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The Stage 100 2019: 81-90

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The Stage 100, in association with Spektrix, is intended to reflect who are 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 both on theatre 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 to attempt to make it gender-balanced or ethnically diverse: we believe the list should aim to reflect how the theatre and performing arts industry is, not what it aims to be, or we would like it to be.

Top 5 6-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71-80 81-90 91-100 Analysis

81. James Dacre and Jo Gordon

James Dacre and Jo Gordon. Photo: Christine Allum (James Dacre)

Royal and Derngate Theatres, Northampton

Last year marked the start of a new era for the Royal and Derngate, with the theatre bolstering its production team to expand its programme of home-grown work, particularly musicals. In March, it was awarded £684,000 from Arts Council England to lead a consortium that will develop new musical theatre specifically for midscale venues. Productions in 2018 included adaptations of A Passage to India and The Lovely Bones, plus the opening of the Kinky Boots UK tour, returning to where it all started. New entry

82. Eleanor Lloyd

Eleanor Lloyd


Olivier award-winner Lloyd is one of a new generation of commercial producers making their mark on the West End and beyond. Her 2018 productions included the UK tour of Shakespeare in Love, based on the film by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, and the tour of Dusty, starring Katherine Kingsley and directed by Maria Friedman. Meanwhile, her site-specific Witness for the Prosecution continued to do great business at County Hall in London, having opened in 2017, and she is also one of the producers for the forthcoming West End transfer of the Shakespeare’s Globe production of Emilia by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm. New entry

Shakespeare’s Globe’s Emilia announces West End transfer

83. Paul Taylor-Mills

Paul Taylor-Mills
Paul Taylor-Mills. Photo: Darren Bell


Taylor-Mills’ major success of 2018 was Heathers – The Musical, starring Carrie Hope Fletcher. Heathers started life at the Other Palace before transferring to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the West End, where it ran for 12 weeks in September. Halfway through the year, it was announced that he was to step down from his artistic director role at the Other Palace and would instead become affiliate producer. However, his commitment to supporting new musical theatre has not wavered, announcing MT Fest UK, a new two-week festival of musical theatre to take place at the Other Palace in February. New entry

84. Simeilia Hodge- Dallaway

Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway. Photo: James Lyndsay

Artistic Directors of the Future

Hodge-Dallaway is the founder and executive manager of Artistic Directors of the Future, a training initiative designed to increase the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic artistic directors in mainstream theatres. ADF’s Up Next Scheme, which places six emerging directors in leading London venues, came to fruition last year, having been launched in September 2017. Hodge-Dallaway also set up a programme in Yorkshire in 2018 that aims to improve the diversity of theatre boards. She is a major figure in the drive to open up the theatre workforce. Last year: 90

85. Ellen McDougall

Ellen McDougall. Photo: Manuel Harlan
Ellen McDougall. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Gate Theatre, London

McDougall has been artistic director of the Gate Theatre for two years, describing her programming as a “deliberately eclectic range of stories, perspectives, forms and artists”. Shows she directed in 2018 include Effigies of Wickedness, described in The Stage as “wildly entertaining and spiked with menace”, as well as The Wolves at Theatre Royal Stratford East, which tells the story of a girls’ football team. Productions at the Gate last year included an adaptation of Jamaica Kincaid’s 1988 novel A Small Place and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, directed by Ola Ince. New entry

86. Edward Hall

Edward Hall. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Hampstead Theatre

In August, Hall announced that he is to step down as artistic director of Hampstead Theatre. He transformed the venue during his nine-year tenure, having taken over at a time of dwindling audiences and financial instability. Faced with outcry over a male-dominated season in 2017, Hall addressed this by responding with an almost entirely female-authored season in 2018. Plays included Lauren Gunderson’s I and You, starring Maisie Williams and directed by Hall, and The Hoes by Ifeyinwa Frederick. Another highlight was The Humans by Stephen Karam. New entry

Andrzej Lukowski: Theatre’s Instagram experiment stumbles over its analogue roots

87. Giles Terera

Giles Terera. Photo: Pamel Raith


While much of the focus was on his co-star Jamael Westman in the run-up to the West End opening of Hamilton, it was Terera who picked up the most plaudits – and the Olivier award. Terera has been a stalwart of the West End stage for some time, but his performance in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “world-shattering” hip-hop musical lifted him to another level. He also used the opportunity to drive a conversation around representation. Terera left Hamilton in December and his next project will be a production of Arthur Miller’s The American Clock at the Old Vic. New entry

Hamilton star Giles Terera condemns ‘snobbery’ towards musical theatre

88. Tom Scutt

Tom Scutt. Photo: David Jensen


Scutt has become a key spokesman for the design community and curated the second season of Donmar on Design in 2018. He was responsible for the striking staging of Little Shop of Horrors at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Summer and Smoke at the Almeida Theatre and the Duke of York’s in the West End. His CV also included Tosca with Opera North and Jesus Christ Superstar at Lyric Opera in Chicago. In February, Scutt will make his directional debut at the Donmar Warehouse with a stage adaptation of thriller film Berberian Sound Studio. New entry

89. Debbie Tucker Green

Debbie Tucker Green. Photo: Sarah Lee/Guardian/eyevine


One of British theatre’s most daring writers, Tucker Green’s acclaimed Ear For Eye, which premiered at London’s Royal Court in November, was described as “an uncompromising, poetic examination of black history, racial politics and protest”. With this play, the Olivier and BAFTA-winning writer dissects what it means to be black today and to live with continuing racism. Other works in 2018 included a revival of Random/Generations at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester. New entry

2018: Best plays of the year

90. Carrie Hope Fletcher

Carrie Hope Fletcher. Photo: Darren Bell
Carrie Hope Fletcher. Photo: Darren Bell

Actor, singer and author

A true triple-threat musical theatre performer, known for roles in Les Miserables and last year’s Heathers, Hope Fletcher is also a social media personality with more than 650,000 YouTube subscribers and half a million Twitter followers. She is a massive box office draw and has spoken of wanting to bridge the gap between her online following and theatre. While Heathers received mixed reviews, there was little debate about Hope Fletcher, who was universally praised. New entry

Read our interview with Carrie Hope Fletcher

Heathers the Musical review at the Theatre Royal Haymarket – ‘Carrie Hope Fletcher dazzles’

Top 5 6-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71-80 81-90 91-100 Analysis

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