Following the success of Ghost the Musical's Manchester try-out run - which drew to a close at the city's Opera House on Saturday (14 May 2011) prior to its West End opening at the Piccadilly Theatre on 19 July (previews from 24 June) - Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) have told the BBC they will be looking to launch more "high-profile productions" from the city. Howard Panter, ATG joint chief executive and owner of 39 theatres, is quoted as saying "if you can make it work in Manchester, it will work anywhere." Ghost producer Colin Ingram shares Panter's enthusiasm for Manchester's potential, saying "Manchester and the surrounding areas has a long tradition of theatre-going and audiences are extremely warm and open to new work." It is also reported the ATG initiative – titled Manchester Gets It First –
has won the backing of Manchester City Council’s chief executive Howard
Bernstein who calls the city "an artistic powerhouse".
Quite what the next Manchester-born production might be remains to be seen, but Whatsonstage.com hear that Lily Allen and Helen Fielding-penned stage-to-screen musical Bridget Jones' Diary might be a potential Northern contender.