Theatre News

Architect Steve Tompkins tops The Stage 100 list

Other key figures on the list include Sonia Friedman, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Madani Younis

Steve Tompkins
Steve Tompkins
© The Stage

Architect Steve Tompkins has topped the The Stage's list of 100 influential people in theatre.

Tompkins, who in the last year has overseen award-winning redevelopments of spaces like the Grand Hall of Battersea Arts Centre and the new foyer at Bristol Old Vic, was previously 23rd on the list. He won the Stirling Prize in 2014 for his work on the Liverpool Everyman, and past projects have included the Royal Court, the Young Vic, the Bush, the Bridge and the National Theatre.

Speaking of the announcement he said: "I'm thrilled and slightly taken aback that Haworth Tompkins' work has been highlighted so emphatically this year by our peers. Everyone who's been involved with designing theatre buildings knows that individual credit is just shorthand for celebrating collective effort, so this recognition also belongs to the outstanding team of architects, clients, consultants and contractors who have brought our performing arts buildings into being, particularly my co-director and collaborator of twenty four years, Roger Watts."

Other notable figures on the list include producer Sonia Friedman, who rises from 3rd place to take 2nd in 2019, while Andrew Lloyd Webber comes in at 3rd place after being 4th in 2018.

2019 marks the first time that entries featuring a woman make up over half of the list, though the number of men on the list is still greater (as multiple individuals can be recognised per position).

There are 13 BAME entries on the list, up from 12 in 2018, with new Young Vic artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah being the highest-placed black, Asian or minority ethnic theatremaker present at number 15.

Last year Royal Court artistic director Vicky Featherstone topped the list, and this year comes in at 19th position alongside the venue's executive director Lucy Davies.

Those making major leaps up the list include Madani Younis, who goes from 42 to 21 and will shortly take up the role of creative director at the Southbank Centre, while director Michael Grandage goes from 58 to 23, following his productions of The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Red in the West End. Lighting designer Paule Constable goes from 89 to 27 following her campaign to highlight the importance of stage lighting during a period of new EU regulations, while New Diorama Theatre artistic director David Byrne leaps from 79 to 33 following major support for emerging companies.

New entrants include Sir Ian McKellen (who will embark on a major solo tour in 2019) at 24, directors Stephen Daldry and Jamie Lloyd at 28 and 32 respectively, Arinzé Kene at 49 following his turn in Misty, which transferred to the West End, Eclipse Theatre founder Dawn Walton at 61, Theatr Clwyd's Tamara Harvey at 65 and playwright Natasha Gordon at 74, who became the first black British woman to have a play staged in the West End with Nine Night. Others featured on the list include Debbie Tucker Green, Giles Terera and Carrie Hope Fletcher.

The list has been released for 23 years and is decided through industry consultation and ultimately by a panel of senior editorial staff at The Stage.