conception of the work from which the excerpt was taken."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.