Ahead of publishing its annual Sunday Times Rich List this Sunday, 8 May 2011 , the Times newspaper has revealed that Andrew Lloyd Webber has clung on to his top spot to be the richest man in UK theatre, valued at £680m, but down £20m on last year.
The Love Never Dies and The Phantom of the Opera composer, who launched his new production of The Wizard of Oz earlier this year at the London Palladium, will celebrate Phantom’s 25th anniversary this October in the West End.
He remains narrowly ahead of his long-time collaborator and rival producer and West End theatre owner Cameron Mackintosh (Betty Blue Eyes, Les Miserables, Mary Poppins) who is valued at £675m, up £40m on last year. This in turn is a whopping £325m up on 2009.
The impresario has recently launched a successful new, original production in the West End, with Betty Blue Eyes doing good business within one of his Delfont Mackintosh-owned venues, the Novello Theatre, starring Sarah Lancashire and Reece Shearsmith.
In the past year Mackintosh also celebrated the 25th anniversary of his most successful show, Les Miserables, with a major concert at the O2 Arena in London and follow-up DVD and CD merchandising, and a major US tour of Mary Poppins starring Caroline Sheen.
Also in the list of the richest entertainment people in the UK is Billy Elliot composer Elton John, who was valued at £195m, up £10m on last year. John and his partner David Furnish have recently produced Larry Kramer’s play The Normal Heart on Broadway. The show has been nominated for five Tony Awards and there are ambitions to bring the production to London.