Described by the New York Times as “the most successful, influential and powerful producer of our time”, Cameron Mackintosh is considered by many to be the man who transformed musical theatre into a viable global industry. The three most famous shows he has produced, Cats, Les Misérables and The Phantom Of The Opera, have all found success across the globe while also enjoying record-breaking runs in the West End.
Mackintosh began his theatre career as a stagehand at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in the mid-1960s. He then progressed to being stage manager on various touring productions before establishing himself as a London producer in the 1970s.
After a modicum of success with his initial productions, Mackintosh’s breakthrough came in 1981 when he produced Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, a production which spectacularly exceeded many people’s gloomy expectations and ran for the next 21 years. Mackintosh further evinced his knack for unearthing unexpected hits with his next major project, Les Misérables. Once again many experts predicted failure for a show which, at the time of writing, has been running for 23 years, longer than any other West End show. Should Les Mis ever cease its run, The Phantom Of The Opera, another show produced by Mackintosh, would be poised to take over the record.
In addition to his startling success as a producer, Mackintosh, through his Delfont-Mackintosh Group, is also the owner of seven West End theatres: the Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, the Novello, the Queen’s, the Gielgud, the Wyndham’s and the Noël Coward. Mackintosh is also a noted philanthropist and is a patron of The Food Chain, a London-based HIV charity.