The Stage

The Stage reveals its Stage 100 for 2023; Nadine Dorries hits the top spot

The Stage trade newspaper has published its annual The Stage 100 list of the most influential people in British theatre and the performing arts.

This is the first time The Stage has published a full list since January 2021 because of Covid, instead publishing The Stage 25 in January 2022 to highlight rising stars from across the industry. It is also the first time since January 2020 that the list has returned to a competitive ranking of industry people.

Controversially this year’s Number One spot goes to Nadine Dorries, MP and former Culture Secretary under Boris Johnson, on the basis that the annual list comprises of people who have made an influence on British theatre – whether positive or negative.

Dorries’ entry is defiantly listed as a “negative influence”, with her and her government’s policy of diverting funding away from London leading to brutal Arts Council cuts at the end of 2022.

As The Stage say in their piece on Dorries: “Not only did one-time culture secretary Nadine Dorries take a wrecking ball to opera and new writing, she also – for good measure – demolished the arm’s-length principle of arts funding and with it the authority of the Arts Council.”

Dorries commented about The Stage 100 on Twitter, saying that the decision to move funding to the North of England in “one fell swoop” was “Totally incorrect. It was a 4 year programme starting with just £24m in first year. It was @ace_nationaldecision to attack #ENO – culture secretary has no say where #ACE funding is dire”.

The Number 2 spot goes to the management team at Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) – the biggest theatre group in the UK, with CEO Mark Cornell, head of programming Michael Lynas and in-house producer Adam Speers celebrated for navigating the perils of Covid and managing to remain innovative and creative, not least with programming at the Harold Pinter Theatre, and producing Cabaret at the Playhouse Theatre / Kit Kat Club.

Completing the Top Ten are Nica Burns (3) of Nimax Theatres, plus her new addition to the London theatre scene – @sohoplace theatre; newly honoured mega-producer Sonia Friedman (4) of Sonia Friedman Productions, West End (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Book of Mormon) and Broadway (Funny Girl) producer; Andrew Lloyd Webber (5) for his production house Really Useful Group (Aspects of Love, The Wizard of Oz) and London theatre chain LW Theatres; Rufus Norris, Kate Varah and Clint Dyer (6) at the National Theatre; Cameron Mackintosh (7) for this Cameron Mackintosh Ltd producing arm (Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera) and Delfont Mackintosh Theatres chain; Disney’s theatrical maestro Thomas Schumacher (8) for his London and UK productions (Disney’s The Lion King, Disney’s Frozen, Disney’s Newsies); Producers David Ian and Michael Harrison (9) for their Crossroads Live & Michael Harrison Entertainment production companies (Jack and the Beanstalk, Crazy For You); and director/producer Jamie Lloyd (10) for his The Jamie Lloyd Company (The Seagull, Cyrano de Bergerac, A Doll’s House).

The Stage’s list is chosen from a long-list submitted by 50 industry figures, who anonymously provide five people, ranked one to five, plus an extra name they believe should be on the list; also senior editorial contributors to The Stage submit their own suggestions for the list. Then, a judging panel made up of The Stage’s editor Alistair Smith, deputy editor Matthew Hemley, associate editor Lyn Gardner, features editor Georgia Snow, reviews editor Sam Marlowe and columnist David Benedict consider all the names submitted, add their own submissions, and decide on the final list.

The Stage 100 2023

📷 Main photo: The Stage

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1 thought on “The Stage reveals its Stage 100 for 2023; Nadine Dorries hits the top spot”

  1. It’s a disgraceful idea to give that woman even more profile. she will see it as a badge of honour. a massive mis-step by the stage

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