The Stage 100 for 2018

Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Dateline: 7th January, 2018

The Stage 100 most influential people in theatre

Industry publication The Stage has announced the list of the most influential people in theatre, The Stage 100, for 2018.

In a year in which the entertainment industry has been facing its sexual harassment demons head-on, it is unsurprising perhaps that artistic director of the Royal Court, Vicky Featherstone, who has led the response against such abuses of power, should be placed at number one on the list.

Readers will have to look towards the end of the list to find other theatre industry campaigners such as Simeilia Hodge Dallaway from Artistic Directors of the Future (90), theatremaker Jess Thom (84) and Cassie Raine and Anna Ehnold-Danailov from Parents in Performing Arts (88).

Whilst seeing a woman at the top of the list is of itself to be heralded as good news, and congratulations to her for it, the industry should not yet warm itself with self satisfaction, as Featherstone is only the third woman to hold the top spot.

The second was Sonia Friedman whom Featherstone toppled to take the plinth, and the first was a flash in the pan twenty years ago when Stoll Moss Theatres' Janet Holmes a Court was placed first. (When Ambassador Theatre Group's Rosemary Squire was number one, she shared the honours with Howard Panter.)

Featherstone's top entry, the drop of women in the top 20 from 10 to 8, and the fact that Kwei-Armah is the only black Briton to have featured in the top 20—and that by dint of joining the list at number 20 this year—says a great deal about how far the industry still has to go in changing words about equality into results.

That Kwei-Armah has broken into the top 20 and the 7% increase from 39% to 46% of women in the list overall are but glimmers of hope.

Whilst all eyes are on sexual harassment, and essential though it is to eradicate such behaviours, allowing this necessity to grab all the attention risks diminishing action on equality issues of any and all types, a retrograde step the industry would be wise to avoid.

Elsewhere on the list, cynics may note that the creator of the uber-hyped, super hit, hip-hop Hamilton (and the lesser known, In the Heights with Quiara Alegría Hudes), Lin-Manuel Miranda, zooms in and takes the number 9 spot whilst Ivo van Hove (A View from the Bridge, Hedda Gabler and Lazarus plus others) joins the list at number 19.

That says something about the industry market place but only the truly churlish would withhold their congratulations to either of them.

Felicitations too to theatre architect Steve Tompkins designer of The Bridge Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre restoration, amongst others, who has the 23rd place, Imelda Staunton one of the stars of Follies and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at 26 and Martin Green of Hull City of Culture at 14.

Gemma Bodinetz and Deborah Aydon of Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse have moved up 17 places to 18 and Royal Exchange Manchester's Sarah Frankcom has risen 16 places to number 15, but the big mover is playwright James Graham who has shimmied 66 places to get to number 10. Graham recently had three West End productions (This House, Ink and Labour of Love).

The Stage 100 in full

  1. Vicky Featherstone
  2. Cameron Mackintosh and Nicholas Allott
  3. Sonia Friedman
  4. Andrew Lloyd Webber
  5. Rufus Norris and Lisa Burger
  6. Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer
  7. Nick Starr and Nicholas Hytner
  8. Michael Harrison
  9. Lin-Manuel Miranda
  10. James Graham
  11. Rupert Goold and Denise Wood
  12. David Lan and Lucy Woollatt
  13. Nick Thomas
  14. Martin Green
  15. Sarah Frankcom
  16. Mark Cornell, Adam Kenwright and Michael Lynas
  17. Gregory Doran, Catherine Mallyon and Erica Whyman
  18. Gemma Bodinetz and Deborah Aydon
  19. Ivo van Hove
  20. Kwame Kwei-Armah
  21. Matthew Bourne
  22. Robert Icke
  23. Steve Tompkins
  24. Bill Kenwright
  25. David Ian
  26. Imelda Staunton
  27. Toni Racklin
  28. Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire
  29. Alistair Spalding
  30. Emma Rice and Neil Constable
  31. Matthew Byam Shaw, Nia Janis, Nick Salmon
  32. Daniel Evans and Rachel Tackley
  33. Nicholas Serota and Darren Henley
  34. Robert Hastie and Dan Bates
  35. Jez Butterworth
  36. Matthew Warchus and Kate Varah
  37. Josie Rourke and Kate Pakenham
  38. Sam Mendes and Caro Newling
  39. Marianne Elliott
  40. Fiona Allan
  41. Kenny Wax
  42. Madani Younis
  43. Dominic Cooke
  44. David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers
  45. Julian Bird and Cassie Chadderton
  46. Alex Beard, Oliver Mears, Kevin O 'Hare and Antonio Pappano
  47. Sarah Holmes
  48. Jenny Sealey
  49. Jeremy Herrin
  50. Jack Thorne
  51. James Grieve and George Perrin
  52. Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood
  53. Edward Snape, Marilyn Eardley and Jon Bath
  54. Michael Grade and Michael Linnit
  55. John Tiffany
  56. Mark Goucher
  57. Nikolai Foster and Chris Stafford
  58. Michael Grandage
  59. Mike Bartlett
  60. Michelle Terry
  61. Tamara Rojo
  62. Amber Riley
  63. Drew McOnie
  64. Tom Morris and Emma Stenning
  65. Katie Mitchell
  66. David Greig
  67. Sean Holmes and Sian Alexander
  68. Indhu Rubasingham
  69. Rachel O' Riordan
  70. Michael Longhurst
  71. Mike Shepherd
  72. Andrew Scott
  73. Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields and Henry Lewis
  74. Marcus Davey
  75. Jackie Wylie
  76. Lucy Kirkwood
  77. Hofesh Shechter and Henny Finch
  78. David Jubb
  79. David Byrne
  80. Carlos Acosta
  81. Adrian Vinken and Simon Stokes
  82. Nadia Fall
  83. Sarah Brigham
  84. Jess Thom
  85. Inua Ellams
  86. Simon Stephens
  87. Purni Morell
  88. Cassie Raine and Anna Ehnold-Danailov
  89. Paule Constable
  90. Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway
  91. Alan Lane
  92. Jamie Wilson
  93. Kully Thiarai
  94. Tom MacRae and Dan Gillespie Sells
  95. Paul Miller
  96. Selina Thompson
  97. Bunny Christie
  98. Tim Wilson, Mat Burt and Andy George
  99. Joseph Houston, William Whelton and Katy Lipson
  100. Jay Miller