Lloyd's recent work includes the groundbreaking Shakespeare Trilogy at the Donmar Warehouse which featured an all-female cast and transferred to a purpose-built venue in Kings Cross and won the Longford Prize for work in prisons. She is also at the helm of the upcoming West End blockbuster Tina, based on the life of Tina Turner.
The Tonic Theatre director has spent the last six years supporting the theatre industry to achieve greater gender equality in its workforces. Her work includes regular platform events with the likes of Emma Rice, Marianne Elliott and Phyllida Lloyd, as well as the Tonic Awards which debuted in 2017 to recognise the work of female theatre practitioners.
Eclipse Theatre's artistic director continues to lead the UK's foremost black-led theatre company and Dawn Walton's production of Testament's Black Men Walking, which opens at the Royal Exchange Court before touring the UK, is hotly tipped as one to watch this year. The play is the first piece to come out of the company's new-writing scheme, Revolution Mix, which partners 15 black writers with 12 theatres.
While the Menier's latest production may have failed to get the critics doing somersaults, the Southwark venue's year boasted widely-acclaimed productions of Love in Idleness (which transferred to the West End), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (which is being tipped for a transfer) and Florian Zeller's The Lie (which will surely follow the playwright's other work into town at some point this year). Not to mention the Olivier Award-nominated West End transfer of Tom Stoppard's Travesties which crosses the pond to Broadway in March.
Taylor-Mills' omittance from the 2017 list could be put down to the fact his tenure as London's youngest artistic director had only just begun, but that still overlooked his early successes with the UK premieres of In the Heights and Carrie. A year into his post as boss of The Other Palace and Taylor-Mills is, without doubt, one of the most influential champions of new British musicals.
Another Lloyd missing from the list is director Jamie. While his company may have taken a hiatus following a season that included Kit Harington, Uzo Aduba and Gemma Chan; Lloyd's work last year included Guards at the Taj at the Bush, Apologia at Trafalgar Studios and he was made associate artist at Shoreditch Town Hall. The Jamie Lloyd Company looks set to return in 2018, so we expect to see his name back on next year's list.
McDougall's first season as artistic director of the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill began with two hits; her adaptation of José Saramago's short story, The Unknown Island, and the UK premiere of Magali Mougel's Suzy Storck – "It changed the way I see the world" said Matt Trueman in his roundup of top ten shows in 2017. And McDougall looks set to begin the new year where she left off with the hotly anticipated Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 by Anna Deavere Smith, which opens next week.
Sharon D Clarke
Rightfully awarded an MBE for services to drama in the 2017 New Year Honours, Clarke continues to impress in diverse theatrical roles from Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at the National, The Life at Southwark Playhouse and Caroline, Or Change at Chichester Festival Theatre - which transfers to the Hampstead Theatre in March.
In 2017 it was announced that Craig will star in Jez Butterworth's smash-hit play The Ferryman at the Gielgud Theatre, where she will stay following the show's closure as she takes on Stephen Sondheim's Company on the same stage. Alongside Patti LuPone, Craig will play Bobby, who for the first time becomes Bobbi in Marianne Elliott's gender-swap production.
Harvey joined the Mold venue in 2015 and has gone about putting the venue on the map. While in-house productions have proved hit and miss with the critics, the theatre's recent co-production of Rent was a runaway success and there's much to be excited about in her upcoming season including new musical The Assassination of Katie Hopkins, a site-specific production of The Great Gatsby and Laura Wade's Home, I'm Darling.
Mark Ball and John McGrath
Former artistic director and CEO of LIFT Festival Ball joins forces with MIF boss John McGrath. He is tasked with creating and delivering the artistic programme for Factory, Manchester's new flagship venue for large-scale performance which has received £38.16million funding from Arts Council England.
The producer, who co-founded the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2004, continues to produce work at the forefront of London's fringe. Her recent work with director Thom Southerland includes the acclaimed production of Titanic which embarks on an extensive UK tour this year. She also mounted productions of Le Grand Mort starring Julian Clary and Mother Courage with Josie Lawrence. Her 2018 begins with an immersive, site-specific production of The Grift at Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel.
- Jamie Lloyd
- Sharon D CLarke
- Paul Taylor-Mills
- Rosalie Craig
- Tamara Harvey
- Stage 100
- Phyllida Lloyd
- Mark Ball
- Ellen McDougall
- Danielle Tarento
- David Babani
- dawn Walton
- Lucy Kerbel
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