The Stage 100 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.
It was another strong year for Wade. In her 2018 entry, we predicted a further life for The Watsons, which has since transferred to the Menier Chocolate Factory in London and will move to the West End in 2020. Meanwhile, Home, I’m Darling, which premiered in 2018, enjoyed its West End transfer earlier this year to great acclaim, earning Wade the best new comedy Olivier in the process. Elsewhere, there was a new touring production of her breakout play Posh, which feels as relevant, if not even more so, than when it was first staged in 2010. Last year: 76
Campbell has led Newcastle’s Northern Stage for seven years, but last year it was announced that he would be taking on flagship national company National Theatre Wales. It was a smart choice on the part of NTW’s board and well received by the industry. He takes over as its artistic director from Kully Thiarai early this year. In 2019, Northern Stage produced adaptations of The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Snow Queen, and Campbell helped develop a collaborative production between Northern Stage and site-specific company Common Wealth. Last year: 91
The musicals producer had a busy year in 2019. He produced the UK production of Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet!, which premiered in Leicester before transferring to the London Coliseum. The production is currently out on tour and will travel to Singapore later this year, ahead of a planned return to London. He was also behind the West End production of White Christmas, the third annual return of Debbie Isitt’s Nativity, on tour and at London’s Eventim Apollo. 2020 will see him stage a highly anticipated new stage version of Sister Act with Whoopi Goldberg, who will star alongside Jennifer Saunders. Last year: 94
Baker and Royds are behind new London venues Troubadour Wembley Park and Troubadour White City. They have previously worked together on the temporary King’s Cross Theatre, and they used the same idea of modular construction to create two flexible theatres, one 1,200 seater and one with a capacity of 900. Though they have not been without teething problems – White City’s Peter Pan closed two months early, and its website is not listing any future bookings – the theatres themselves are impressive. New entry
Playwright and actor
Chakrabarti’s stage adaptation of Life of Pi was one of the most talked about plays of 2019. She gave the novel new life in a stunning production that premiered at Sheffield Theatres in July and won her a UK Theatre award. Its short but critically adored run was swiftly followed by news that it would take up residence this year at the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre. Chakrabarti also wrote the Manchester International Festival show Invisible Cities, an adaptation of the Italo Calvino novel, and is providing dramaturgy on dance-theatre production Message in a Bottle. New entry
Artistic Directors of the Future
Hodge-Dallaway is the founder and chief executive of Artistic Directors of the Future, which works to improve the diversity of theatre leadership. Last year, Tarek Iskander, who was placed at Battersea Arts Centre on ADF’s Up Next leadership scheme, was appointed its new artistic director. In 2019, ADF launched its board-shadowing programme, in which members are appointed to sit in on trustee-level meetings at major theatre companies. It is nominated in the innovation category at this year’s The Stage Awards. Last year: 84
Friend is an increasingly regular presence on the commercial producing circuit. Shows in 2019 included The Starry Messenger, Admissions and The Girl on the Train (all in the West End), The Entertainer starring Shane Richie, and the Broadway transfer of The Height of the Storm. Friend is also behind plans to bring Sheffield Theatres’ Life of Pi to the West End. The auditorium of Cameron Mackintosh’s Wyndham’s Theatre is being remodelled for the show’s arrival in July, indicating high expectations around its longevity in Theatreland. New entry
Nuffield Southampton Theatres
NST, of which Hodges is artistic director and chief executive, continued to make its mark on the city in 2019. NST City – the organisation’s city centre theatre complex – is now well into its second year of operation, and has staged strong work including a return of local hit The Shadow Factory, a revival of Peter Morgan’s The Audience, and, towards the end of the year, the noteworthy new musical CinderElla. NST Campus will undergo refurbishment from April, which will see it closed for two years. Hodges has said it will usher in a more ambitious future for Southampton’s cultural offer.
Smith and Brant Theatricals
The duo co-produced Come from Away on Broadway, and are the producers/general managers for its London production, which caused a buzz when it opened in March, going on to win four Olivier awards. Later in the year, Smith and Brant produced the world premiere of David Mamet’s Bitter Wheat, which opened straight into the West End. Elsewhere, they produced the return of Ghost Stories to Theatreland and helped take Jamie Lloyd’s Betrayal to Broadway. New entry
Last year was a big one for theatre company Clean Break, which works with women with experience of the criminal justice system. It celebrated its 40th anniversary with a programme of work that included Alice Birch’s [Blank] at the Donmar Warehouse, one of the year’s standout pieces of new writing. The company showcased its social importance in its 40th year by hosting topical discussions and taking part in a mass lobby of parliament calling for more women’s centres. New entry