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Steve Tompkins, who has been named the most influential person in the The Stage 100 list

Steve Tompkins, who has been named the most influential person in The Stage 100 list

Steve Tompkins tops The Stage 100 list 2019

Eleni Cashell

By Eleni Cashell Published 3 January 2019

Steve Tompkins, the creative Stirling Prize-winning architect, has been named the most influential person in British theatre by The Stage 100.

This annual list showcases those who are making a positive and significant impact on the theatre and the performing arts world in the UK.

Topping this year’s list, Steve Tompkins is the director of Haworth Tompkins, an architecture studio who has worked on many high-profile building projects in UK theatres.

Some of their prestigious work has taken decades to complete and included projects at the National Theatre, Bridge Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, Liverpool Everyman and Bristol Old Vic. Steve and his company have transformed theatre spaces to ensure they’re modern, accessible and stunning, and the work isn’t over yet, as in 2019 they will begin work on Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Completing the top five are Sonia Friedman (2) who in 2018 alone produced 23 shows across the globe, Andrew Lloyd Webber (3), Cameron Mackintosh (4) and the National Theatre’s Rufus Norris and Lisa Burger (5).

New names on The Stage 100 list

Carrie Hope Fletcher (Photo: Darren Bell)

There are exciting new names joining the list, including actors Sir Ian McKellen (24); Carrie Hope Fletcher (90); Hamilton star Giles Terera (87) and performer Arinze Kene (49).

Joining them are directors Jamie Lloyd (32), who recently directed Pinter at the Pinter, Stephen Daldry (28), director of The Jungle and The Inheritance, and Phyllida Lloyd (57), the musical director for Mamma Mia! and Tina the musical.

The highest new entry is Leonard Blavatnik and Danny Cohen, who bought and took over the running of Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2018, who enter the list at number nine.


Rising entries on The Stage 100 list

Company at Gielgud Theatre (Photo: Brinkhoff/Mogenburg)

There are also familiar faces from last year’s list rising up, including: Chris Harper and Marianne Elliott for productions including Company (from 39 to 12), lighting designer Paule Constable (89 to 27) following her work to overturn EU lighting regulations, Royal Opera House’s senior management team following the venue’s redevelopment (from 46 to 18), and Parents and Carers in the Performing Arts founders Cassie Raine and Anna Ehnold-Danailov (from 88 to 52).

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre, and Cassie Chadderton (Head of UK Theatre & Membership Development), placed at number 44. They rise one place on last year for SOLT’s work on preventing bullying and harassment in theatre, steering conversations around the need for strong governance in the arts and launching a support phone line for those who work in Theatreland.

Top 20 (last year’s positions in brackets):

  1. Steve Tompkins (23)
  2. Sonia Friedman (3)
  3. Andrew Lloyd Webber (4)
  4. Cameron Mackintosh (2)
  5. Rufus Norris and Lisa Burger (5)
  6. Mark Cornell, Adam Kenwright and Michael Lynas (16)
  7. Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer (6)
  8. Michael Harrison (8)
  9. Leonard Blavatnik and Danny Cohen (new entry)
  10. Rupert Goold and Denise Wood (11)
  11. Nick Starr and Nicholas Hytner (7)
  12. Marianne Elliott and Chris Harper (39)
  13. David Lan (12)
  14. Sarah Frankcom (15)
  15. Kwame Kwei-Armah (20)
  16. Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire (28)
  17. Gregory Doran, Catherine Mallyon and Erica Whyman (17)
  18. Alex Beard, Antonio Pappano, Oliver Mears and Kevin O’Hare (46)
  19. Vicky Featherstone and Lucy Davies (1)
  20. Edward Snape, Marilyn Eardley and Jon Bath (53)


The full list can be viewed on The Stage’s website.


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andrew lloyd webber cameron mackintosh carrie hope fletcher ian mckellen julian bird lisa burger phyllida lloyd rufus norris sonia friedman stage 100 stephen daldry Steve Tompkins

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