The Stage 100 reflects the 100 most influential people working in the theatre and performing arts industry and this year, stage and screen star Ian McKellen, is the first actor to ever top the list. His one-man show, Ian McKellen On Stage, saw the actor traverse the whole of the UK with an 80-date tour to celebrate his 80th birthday.
Ian McKellen said, “It’s been a joyful year taking my show to eighty-seven theatres up and down the country and meeting audiences of all ages, who relish live theatre as much as I do. All profits have stayed with the local theatres and finally, at the Harold Pinter Theatre, we’ve contributed to national theatre charities, from the National Youth Theatre to Denville Hall, where old colleagues end their days. I thank The Stage for putting me at the top of their list for 2020, an honour I share with the brilliant production team from ATG.”
Other figures featured in The Stage 100 2020 include Sonia Friedman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh – all of whom have held the top spot in previous years. Maggie Smith (50) also makes the list thanks to her first stage performance in more than a decade, while pantomime star Julian Clary (51) is featured for the first time thanks to his headlining performances at the London Palladium.
We’re also delighted that our very own Julian Bird, CEO of Society Of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre and Producer of the Olivier Awards, continues to feature in the list, this year at position 70 and SOLT president, producer Kenny Wax, features at number 22.
New entries include: Sheffield Theatres’ Robert Hastie and Dan Bates (16), David Greig and Mike Griffiths at Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh (43), Fuel’s Kate McGrath (49), designer Bunny Christie (88), Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch’s Douglas Rintoul and Mathew Russell (91) and Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Elizabeth Newman and Kris Bryce (96).
The list, which is considered from the point of view of The Stage as a trade publication, focuses on theatre both as a business and an art form. Inclusion within the list and ranking is weighted towards achievements in the past 12 months, but also takes into account continuous achievement. The aim of the list is to reflect the astonishing breadth of the theatre industry and has been published for 24 years.