Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, the husband-and-wife team at the helm of Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), have topped The Stage newspaper's list of the 100 most influential people in UK theatre for the third year running.

Artistic director Nicholas Hytner and executive director Nick Starr from the National Theatre are placed second, while Michael Boyd and Vikki Heywood, who occupy the same positions at the RSC, are placed third.

The list, now in its 16th year, relegates Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh – historically The Stage 100’s most successful entrants – to joint fourth place.

New entries into the top 20 this year are: Josie Rourke (the director of the Bush Theatre, soon to take over at the Donmar), Matthew Warchus (director of Matilda and Ghost), Tim Minchin (composer of Matilda), Tony Hall (chief executive of the Royal Opera House) and Julian Bird (chief executive of the Society of London Theatre and Theatrical Management Association).

Alistair Smith, deputy editor of The Stage, said: “ATG has cemented its place at the top of The Stage 100 – they are now UK theatre’s undoubted commercial superpower. Elsewhere, you can see the increasing stength of the subsidised sector within the list. Especially from an artistic point of view, productions from subsidised theatres – like Matilda and One Man, Two Guvnors – are really dominating proceedings and it has been a particularly strong year for the National, RSC and Chichester Festival Theatre.”

The full top 20 is as follows (last year’s position):

1. Howard Panter/Rosemary Squire (Ambassador Theatre Group) (1)
2. Nicholas Hytner / Nick Starr (National Theatre) (2=)
3. Michael Boyd / Vikki Heywood (Royal Shakespeare Company) (7)
4= Andrew Lloyd Webber Really Useful Group (6)
4= Cameron Mackintosh (Cameron Mackintosh Ltd) (5)
6. Jonathan Church / Alan Finch (Chichester Festival Theatre] (16)
7. Michael Grandage (Donmar Warehouse) (2=)
8. Ruth Mackenzie (Cultural Olympiad) (14]
9. Dominic Cooke (Royal Court Theatre, London) (2=)
10. Nick Thomas (Qdos Entertainment) (11)
11. Nica Burns / Max Weitzenhoffer (Nimax Theatres) (8)
12. Bill Kenwright (Bill Kenwright Ltd) (9)
13. Kevin Spacey / Sally Greene (10)
14. Sonia Friedman (Sonia Friedman Productions) (12)
15. Tony Hall (Royal Opera House) (new entry)
16. David Lan (Young Vic Theatre) (19)
17. Josie Rourke (Bush Theatre) (new entry)
18. Julian Bird (SOLT /TMA) (new entry)
19. Matthew Warchus (director) (new entry)
20. Tim Minchin (comedian/ composer) (new entry)


Also announced by The Stage today, presented for the second time, are The Stage 100 Awards. Recognising the work of entire organisations and the teams behind them, instead of individuals, the awards will be presented at The Stage’s New Year Party at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 26 January.

The winners are:

- London Theatre of the Year is The Bush Theatre
- Regional Theatre of the Year is Chichester Festival Theatre
- Fringe Theatre of the Year is Jermyn Street Theatre, London
- Producer of the Year is The National Theatre
- School of the Year is the Musical Theatre Academy
- Unsung Hero Award: Edwin Shaw, Heather Miller and Frances Coyle

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