Power couple top Stage poll

The Stage 100, the entertainment newspaper’s annual list of the 100 most powerful people in UK theatre, has placed Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, joint chief executives of Ambassador Theatre Group, in first place.

The couple, who are both professional and personal partners, have topped both Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber in the list of the UK’s most senior arts professionals.

Their climb to first place follows their company’s acquisition in 2009 of Live Nation’s UK theatres, which they purchased for £90 million. The deal has made their ATG Group the largest theatre operator in both the West End and across the UK – with almost five times as many seats in their control as rivals.

The poll is usually dominated by Cameron Mackintosh (Les Miserables, Oliver!) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies) who have continually vied for top place, and come in this year at numbers two and three respectively. Other theatre producers in the list include Bill Kenwright (Blood Brothers, Dreamboats and Petticoats) in eighth place, Sonia Friedman (A Little Night Music, La Cage Aux Folles) in 12th and David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers (Calendar Girls) in 13th place.

Also in the top 20 of the poll are theatre performers Mark Rylance (Jerusalem) and John Barrowman (la Cage Aux Folles), artistic directors Dominic Cooke of the Royal Court, who rises six places to number seven, Kevin Spacey of the Old Vic at number 10,   Michael Grandage of the Donmar Warehouse,  recent New Year’s Honours List beneficiary Nicholas Hytner of the National Theatre and  Michael Boyd of the RSC.

The full top twenty is as follows [last year’s position]:

1. Howard Panter/Rosemary Squire (ATG) [5]

2. Cameron Mackintosh (producer/ theatre owner)[1]

3. Andrew Lloyd Webber (producer/ theatre owner / composer) [2]

4. Michael Grandage (Donmar Warehouse) [3=]

5. Nicholas Hytner (National Theatre) [3=]

6. Nica Burns / Max Weitzenhoffer (Nimax)[7]

7. Dominic Cooke (Royal Court Theatre)[13]

8. Bill Kenwright (Bill Kenwright Ltd) [6]

9. Michael Boyd (RSC) [8]

10. Kevin Spacey/ Sally Greene (Old Vic Theatre) [11]

11. Nick Thomas / Jon Conway (Qdos Entertainment) [9]

12. Sonia Friedman (Sonia Friedman Productions) [12]

13. David Pugh / Dafydd Rogers (producers) [18]

14. David Babani (Menier Chocolate Factory) [New Entry]

15. Jonathan Church (Chichester Festival Theatre) [16]

16. Bill Taylor (Stage Entertainment) [15]

17. Rupert Goold (director)[14]

18. Alex Poots (Manchester International Festival)[19]

19. John Barrowman (entertainer)[New Entry]

20. Mark Rylance (actor) [New Entry]

New Entry denotes new entry into top 20, not Stage 100

And the rest, by category

N denotes New Entry. i.e. they were not in last year’s Stage 100. There were 38 new entrants in total.


Howard Davies, Marianne Elliott , Jeremy Herrin (N) Simon McBurney (N) Sam Mendes /Caro Newling (N), Katie Mitchell, Trevor Nunn, Ian Rickson (N) Max Stafford Clarke (N), Matthew Warchus

London venues

Michael Attenborough, Marcus Davey, Dominic Dromgoole, Mehmet Ergen & Leyla Nazli (N), Sean Holmes (N) David Jubb / David Micklem, Jude Kelly, Nicolas Kent (N), David Lan, Kerry Michael, Josie Rourke, Timothy Sheader (N), Graham Sheffield


Judy Craymer, Michael Harrison, David Ian, Richard Jordan, Michael McCabe (N), Kim Poster, Nick Salmon / Matthew Byam Shaw (N), James Seabright (N), Thomas Schumacher (N), Edward Snape, Paul Walden and Derek Nicol (N), Kenny Wax, Carole Winter / Michael Edwards (N)


Hedda Beeby, Gemma Bodinetz, Ian Brown, Vicky Featherstone / John Tiffany, Andy Field / Debbie Pearson (N), Peter Hall, Tania Harrison, Paul Kerryson, Danny Moar (N), Braham Murray / Greg Hersov / Sarah Frankcom, Laurie Sansom (N) John Stalker, Rachel Tackley (N)


Michael Ball, Rebecca Hall (N), Clare Higgins, Rory Kinnear (N), Jude Law (N), Adrian Lester (N), Ian McKellen (N), Clive Rowe (N), Simon Russell Beale, Rachel Weisz (N), Samuel West


Alan Ayckbourn, Alan Bennett (N), Richard Bean, Jez Butterworth (N), Lee Hall, David Hare, Lucy Prebble (N), Polly Stenham, Simon Stephens (N), Roy Williams


Felix Barrett, Jon Bausor (N), Miriam Buether (N), Ultz (N)

Opera / Dance

Carlos Acosta (N), Matthew Bourne, Daniel Kramer (N), Antonio Pappano/ Monica Mason, Arlene Phillips (N), Alistair Spalding

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📷 Main photo: The Stage 100, the entertainment newspaper’s annual list of the 100 most powerful people in UK theatre, has placed Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, joint chief executives of Ambassador Theatre Group, in first place.

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