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West End sisters are doing it for themselves

October 30, 2013 

Just when you thought that Viva Forever! had put Girl Power back about 40 years in the West End, the women of Theatreland are rising up – and it’s about time too.

Only the other week we were singing the praises of Rosemary Squire (see our interview with the Ambassador Theatre Group Join Chief Exec here), in which we said:

“London Theatre is an industry that continues to be dominated by men: yes, the Garrick Club, that exclusive enclave for theatre folk, still bars women members, and yes this week the National Theatre did appoint its sixth consecutive male artistic director. And that’s despite the fact that more women than men both book and attend London theatre. So having a woman at the top of the industry is not only hugely positive but something Ms Squire can be especially proud of.”

And so it was also heartening to read a letter from Jean Rogers, the formidable vice-president of Equity, in the Standard this week. In her letter on 28 October she said:

“How I agree with Ambassador Theatre Group co-owner Rosemary Squire about gender balance in theatre. Equity has been campaigning particularly on the issue of older actresses’ work opportunities since 2005 and at conferences I have argued for more women on theatre boards if we are to see the changes we long for brought about. The correlation between poor gender-balance on stage and board make-up emerging from research by the Guardian last year was striking, with none of the other best-funded theatres coming close to the near gender parity at the Royal Court. Squire advocates quotas for boards. Surely artistic freedom, the usual cry when gender balance is called for, can’t be an argument against that?”

Rogers’s comments were inspired by Nick Curtis’s excellent piece on women in the West End in the Standard last week (“Centre stage: the women in charge of theatreland“) in which he interviewed ATG’s Rosemary Squire, The Donmar’s Kate Pakenham and Josie Rourke, The Royal Court’s Vicky Featherstone and Lucy Davies, The Old Vic and The Criterion’s Sally Greene, theatre producer and Nimax Theatre’s Nica Burns, the Tricycle Theatre’s Indhu Rubasingham and West End producer Sonia Friedman.

There are of course many more examples, including Mamma Mia! (and Viva Forever!) producer Judy Craymer, Executive Director of Sadler’s Well Laura Stevenson and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory producer at Neal Street Productions Caro Newling.

There has never been a stronger power base of women within the West End but it seems that there is still a long way to go.

Robbie Williams Musical to London?

January 28, 2011 

Could the city of Stoke-on-Trent be about to get the full London stage treatment? That’s the plan if a new musical about the life of one of the city’s most famous sons, Take That star Robbie Williams, is reportedly produced in the West End.

Owner of the Old Vic Theatre, Sally Greene, is set to be behind the project, which would combine the story of the best-selling pop star’s life with his impressive catalogue of music.

The show would come on the heels of Never Forget, the Take That tribute musical which ran at the Savoy Theatre in London in 2008 and has toured extensively round the UK.

That musical was never endorsed by the Take That boys, whereas Robbie is said to be fully behind this new project.

RUMOUR CHECK-LIST

  • Show: Robbie William stage bio
  • Theatre: TBC
  • Casting: TBC
  • Producer: Sally Greene
  • Opening: TBC
Note: all information is unconfirmed. Source: The Sun (26/01/11)

Sunday Times Rich List: Top 2000

June 17, 2010 

The Sunday Times has published the details of its Top 2,000 richest people in the UK, following the publication of its Top 1,000 list in April.

The Top 2,000 list reveals a number of actors, musicians and creatives to have made the annual report, including Guy Ritchie at 1130th place, worth £55m, following the success of his film Sherlock Holmes; Alice in Wonderland’s Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter in 1233th place with £50m; and Celador Films and Slumdog Millionaire backers Paul Smith and Sarah King in 1825th place with £32m.

Elton John collects the 2009 Tony Award for Billy Elliot

As revealed in April, Love Never Dies and Phantom composer and The Wizard of Oz producer Andrew Lloyd Webber fell from 52nd to 89th place inthe list with a fortune estimated at £700m. He remains slightly ahead of his long-time collaborator and rival producer and West End theatre owner Cameron Mackintosh (Oliver!, Hair, Les Miserables) who is in 98th place, worth £635m – up £285 from last year.

Billy Elliot composer Elton John was in 348th place with £185m and Sunday’s Tony Awards winner Catherine Zeta Jones and husband Michael Douglas made 371st place with £175m. Lyricist Tim Rice (Evita, Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar) was in 472nd place with £140m and Old Vic Productions Chief Executive Sally Greene and husband Robert Bourne made the list in 596th place with £110m.

Mamma Mia! producer Judy Craymer came 808th in the list with £80m and Queen band members Brian May, Roger Taylor  and John Deacon all made the Top 1,000, in part due to the success of We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre in London. Riverdance couple Moya Doherty and John McColgan  made 911th place with £72m, up £5m on last year.

RICHEST YOUNG PEOPLE

On the Richest Young People list, actor Daniel Radcliffe came fifth with £42m. He will star in a revival of musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway in 2011. Twilight star Robert Pattinson came in as a new entry in 14th place with £13m, recent Over The Rainbow judge Charlotte Church was in 16th place with £11m, alongside Katherine Jenkins, who earlier this year helped Andrew Lloyd Webber launch his new musical Love Never Dies by releasing a song from the show. Lily Allen was also a new entry, coming in 36th place with £5m. It is believed that Allen is working on the score for a new stage adaptation of Bridget Jones’s Diary to open in London in 2011.

See list of showbusiness people in the list

See list of young people in showbusiness in the list

LINKS:

The Rich List

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