The Sunday Times has published its annual Rich List of the UK’s wealthiest people. The Rich List is the definitive guide to the wealthiest people in Britain and Ireland and includes a list of the richest entertainment and music industry professionals.
Based on this year’s Rich List, we’ve put together the richest movers and shakers in the West End Theatre industry, including producers and theatre owners, musicians and writers.
The big news this year is that theatre impressario Cameron Mackintosh has made it on to the UK’s billionaires list (Read More).
West End Theatre Rich List
|£1,000m||UP £175m||Cameron opens his new revival of Miss Saigon this week at the Prince Edward Theatre, and if all goes well expect a Broadway production and further international roll-out, plus a possible big-screen adaptation. His movie version of Les Miserables not only earned him significant revue, helping him achieve billionaire status for the first time this year, but the show has also recently returned to Broadway. Investment in restoring his 7 West End theatres has also increased these assets, plus UK tours of Barnum and Betty Blue Eyes and continuous productions of Phantom and the rest of his stable of hits will guarantee his billionaire status for a while.|
Andrew Lloyd Webber
|£640m||UP £20m||Not a fabulous year for Lloyd Webber with his new West End show Stephen Ward closing after only four months. But his former hits including The Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar continue to perform well, and a forthcoming Rocket Pictures (owned by Elton John) animated version of Joseph is in the works. Lloyd Webber is also planning a stage version of School of Rock – probably for Broadway, and his assets include a number of West End theatres including crown jewels the London Palladium and Theatre Royal Drury Lane.|
|£300m||£50m||Simon Cowell gets to go in this year – in the place that his rival Simon Fuller took last year. Both have dallied with the dangerous game of West End musicals – and came unstuck. Fuller invested in Spice Girls musical Viva Forever! at the Piccadilly Theatre – a show based on a TV talent show – and it flopped. This year Simon Cowell did the same, backing Harry Hill’s musical parody of The X Factor, I Can’t Sing! That show, which closed earlier this month, proved an even bigger flop than Viva!, lasting only a few weeks in the West End. This won’t damage Cowell much with the eighth series of Britain’s Got Talent now back on UK screens and the return of The X Factor later in the year.|
|£260m||UP £20m||Elton John’s musical of Billy Elliot continues to perform in London (now starring West End leading lady Ruthie Henshall), as does Disney’s The Lion King, for which John wrote the music. There’s no further news about his planned biopic Rocketman – a movie musical about his early life, through his film company Rocket Pictures, which could also make the move to the stage. Elton is one of the UK’s biggest charity doners, having given away £24m in 2013.|
|£149m||—||Tim Rice has done well working with other Rich Listers – including Andrew Lloyd Webber on Joseph, Jesus Chirst Superstar and Evita, and Elton John on Disney’s The Lion King. That also goes for a number of other Disney shows he has contributed to including Aladdin – which is currently a big hit on Broadway and there are plans to bring it over to London sooner rather than later. He has been less successful working with others, with his recent new musical From Here To Eternity at the Shaftesbury Theatre only lasting a few month and failing to find favour with large audiences.|
Brian May & Roger Taylor
|£105m, 1000m||£10m, £10m||This may be the last time Queen bandmates May and Taylor appear in our West End rich list for a while as their rock musical We Will Rock You, based on the band’s back catalogue, ends its run at the Dominion Theatre at the end of May. That is unless rumours of a sequel prove true! Outside of theatre they are working on a new album and continue to tour.|
|£65m||—||The dust has now settled over the failure of Judy Craymer’s new musical, Viva Forever!,, and the successful impressario has refocused on Mamma Mia!, with the London production continuing to do well at the Novello Theatre in London, as well as on Broadway and in multiple other territories, including a recent return to La Vegas. A possible movie sequel to Mamma Mia!, which might have also spawned a new musical, has stalled.|
FUTURE WEST END RICH LIST
Next year’s West End Theatre Rich List might include the following, if new stage projects go to plan:
Harvey Weinstein (£115m), Gary Barlow (£65m)
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is married to British fashion-designer Georgina Chapman, has reworked his musical adaptation of Finding Neverland. Originally staged in Leicester, the show has been reworked by a new creative team including songwriter Gary Barlow and director Diane Paulus. The show will premiere in July 2014 as part of the 2014-15 season at the American Repertory Theater, and if a success will move to Broadway and then the West End.
JK Rowling (£570m)
Writer of the Harry Potter series of books, JK Rowling, is collaborating on a new stage play based on Harry Potter’s early years. With Once director John Tiffany rumoured to be directing, alongside Let The Right One In adapter Jack Thorne writing the show, it could be in the West End by 2015.