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Lloyd Webber Named Dominant Force in Theatre

By • West End
Andrew Lloyd Webber has knocked Cameron Mackintosh off his pedestal as the leading light in British theatre, according to The Stage. Lloyd Webber this year tops the newspaper's annual list of the industry's top 100 most significant people, moving up from his number three ranking last year and sending Mackintosh down from the number one to the number four spot.

"Taking over the Stoll Moss chain at the beginning of the year firmly established Lloyd Webber as the dominant force in British theatre, not only production-wise - with The Phantom of the Opera becoming the biggest grossing artistic product, taking more money than (the film) Titanic - but also as the biggest theatre owner in the heartland of the industry," the paper said.

Mackintosh was downgraded in 2001 after his intention, stated recently, "to slow down a little" and not produce any more new musicals, such as his latest outing The Witches of Eastwick, which transfers next month from the West End's massive Theatre Royal Drury Lane to the smaller Prince of Wales theatre.

Selection for inclusion in The Stage 100 is based on the individual's assets, the number of people employed, the quality of product produced, risks taken and the overall contribution to the image and future of the theatrical industry. Only the top 20 individuals are ranked, with the remainder recognised by category of input.

Directors figure heavily in the top 20. Major risers are the Donmar Warehouse's Oscar-nominated Sam Mendes (up from 10 to 6) and the RSC's Adrian Noble (from 15 to 8) while the embattled National Theatre director Trevor Nunn (down from 5 to 11), the West Yorkshire Playhouse's Jude Kelly (from 9 to 14), Sir Richard Eyre (from 11 to 17), Sir Peter Hall (from 16 to 19) and the Almeida duo of Jonathan Kent and Ian McDiarmid (from 6 to 12) have all slipped several places. The coattails of one of this year's most successful British films, Billy Elliot, have propelled two theatrical veterans into the 2001 top 20 - director Stephen Daldry and author Lee Hall.

No sole actors made it into the top 20 but amongst those singled out in the 100 were Stephen Berkoff, Simon Callow, Frances de La Tour, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, Corin Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Simon Russell Beale and Maggie Smith. Others in the top 100 included: playwrights Alan Ayckbourn, Alan Bennett, Caryl Churchill, Michael Frayn, David Hare and Yasmina Reza; lyricists Ben Elton and Tim Rice; designers Lez Brotherston and Es Devlin as well as sound designer Scott Myers; and AMP choreographer Matthew Bourne.

The complete list of The Stage's Top 20 is as follows:

1. Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer/producer/theatre owner
2. Howard Panter, chief executive of Associated Capital Theatres
3. Paul Gregg, European head of SFX
4. Cameron Mackintosh, producer/theatre owner
5. Colin Ingram, general manager of Walt Disney Theatrical Productions
6. Stephen Daldry, director
7. Sam Mendes, artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse
8. Adrian Noble, artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company
9. Nick Salmon, producer
10. Jon Conway/Nick Thomas, pantomime producers
11. Trevor Nunn, artistic director of the Royal National Theatre
12. Jonathan Kent/Ian McDiarmid, artistic directors of the Almeida Theatre
13. Paul Elliott, producer
14. Jude Kelly, artistic director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse
15. Raymond Gubbay, producer
16. Lee Hall, playwright
17. Richard Eyre, director
18. Stephen Waley-Cohen, producer of The Mousetrap
19. Peter Hall, director
20. Jim Davidson, performer/producer


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