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The Stage 100 2016 (10-6)

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10 Rupert Goold

Rupert Goold
Rupert Goold

Almeida Theatre
Islington’s Almeida Theatre has been completely reinvigorated by the arrival of Goold in late 2013. Last year was his most ambitious yet, with a season of work devoted to modern reimagining of Greek tragedies. Robert Icke’s Oresteia was one of the great productions of 2015 and secured a well-deserved West End transfer (expect it to do well come the Olivier Awards), Medea featured a stand-out performance from Kate Fleetwood and Bakkhai was a flawed but fascinating interpretation of Euripides’ classic.

The Almeida’s work around its core programme has also been a highlight, knitting together the productions and engaging with the works in new ways. The durational readings of The Iliad and The Odyssey featured more than 120 actors across two full days, took place in various locations – including aboard the London Eye – and played to packed audiences as well as being streamed online.

Simon Stephens’ Carmen Disruption and Mike Barlett’s Game (earlier on in the year) were yet further examples of the Almeida’s willingness to experiment with form and design, while Richard Eyre’s Little Eyolf rounded off a fine 12 months and showed the theatre’s continued dedication to working with the classics.

Last year: 13th
Productions include: Carmen Disruption, Bakkhai, Oresteia, Medea, Game
Coming up in 2016: Uncle Vanya directed by Robert Icke, Andrew Scott in Hamlet (not confirmed)

9 Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer

Nica Burns and  Max Weitzenhoffer
Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer

Nimax Theatres
Nimax may not own and operate the most theatres in the West End, or the biggest, but it has built a reputation as a theatre owner that will work with producers to give their projects every chance of success. And it appears to be paying off. Its Lyric Theatre has been tied up for a while with Thriller Live, The Play That Goes Wrong appears to have bedded in for a long run at the Duchess Theatre, the Kenneth Branagh Company is incumbent at the Garrick Theatre and, with Harry Potter due to swoop into the Palace Theatre next year, expect that venue to be off the market for some time.

That leaves the Apollo Theatre, which after its partial ceiling collapse in 2013 has re-established itself with productions of The Audience, My Night With Reg, and Peter Pan Goes Wrong, and the Vaudeville, which boasted Oppenheimer and Dawn French among its shows last year. Burns is also an active producer, with co-producer credits on shows including The Importance of Being Earnest with David Suchet in 2015. Plans are also afoot to add a seventh, in-the-round theatre to Nimax’s portfolio.

Last year: 12th
Productions include: The Importance of Being Earnest (with Kim Poster), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Coming up in 2016: Nell Gwynn, Hand to God

8 Jonathan Church and Alan Finch

Jonathan Church and Alan Finch. Photo: David Jensen
Jonathan Church and Alan Finch. Photo: David Jensen

Chichester Festival Theatre
Chichester’s dynamic duo leave the south-coast venue this year having firmly re-established it as one of the UK’s premiere producing theatres and certainly the most prolific West End transfer house. Gypsy, one of the West End’s biggest musical hits in 2015, originated in Chichester, while it has been followed into the Savoy Theatre by another CFT hit, Guys and Dolls.

Other highlights in Chichester included Mack and Mabel, starring Michael Ball, and a season of early Chekhov plays in new adaptations by David Hare, that are also expected to have a longer life in the capital. A year on from the theatre’s £22 million redevelopment, CFT now also has the physical infrastructure to match its artistic output.

Church and Finch move on in September and they will be a tough act to follow for Daniel Evans and whoever joins him as executive director. Finch will join Cameron Mackintosh Ltd as co-managing director, while Church is travelling to Australia to run the Sydney Theatre Company.

Last year: 8th
Productions include: Gypsy, Young Chekhov, Guys and Dolls, Mack and Mabel, For Services Rendered
Coming up in 2016: Single Spies, Church and Finch’s final summer season

7 Gregory Doran, Catherine Mallyon, Erica Whyman

Erica Whyman. Photo:  Topher McGrillis
Erica Whyman. Photo: Topher McGrillis
Catherine Mallyon. Photo: Gina Print
Catherine Mallyon. Photo: Gina Print
Greg Doran. Photo: Helen Maybanks
Greg Doran. Photo: Helen Maybanks

Royal Shakespeare Company
The RSC’s (relatively) new team really hit its stride in 2015 with a mixture of exemplary Shakespeares, modern classics and new work. Its re-established relationship with the Barbican saw it bring its new production of Henry V to London, where it has lately been joined by the returning Henry IV Part I and II and Richard II, to create a full history cycle.

Meanwhile, its Death of a Salesman (with excellent turns from Antony Sher and Harriet Walter) and Oppenheimer by Tom Morton-Smith (one of the best new plays of the year) both impressed in the West End. These transfers revealed not only the quality of product coming out of the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon base, but also that the company has gone some way to solving the ‘London problem’.

Other highlights in Stratford included a radically updated Volpone, a rare revival of The Shoemaker’s Holiday and Helen Edmundson’s new historical play Queen Anne.

Interview with Gregory Doran

Last year: 9th
Productions include: Death of a Salesman, King and Country history cycle
Coming up in 2016: A Midsummer Night’s Dream with amateur companies playing the rude mechanicals, Shakespeare’s 400th, Paapa Essiedu as Hamlet, Don Quixote

6 David Lan and Lucy Woollatt

Lucy Woollatt. Photo: Alex Brenner
Lucy Woollatt. Photo: Alex Brenner
David Lan. Photo: Simon Annand
David Lan. Photo: Simon Annand

Young Vic Theatre
Winner of our London Theatre of the Year award in early 2015, it’s been another great 12 months for the Southwark venue. The year started with two West End transfers – the end of The Scottsboro Boys’ run at the Garrick was swiftly followed into town by Golem and A View from the Bridge, which also fared well at the Olivier Awards. Highlights from the theatre’s usual mixed programme of high-standard fare with an international bent included the radical reimagining of Measure for Measure and a staging of A Number by Caryl Churchill.

The Young Vic has also provided a home-from-home for Belarus Free Theatre and in 2015 helped the company celebrate its 10th anniversary. It is initiatives such as these – and Lan’s leadership of What Next? – that has kept Lan and the Young Vic at the centre of many of the important debates happening in UK theatre today. Woollatt supports Lan as executive director.

Last year: 6th
Productions include: Bull, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, The Trial, Song from Far Away, Golem, A View from the Bridge, The Scottsboro Boys, Stage a Revolution
Coming up in 2016: Battlefield, A Streetcar Named Desire, If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Yerma, Blue/Orange

100-81 80-61 60-41 40-21 20-11 10-6 5-1

How we chose The Stage 100

We introduced a slightly different methodology for deciding the final 100 this year. It included three stages.

Stage one
We invited 50 leading figures from the theatre and performing arts industry to submit anonymously the five people they would place from numbers one to five in the list, plus one other name they believed should feature in the list and why. The 50 people were drawn from different areas of the industry and a variety of professions within it.

Stage two
We invited senior editorial contributors to The Stage to submit their suggestions for the final list.

Stage three
A final judging panel (comprising print editor Alistair Smith, online editor Paddy Smith, news editor Matthew Hemley, associate editor Mark Shenton and reviews editor Natasha Tripney) considered all the names submitted in stages one and two, added their own submissions and decided on the final list.

The Stage 100 is intended to reflect the 100 most influential people working in the theatre and performing arts industry. It is considered from the point of view of The Stage as a trade publication and so focuses on theatre both as a business and an art form. Inclusion within the list and ranking is weighted towards achievements in the past 12 months, but also takes into account continuous achievement. We also aim to have a list that – as much as is possible and plausible – reflects the astonishing breadth of the theatre industry. However, we do not weight the list in an attempt to make it gender-balanced or ethnically diverse: we believe the list should aim to reflect the way the theatre and performing arts industry is, not what it aims to be, or what we would like it to be.


The Stage 100 in full

2015 entry in parentheses

Numbers 100 to 81

100. Danny Lee Wynter (new)
99. Kate McGrath and Louise Blackwood (new)
98. Jess Thom (new)
97. Rachel O’Riordan (new)
96. Tom Scutt (new)
95. Suzanne Andrade and Paul Barritt (new)
94. Rachel Edwards (new)
93. Equity, BECTU, MU and SDUK (72)
92. Paul Miller (100)
91. Madani Younis (40)
90. Lyndsey Turner (new)
89. James Dacre and Martin Sutherland (92)
88. Deborah Pearson, Andy Field and Ira Brand (new)
87. Danny Moar and Laurence Boswell (67)
86. Chris Goode (new)
85. Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood (new)
84. Howard Goodall (new)
83. Denise Gough (new)
82. Michael Billington and Lyn Gardner (83)
81. Drew McOnie (new)

Numbers 80 to 61

80. Janie Dee (new)
79. Christopher Haydon (new)
78. James Graham (95)
77. Noma Dumezweni (new)
76. Marianne Elliott (79)
75. Hofesh Shecter (new)
74. James Brining and Robin Hawkes (new)
73. Jonathan Kent (new)
72. Jeremy Herrin and Henny Finch (66)
71. David Hare (44)
70. Beverley Knight (new)
69. Tamara Rojo (new)
68. Edward Hall and Greg Ripley-Duggan (34)
67. Sean Holmes (90)
66. John Stalker (new)
65. Mark Goucher (41)
64. Mike Bartlett (74)
63. Tristan Baker (new)
62. Nikolai Foster and Chris Stafford (new)
61. Simon Russell Beale (38)

Numbers 60 to 41

60. Simon Stephens (88)
59. Edward Snape (78)
58. Martin McDonagh (new)
57. Simon McBurney (new)
56. David Greig (new)
55. Fergus Linehan (new)
54. Alex Beard (43)
53. Caryl Churchill (new)
52. James Grieve and George Perrin (30)
51. Maxine Peake (new)
50. Richard Eyre (new)
49. Jenny Sealey (new)
48. Michael McCabe (42)
47. Purni Morrell (48)
46. Vicky Featherstone (63)
45. Julian Bird (37)
44. Rachel Tackley (53)
43. Thomas Schumacher (68)
42. Matthew Bourne (75)
41. Adam Kenwright (84)

Numbers 40 to 21

40. Laurie Sansom (26)
39. John E McGrath (26)
38. Indhu Rubasingham (56)
37. Kenny Wax (71)
36. Robert Icke (96)
35. Gemma Bodinetz and Deborah Aydon (19)
34. Matthew Warchus (new)
33. Caro Newling (24)
32. Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr (4)
31. David Babani (31)
30. Sheridan Smith (new)
29. Mark Rylance (new)
28. Alistair Spalding (33)
27. Steve Tomkins and Graham Haworth (10)
26. Nick Thomas (15)
25. Jamie Lloyd (18)
24. Michael Grandage (28)
23. Kenneth Branagh (new)
22. David Ian (45)
21. Michael Harrison (23)

Numbers 20 to 11

20. Sarah Frankcom (51)
19. Matthew Byam Shaw, Nia Janis, Nick Salmon (22)
18. Toni Racklin (20)
17. Bill Kenwright (11)
16. Imelda Staunton (70)
15. Benedict Cumberbatch (new)
14. Daniel Evans and Dan Bates (16)
13. Josie Rourke and Kate Pakenham (14)
12. Rufus Norris, Lisa Berger and Ben Power (25)
11. Dominic Dromgoole and Neil Constable (7)

Numbers 10 to 6

10. Rupert Goold (13)
9. Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer (12)
8. Jonathan Church and Alan Finch (8)
7. Gregory Doran, Catherine Mallyon, Erica Whyman (9)
6. David Lan and Lucy Woollatt (6)

Top five

5. Peter Bazalgette and Darren Henley (new)
4. Andrew Lloyd Webber (5)
3. Cameron Mackintosh and Nick Allott (2)
2. Sonia Friedman (3)
1. Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire (1)

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