It was announced today (Tuesday 20th October) that leading British agency, The Agency, has joined with management and production company, Avalon, together forming a distinctive talent representation business including writers, actors, directors and comedians. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and London, the company offers global reach alongside local market expertise. Avalon has acquired a majority stake in the business.
The Agency will continue to operate under the leadership and management of its partners. The company represents writers, directors, creatives and IP across film, TV and theatre, as well as writers and illustrators of children’s literature. Clients have created countless hit TV series as well as many of the West End’s critical and commercial success stories, including Happy Valley (Sally Wainwright), Doctor Foster (Mike Bartlett), Mamma Mia (Catherine Johnson) and Matilda (Matthew Warchus).
Stephen Durbridge, The Agency co-founder, said: “Avalon and The Agency have collaborated for many years. This closer association will allow our company to continue to expand, particularly in the international marketplace. Over 25 years, we have built a highly talented and experienced team and been fortunate to represent the very best writers, directors and creatives in the market. We are excited about the prospects that this partnership will bring.”
Laura Kennedy, CEO of Avalon, added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Stephen, and the whole team at The Agency. They have built an impressive business, with expert deal-making, an outstanding roster and exceptional support for their clients, and we are looking forward to the opportunities ahead.”
The Agency was advised by Tom Manwaring of Helion Partners and Martin Wright of Charles Russell Speechlys LLP Solicitors. Avalon was advised by Lindsey Armstrong and David Strong of Marriott Harrison LLP.
About The Agency
The Agency represents writers, directors, creatives and IP across film, TV and theatre; the company also represents children’s literature. The client roster encompasses writers at the peak of their careers and some of the UK’s most exciting emerging talent. Clients have created countless global hit TV series, including Happy Valley (Sally Wainwright), Doctor Foster (Mike Bartlett), World On Fire (Peter Bowker), Doctor Who/A Very English Scandal (Russell T Davies), The Politician’s Wife (Paula Milne), Poldark (Debbie Horsfield), Jamestown (Bill Gallagher), Moving On (Jimmy McGovern), Discovery of Witches (Kate Brooke), The Last Kingdom (Stephen Butchard), The Fall (Allan Cubitt), Endeavour (Russell Lewis), Shameless (Paul Abbott); Call The Midwife (Heidi Thomas), House of Cards/War and Peace (Andrew Davies).
Agency clients have had a hand in many of the West End’s critical and commercial hits – including Mamma Mia (Catherine Johnson), Matilda (Matthew Warchus), Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Tom MacRae, Dan Gillespie Sells, Jonathan Butterell), The Ferryman (Sam Mendes), War Horse (Nick Stafford), Nine Night (Natasha Gordon), Blindness (Ben and Max Ringham). Film is another major strand of the company’s business – including Atonement (Ian McEwan), Paddington (Michael Bond), Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) and The Favourite (Tony McNamara).
The company is equally proud to represent emerging talent now making a name for themselves across the industry – Lydia Adetunji (Noughts & Crosses), Alan Harris (The Left Behind), Harry McQueen (Supernova), Inua Ellams (Barber Shop Chronicles) – to name but a few.
The Agency represents dramatic rights for many leading authors including Ian McEwan, Hilary Mantel, Zadie Smith and William Boyd.
Children’s Books at The Agency spans the range from YA novels such as Noughts and Crosses (Malorie Blackman) to picture book classics Giraffes Can’t Dance (Guy Parker Rees and the work of Raymond Briggs); and pre-school hits, What The Ladybird Heard (Lydia Monks) and Bing Bunny (Ted Dewan).
Avalon is a multi-award-winning talent management, television production and live promotion group with offices in London, Los Angeles and New York. Avalon and Artist Rights Group (ARG) represent a prolific roster of artists including comedians, actors, presenters, writers and directors, including Chris Addison, David Baddiel, Greg Davies, Rob Delaney, Adam DeVine, Jenny Eclair, Dave Gorman, Richard E. Grant, Freddie Highmore, Alex Horne, Russell Howard, Toby Jones, Adrian Lester, Lee Mack, Lesley Manville, Marc Maron, Rose Matafeo, Al Murray, James Nesbitt, John Oliver, Daniel Radcliffe, Chris Ramsey, Iliza Shlesinger, Frank Skinner, Will Sharpe, Imelda Staunton and Reggie Watts.
Avalon’s numerous ground-breaking returning television shows currently in production include: Not Going Out (BBC), the UK’s longest running sitcom on air; Taskmaster (Channel 4), the BAFTA-winning hit entertainment format showing in 100 countries; multi Emmy-winner, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO); The Russell Howard Hour (Sky), the network’s most successful entertainment show launch since 2010; Starstruck, a new sitcom from the 2018 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Rose Matafeo (HBO Max/BBC); Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, from creator Josh Thomas (Freeform); Breeders, a sitcom starring Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard (FX/Sky); a new series of the iconic British satirical puppet show, Spitting Image (BritBox UK); and multiple comedy specials for Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and Netflix.
Other landmark Avalon shows include BAFTA winning and multi Emmy nominated Catastrophe (Amazon Prime Video/Channel 4), Fantasy Football League (BBC/ITV), multi BAFTA-winning TV Burp (ITV), and Workaholics (Comedy Central USA). Avalon also distributes its catalogue of programmes to over 150 countries worldwide. Avalon has produced many globally successful podcasts and is at the top of the UK iTunes chart with the multi-award-winning Shagged. Married. Annoyed by Chris and Rosie Ramsey.
As a leading promoter of live comedy, Avalon produced Newman and Baddiel: Live at Wembley, the UK’s first arena comedy show; Jerry Springer: The Opera, the first West End show to win all four UK ‘Best New Musical’ awards; and has continued to produce and promote live shows globally, as well as promoting more winners and nominees of the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Award than any other company.