Times Names Top 'Luvvies', inc WOS’s Paddock
Topped by National Theatre artistic director Nicholas Hytner, the list's top ten is a varied mix of both the subsidised and commercial sector, with commercial theatre owners and the bosses of London’s major funded houses dominating.
Hytner's top spot follows a successful year for the National, which has drawn critical acclaim for productions such as Thea Sharrock's revival of Rattigan’s After the Dance which starred Benedict Cumberbatch, Headlong's production of Earthquakes in London directed by Rupert Goold and Rory Kinnear's portrayal of Hamlet which will tour the UK in the new year. Sharrock, Goold and Kinnear also make the list.
In the commercial realm, husband and wife Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire jointly take the second spot, with their Ambassador Theatre Group controlling ten West End houses and another 29 around the country following their purchase of Live Nation in 2009. ATG's turnover, The Times suggests, will top £230 million this year.
Producers and theatre owners Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh also feature highly at third and fourth respectively. Although The Times notes Love Never Dies did not set the theatrical world alight, closing briefly last month to make changes, Lloyd Webber has dominated the BBC's weekend schedule as a judge on Over the Rainbow, choosing Danielle Hope to front his upcoming production of Wizard of Oz at the Palladium next year. Cameron Mackintosh, whose Delfont Mackintosh group owns seven West End theatres, celebrated the 25th anniversary of Les Miserables this year, with a re-worked national tour fronted by John Owen-Jones and a concert production featuring the 'Company of Companies' at The O2, beamed to cinemas around the world, which made the tenth anniversary celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall pale in comparison.
Other names on the list include: artistic directors Michael Grandage (who steps down from the Donmar Warehouse next year), Michael Boyd (RSC), Dominic Cooke (Royal Court), David Babani (Menier Chocolate Factory), Jonathan Church (Chichester Festival), Kevin Spacey (Old Vic), Josie Rourke (Bush), Tom Morris (Hampstead), John McGrath and Lucy Davies (National Theatre of Wales), Laurie Sansom (Northampton), John Tiffany and Vicky Featherstone (National Theatre of Scotland), Nicolas Kent (Tricycle) and Dominic Hill (Traverse); producers David Pugh and Daffyd Rogers, Bill Kenwright, Sonia Friedman, Nick Thomas, Kevin Wood and Bill Taylor; actors Mark Rylance (the only actor in the top ten), Simon Russell Beale and Judi Dench; directors Matthew Warchus, Marianne Elliott, Howard Davies, Katie Mitchell and Punchdrunk’s Felix Barratt, playwrights Jez Butterworth and Mike Bartlett; Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Arts Council chief executive Alan Davey and philanthropist Lloyd Dorfman.
Whatsonstage.com and editorial director Terri Paddock makes it onto the list for the first time, at number 49. According to The Times, “Whatsonstage.com is the most comprehensive theatre website around, run by Paddock since its 1996 launch”. In fact, Paddock has been running it jointly with her business partner David Dobson. This month Dobson steps down from the day-to-day management to work on other theatre-related projects for the company. Paddock takes over as managing director, as well as continuing as editorial director.
Other media people on the “Luvvie Power List” are Brian Attwood, the long-serving editor of The Stage newspaper, and the irreverent West End Whingers. “We wouldn’t normally list bloggers,” says The Times, "but this duo brought the blogosphere into repute with their ‘Paint Never Dries’ tag for Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies."