ATG duo breaks Stage 100 record

Reporter: Kate Stanbury, first published Thu 07 Jan 2016 11:42
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Ambassador Theatre Group’s Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire have become The Stage 100’s most successful ever entrants after overtaking Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record of six years at the top of the annual power list.

The Stage’s annual list of influential figures in the UK theatre and performing arts industry also sees Benedict Cumberbatch take the number 15 spot, the highest of any actor in this year’s 100 entries, following his performance in Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre. The Sherlock star is closely followed by fellow Olivier Award winner Imelda Staunton at 16.

Husband and wife duo Panter and Squire, who take the top spot for the seventh year, have enjoyed incredible success in 2015 with a remarkable number of productions including The Rocky Horror Show and touring productions of previous West End hits Dirty Rotten Scoundrels The Musical and East Is East.

Talking about Panter and Squire’s incredible year, The Stage’s Editor Alistair Smith said: “The rise of Ambassador Theatre Group has been the defining feature of the last decade in the UK theatre industry. This private equity-owned company is by far the largest theatre company in the UK, and probably the world.”

The powerful ATG pair is closely followed by Harry Potter And The Cursed Child producer Sonia Friedman, who takes her position at number two following monumental success in 2015 with productions including Hamlet and Bend It Like Beckham The Musical.

Les Misérables and Miss Saigon’s Cameron Mackintosh and Nick Allott take the third spot, with Lloyd Webber taking fourth. The top 10 also features Arts Council England’s Peter Bazalgette and Darren Henley, the Young Vic’s David Lan and Lucy Woollatt, RSC trio Greg Doran, Catherine Mallyon and Erica Whyman, Chichester Festival Theatre’s outgoing Artistic and Executive Directors Jonathan Church and Alan Finch, Nimax Theatres’ Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer, and the Almeida Theatre’s Artistic Director Rupert Goold.

Alongside Cumberbatch and Staunton, who gave two of the most talked about performances of 2015, fellow performers Mark Rylance (29), Sheridan Smith (30) and Maxine Peake (51) also make the list of key movers and shakers. They join Kenneth Branagh, who makes the list for the first time thanks to the inaugural Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season currently running at the Garrick Theatre.

Our very own Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, also makes it on to the list at 45.

The full list can be viewed on The Stage’s website.

Top 20:

  1. Howard Panter / Rosemary Squire (Ambassador Theatre Group)
  2. Sonia Friedman (Sonia Friedman Productions)
  3. Cameron Mackintosh / Nick Allott (Cameron Mackintosh Ltd / Delfont Mackintosh Ltd)
  4. Andrew Lloyd Webber (Really Useful Group)
  5. Peter Bazalgette / Darren Henley (Arts Council England)
  6. David Lan / Lucy Woollatt (Young Vic Theatre)
  7. Greg Doran / Catherine Mallyon / Erica Whyman (Royal Shakespeare Company)
  8. Jonathan Church / Alan Finch (Chichester Festival Theatre)
  9. Nica Burns / Max Weitzenhoffer (Nimax Theatres)
  10. Rupert Goold (Almeida Theatre)
  11. Dominic Dromgoole / Neil Constable (Shakespeare’s Globe)
  12. Rufus Norris / Lisa Burger / Ben Power (National Theatre)
  13. Josie Rourke / Kate Pakenham (Donmar Warehouse)
  14. Daniel Evans / Dan Bates (Sheffield Theatres)
  15. Benedict Cumberbatch
  16. Imelda Staunton
  17. Bill Kenwright (Bill Kenwright Ltd)
  18. Toni Racklin (Barbican Centre)
  19. Matthew Byam Shaw / Nia Janis / Nick Salmon (Playful Productions)
  20. Sarah Frankcom (Manchester Royal Exchange)