The Stage 100: 81-100
81. Mark Rubenstein (producer)
The former Society of London Theatre president was a co-producer on both Jeeves and Wooster and cabaret extravaganza La Soiree. His eponymous company is also one of UK theatre’s major general managers, with shows including Once, the War Horse UK tour and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
The UK theatre’s leading lighting designer, Constable is a four-time Olivier winner and a favoured collaborator of directors including Michael Grandage and Katie Mitchell. She is also an outspoken advocate for women in off-stage roles. Exemplary work in 2014 included Behind the Beautiful Forevers at the National, in which she helped to recreate the atmosphere of Mumbai slums on stage at the Olivier.
83. Michael Billington/Lyn Gardner (critics)
Billington is the UK’s longest-serving theatre critic, bringing to his reviews a wealth of experience few of his peers can offer. Meanwhile, Gardner has ploughed her own furrow and, rather than being a number two, offers a truly complementary voice. The Guardian may not have the reach of the Daily Mail, but its critics are the most respected in the business.
Adam Kenwright’s eponymous company has fast developed into one of the West End’s two leading marketing agencies – alongside the more longstanding Dewynters. However, on its present roster of work, it edges its rival, with clients ranging from the National Theatre to West End shows such as Made in Dagenham. AKA has offices in London, Manchester, Australia and New York.
85. Kerry Michael (Theatre Royal Stratford East)
Last year was significant for Theatre Royal Stratford East, as it celebrated the centenary of its favourite daughter: the late director Joan Littlewood. London’s ‘people’s theatre’ marked the occasion with a programme of which she could have been proud, with highlights including new musical The Infidel and revivals of Fings Ain’t Wot They Used t’Be and Oh What a Lovely War.
86. Lenny Henry (actor)
Henry was named best newcomer at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards in 2009. In the following five years, he has fast established himself as a serious theatre star. He kicked off 2014 by winning best actor at the Critics’ Circle Awards for Fences, before appearing in Rudy’s Rare Records in Birmingham and London. He has also become a major figure in the debate around ethnic diversity in casting.
87. Harriet Walter (actor)
One of our finest actors, Walter starred again in Phyllida Lloyd’s latest all-female take on Shakespeare at the Donmar Warehouse. This time, she took on the title role in Henry IV. It was a fine production that whetted the appetite for the promised third play in Lloyd’s planned trilogy. Could it be Walter as King Lear? We live in hope…
88. Simon Stephens (playwright)
Having made his name as a writer of original works, Stephens has developed a welcome knack for adaptation in the last few years. Following the ongoing success of his adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Stephens gave us a superb version of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in 2014. Birdland at the Royal Court divided critics, but gave Andrew Scott a gift of a lead role.
Bamigboye is the Daily Mail’s showbiz correspondent and has long been the avenue that publicists use to leak stories about new theatre productions and big-name casting. His Friday column in the Mail helps sell tickets, and Bamigboye has his finger on the pulse. In a world where specialist arts reporters on the nationals are becoming a dying breed, his importance grows by the year.
90. Sean Holmes/Jessica Hepburn (Lyric, Hammersmith)
It may not have been greeted with universal enthusiasm, but the Secret Theatre project was imaginative, refreshing and a big hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The Lyric Hammersmith reopens in April with a new production of Bugsy Malone, directed by Holmes, which neatly underlines the theatre’s ongoing commitment to working with young people.
Hodges joined the Nuffield in June 2013 as director and chief executive, and has quickly put the Southampton venue back on the map. Highlights of 2014 included A Number, Tonight at 8:30 – an ambitious staging of Noel Coward’s entire cycle of one-act plays – and The Saints, performed in a pop-up stage/football-pitch hybrid the theatre created specially for the show.
92. James Dacre/Martin Sutherland (Northampton Theatres)
The Royal and Derngate has a fine line in artistic directors, including Rupert Goold and Laurie Sansom, and James Dacre shows every sign of being the latest in that series. His first season at the venue included his own fine revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and a new adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities. This year, the theatre is staging a brand-new adaptation of Brave New World. Sutherland is chief executive.
Theatre consultant and acoustician
Charcoalblue has had a hand in pretty much every significant new theatre build since it was founded in 2004. Most recently, it has been involved with the new Liverpool Everyman, the National Theatre’s NT Future project and Chichester Festival Theatre, among others. Hayles is the company’s managing partner.
An uber-agent at United Agents, who represents a galaxy of star names, but who started his career in theatre management (at venues such as Hampstead Theatre), Smith is rarely absent from a first night. His roster of British talent has included the likes of Eddie Redmayne, Hayley Atwell, Felicity Kendal and the late Richard Attenborough.
95. James Graham (playwright)
A busy and inventive playwright, Graham’s Privacy at the Donmar Warehouse was one of the most talked about new plays of 2014, exploring how governments and corporations collect personal data. Meanwhile, The Angry Brigade – about a 1970s anarchist movement – saw him continue to explore the politics of an era he had previously tackled in This House. This year, The Vote.
96. Robert Icke (director)
A protege of Rupert Goold’s, Icke burst on to the scene in 2014 with two hugely ambitious productions: 1984 and Mr Burns. The former had already enjoyed success on tour, but also proved an unlikely commercial hit when it transferred to the West End. Mr Burns was not everyone’s cup of tea, but was undoubtedly one of the most discussed shows of the year.
Quigley heads up Stage Entertainment’s UK operation and has overseen two of the West End’s most anticipated new musical openings of 2014: I Can’t Sing! and Made in Dagenham. I Can’t Sing! had many qualities, but just couldn’t find an audience; here’s hoping Dagenham can manage a more extended run.
98. Gillian Anderson (actor)
The former X-Files star cemented her reputation as a stage actress in 2014, with a fine turn as Blanche DuBois in Benedict Andrews’ production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic, for which she picked up the London Evening Standard best actress award. There is talk of a potential Broadway transfer, but let’s hope Anderson returns to the London stage soon.
99. Jez Bond (Park Theatre)
Some were sceptical when Jez Bond launched north London’s Park Theatre from scratch in 2013 with no regular funding, but the Finsbury Park venue has developed into an exciting, thriving new addition to the London theatre scene, with both a 200 and 90-seat space.
100. Paul Miller (Orange Tree Theatre)
After a nightmare first day in the job, in which he learnt that the theatre had lost all its regular funding from Arts Council England, Miller has set about revamping the theatre-in-the-round’s offering. Highlights included Pomona by Alistair McDowall, which certainly gave the good burghers of Richmond something to chew on.
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