Ambassador Theatre Group’s joint chief executives Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire have topped The Stage 100 for the fourth year in a row.
However, this year for the first time, they are joined in equal first place by Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr, artistic director and executive director of the National Theatre. This marks the first time in the list’s 17-year history that figures from the subsidised or non-commercial theatre sector have topped The Stage 100.
Meanwhile, for ATG’s Panter and Squire, it sees them closing in on the record number of number one placings – six, held by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Alistair Smith, deputy editor of The Stage and editor of The Stage 100, said: “The most significant feature of this year’s Stage 100 is the placing of the National Theatre in joint first place with the Ambassador Theatre Group.
The influence of the subsidised sector has grown considerably over the lifetime of The Stage 100 and the National’s listing alongside the commercial sector’s super-power, ATG, reflects not only the NT’s stature but also the stature of subsidised theatre itself, which now stands shoulder to shoulder with the commercial sector. Indeed, it is noticeable that around half the top 20 work in the subsidised sector.
“The list also reflects the enduring power of the Ambassador Theatre Group. Launched only two decades ago by a husband and wife team, this marks Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire’s fourth year at the top of the list. They are UK theatre’s largest and most powerful commercial operator and a great British business success story, which is starting to expand around the globe.”
Elsewhere, The Stage 100 recognises the success of the performing arts at the London 2012 Olympics, with Ruth Mackenzie (director of the Cultural Olympiad) and Danny Boyle (director of the Opening Ceremony) placed third.
They are followed in fourth place by Cameron Mackintosh and Nick Allott. Mackintosh has just released the film version of his long-running West End musical Les Miserables. Michael Boyd and Vikki Heywood, the departing artistic director and executive director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, are placed fifth – the RSC’s production of Matilda the Musical won seven awards (the most ever) at the Olivier Awards in 2012 and will open on Broadway this year.
There are three new entries in the top 20. They are actor Mark Rylance (recognised for his return to Shakespeare’s Globe and the West End in a double bill of Twelfth Night and Richard III); Dominic Dromgoole and Neil Constable, the artistic director and chief executive of Shakespeare’s Globe, which enjoyed a fantastic 2012 with its Globe to Globe Festival; and Daniel Evans and Dan Bates, the artistic director and chief executive of Sheffield Theatres, one of the UK’s regional theatre powerhouses.
For more from The Stage 100: