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The Stage 100 2019: 91-100

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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

91. Lorne Campbell

Lorne Campbell. Photo: Topher McGrillis
Lorne Campbell. Photo: Topher McGrillis

Northern Stage, Newcastle

Campbell has been artistic director of Northern Stage in Newcastle since 2013, but the past 12 months have seen a significant step up for the North East’s largest producing theatre. Lorne’s production of Sting’s debut musical The Last Ship was a hit both in Newcastle and on tour and saw the company producing on a bigger scale than ever before. Other 2018 highlights included Under Milk Wood and Laura Lindow’s adaptation of War of the Worlds. The theatre was also a co-producer on a tour of The Lovely Bones. Campbell heads a theatre on an upward curve. New entry

92. Joseph Houston, William Whelton and Katy Lipson

Joseph Houston, Katy Lipson and William Whelton. Photo: Alex Brenner
Joseph Houston, Katy Lipson and William Whelton. Photo: Alex Brenner

Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

After winning The Stage Award for fringe theatre of the year 2018, Hope Mill has continued to cement its reputation as a tiny powerhouse for musical theatre. Productions have included Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love, which transfers to London’s Southwark Playhouse on January 7, the theatre’s fourth London transfer. In November, it announced the launch of a part-time musical theatre academy. Last year: 99

93. Miriam Buether

Miriam Buether. Photo: Eliza Power
Miriam Buether. Photo: Eliza Power


Buether has long been one of our most exciting designers. Her major work of 2018 was the extraordinary set for refugee play The Jungle, for which she won an Evening Standard Theatre award. The Jungle started out at the Young Vic before transferring to the Playhouse Theatre in the West End. It is now running at St Ann’s Warehouse in New York. Buether’s work often disrupts the auditorium. The Playhouse was almost unrecognisable after being entirely reconfigured as the designer transformed the stalls into sections of the Calais refugee camp and immersed the audience within it. New entry

94. Jamie Wilson

Jamie Wilson. Photo: Liza Maria Dawson
Jamie Wilson. Photo: Liza Maria Dawson

Wilson’s productions of 2018 included Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, which opened at Leicester’s Curve in December to rave reviews and was described in The Stage as “dazzling, joyous and brilliantly performed”. Wilson’s production of Debbie Isitt’s Nativity! The Musical returned for a UK tour, and is back for a third run this year. Wilson also produced new musical An Officer and a Gentleman, also at Curve, and has Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet! in the offing, which premieres at Curve in June before transferring to the London Coliseum. Last year: 92

95. Sheila Atim

Sheila Atim. Photo: Pamela Raith


It was a monumental year for Atim, who in January won a Clarence Derwent Award for her parts in the Donmar Warehouse’s all- female production of The Tempest and the National Theatre’s production of Les Blancs. She was also presented with the Olivier award for best supporting actress in a musical for her role as Marianne in Girl from the North Country and a best newcomer Critics’ Circle award. Atim starred alongside Mark Rylance as Emilia in Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe and had roles in TV shows Bounty Hunters and Harlots as well as in the film Sulphur and White. New entry

96. Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy

Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy. Photo: Alex Brenner
Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy. Photo: Alex Brenner

Good Chance Theatre

Since building a temporary theatre in the Calais migrant camp in 2015, Robertson and Murphy have worked with refugees and used art as a way to bridge cultural gaps and provide hope to people in desperate situations. Last year, their play The Jungle, based on their experiences in Calais, transferred from the Young Vic to the Playhouse Theatre in the West End and subsequently to New York. Meanwhile in Paris, the Joes’ charity Good Chance Theatre has continued to build temporary domes, including at the Museum of Immigration, and works with refugees living in the city. New entry

97. Andy and Wendy Barnes

Wendy and Andy Barnes. Photo: Irina Chira


Husband-and-wife team Andy and Wendy Barnes are at the forefront of nurturing new British musicals. The pair set up Perfect Pitch in 2016, a non-profit company dedicated to developing new contemporary British musicals, and formed Global Musicals in 2017, also focusing on new musical theatre. GM produced Six by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, which tells the story of Henry VIII’s six wives through an all-female pop band. The musical’s premiere at the Arts Theatre was such a success that it will return for an open-ended run from January 16, after a short tour. New entry

98. David Mumeni

David Mumeni. Photo: Michael Shelford
David Mumeni. Photo: Michael Shelford

Open Door

David Mumeni is the founder of Open Door, a not-for-profit organisation that provides 18 to 25 year-olds from low-income backgrounds with financial support as well as a year-long programme of training, mentoring and other resources in preparation for drama school applications. Through the scheme, which is supported by funders including Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke, Mumeni is pushing to address a lack of diversity within drama schools and, as a result, the theatre industry. The Open Door scheme has been nominated in the best school category at The Stage Awards 2019 for the positive change it is already making. New entry

99. Tobi Kyeremateng

Tobi Kyeremateng
Tobi Kyeremateng

Black Ticket Project

Producer Kyeremateng is doing incredible work to improve access to theatre for black audiences. She is founder of Black Ticket Project, an initiative that provides free tickets to West End shows for young black people. It recently announced a 2019 season of partner shows, which include Motown at the Shaftesbury Theatre, The Convert at the Young Vic and Sweat at the Donmar Warehouse. Kyeremateng regularly works with organisations including the Bush Theatre in London and is also founder of BAMworks, which connects black and minority ethnic producers across the UK. New entry

100. Charlene Ford

Charlene Ford with her son, Jenson. The actor has returned to 42nd Street in the West End's first job share
Charlene Ford with her son, Jenson


Charlene Ford made history in 2018 by becoming the first performer to take a West End role on a job-share basis. Campaigning body Parents and Carers in Performing Arts hailed it as a“landmark moment” for parents working in the arts. Ford, who is performing in 42nd Street, initially met with resistance from producers, but managed to negotiate the job share after continuing to press for it. She is a trailblazer for working parents. New entry


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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