Lloyd Webber Tops London Theatre Power Poll

News   Lloyd Webber Tops London Theatre Power Poll Andrew Lloyd Webber is at the top of a list — compiled by The Stage newspaper — of the most powerful people in British theatre. The theatrical peer has consolidated his position in recent years with his acquisition of the largest group of London theatres, and with the success of his last two productions, Bombay Dreams by A.R. Rahman and Don Black (due on Broadway in 2004), and his own Tell Me On a Sunday (again, with lyrics by Black). In fact, it’s the fourth year in a row the composer has topped the list.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber

In joint second place were Clear Channel Entertainment UK boss David Ian (currently working on the forthcoming London production of The Producers) and Howard Panter, chief of the Ambassador Theatre Group. Uber-producer Cameron Mackintosh is fourth (up from fifth last year thanks to his promise to spend £35 million of his personal funds to renovate his West End theatres). And fifth is Nick Hytner, who has presided over an immensely successful start to his National Theatre tenure, with the RSC’s Michael Boyd just behind him.

Jon Conway and Nick Thomas are the least recognizable names in the top ten, having acquired the Midas Media Group and International Artistes for their Qdos empire. Producer Bill Kenwright is at number eight, with star catching young producer Sonia Friedman at nine. Peter Hall comes tenth, thanks to his enormous vitality — he currently has two shows on in the West End, with a new artistic directorship at Kingston theatre.

If the top ten are dominated by producing powers, numbers 11 through 20 are more varied:

11 – Trevor Nunn, director
12 – Michael Grandage, director
13 – Raymond Gubbay, impresario
14 – Monica Mason/Antonio Pappano, Royal Ballet and Royal Opera directors
15 – Michael Attenborough, director
16 – Simon Russell Beale, actor
17 – Stephen Waley-Cohen, producer and president of the Society of London Theatre
18 – Colin Ingram – for Disney Theatricals (an odd choice, since he left the company over a year ago)
19 – Nick Salmon – chief executive of the Theatre Ivestment Fund
20 – Richard Eyre, director