Mackintosh is king of stage

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The Independent Online
THE MOST important person in British theatre is Sir Cameron Mackintosh, according to a survey of the profession.

The Stage newspaper annually draws up a list of the top 100 people in theatre by canvassing views throughout the theatrical world. Impresario Sir Cameron tops the list with the Australian Janet Holmes a Court, owner of the Stoll Moss group of theatres, in second place - a reversal of last year's placings. The only performer in the top 10 is Dame Judi Dench.

But The Stage points out that compiling the top 100 would be a more accurate job if more box office figures were published. Few theatres, commercial or subsidised, make public their box office returns.

The criteria for the top 100 most important people in theatre today are based on individual assets, the number of people employed, quality of product, risks taken and contribution to the image and future of the profession.

Among the actors in the top 100 are Sir Ian McKellen, who has been highly successful in Leeds after vocally quitting London; Ewan McGregor, who last year became a stage as well as screen personality; Nigel Hawthorne, who has just been made a knight; Geraldine Mc- Ewan; Ralph Fiennes; Vanessa Redgrave and Dame Diana Rigg. The Stage says that Rigg's roles in Phedre and Britannicus "confirm her position at the top of the profession".

There is no place for Helen Mirren or Alan Rickman, who were in the disappointing National Theatre production of Antony and Cleopatra. But Trevor Nunn, artistic director of the National, is in the top 10.

Among playwrights, Mark Ravenhill, Jonathan Harvey, Jim Cartwright and Terry Johnson join the expected names of Tom Stoppard, Alan Ayckbourn and Harold Pinter.

The Stage comments on the list: "With a relaunched Martin Guerre, transfer of Oklahoma, tours of Oliver and talk of putting on My Fair Lady, Mackintosh continues to spread his risk and roll out high-quality product worldwide."

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