Ambassador Theatre Group's Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire OBE have topped the The Stage 100 for a record-breaking seventh consecutive year following a landmark year of international acquisitions and production investment. The announcement makes Panter and Squire the most successful entrants ever on the exclusive list which is compiled annually by the UK industry's leading newspaper, which ranks the powerhouses of British theatre.
The hugely successful West End and Broadway producer, Sonia Friedman, also appears on The Stage 100 list at number two. Sonia Friedman Productions is a group partner company of ATG. It has been a remarkable year for Sonia, having already been crowned Producer of the Year at The Stage Awards, a title she will defend later this month. Sonia's productions include Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch and later this year, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II.
Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire OBE said: "2015 was an extremely important year in ATG's history. Alongside continuing to produce diverse high quality work, we also continued our global expansion and are enormously excited about what this means for ATG over the next twelve months. It is a great honour to yet again top The Stage 100, and we are delighted to be part of such a vibrant, and exciting, industry."
photography: Jenny Anderson
ATG Production highlights for 2015 included The Ruling Class starring James McAvoy, the 50th anniversary production of the multi award-winning Harold Pinter classic The Homecoming starring John Simm, Gary Kemp and Keith Allen, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown starring Tamsin Greig, the critically-acclaimed Gypsy starring Imelda Staunton at the Savoy Theatre, Arcadia with English Touring Theatre, Oresteia at Trafalgar Studios, The Rocky Horror Show returning to the West End starring Richard O'Brien; his first appearance in the show in over 20 years and a 2015/16 pantomime season including 10 First Family Entertainment produced regional pantomimes starring Torvill and Dean, Warwick Davis, Verne Troyer, Katie Price and Priscilla Presley.
ATG and Glasgow Citizens Theatre launched their co-production of The Choir and ATG toured UK co-productions of Spamalot, Jersey Boys, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, East is East, Inala and Love Me Tender. The Rocky Horror Show continued to tour Europe.
ATG continued to co-produce Broadway content. ATG's co-venture of Lincoln Center Theatre's production of The King & I collected four Tony Awards in 2015 including Best Revival of a Musical. On The Town played at ATG's Lyric Theatre throughout 2015 and ATG co-produced Constellations starring Jake Gyllenhall and Ruth Wilson.In Australia, production highlights included Thriller Live and a tour of The Rocky Horror Show starring Craig McLachlan.
ATG production highlights for 2016 include The End of Longing starring Matthew Perry at The Playhouse Theatre in February and The Maids starring Uzo Aduba, Zawe Ashton and Laura Carmichael as part of Trafalgar Transformed at Trafalgar Studios. On Broadway, the Lyric Theatre will be the home of Cirque du Soleil's first every Broadway production, Paramour, which will begin performances in April, 2016 and in Australia, Ghost the Musical opens in Adelaide.
In May 2015, ATG made its first European acquisition, taking a majority shareholding in BB Group, one of the leading producers and promoters of premium live entertainment in Europe, with a particular strength in touring musicals and dance productions throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In August 2015, ATG agreed terms with the co-owners of Sydney's MLC Centre (QIC and The GPT Group) for the lease and management of the Theatre Royal in Sydney, Australia. A milestone development that marked ATG's first theatre in Asia Pacific, and a region that will continue to play a major part in ATG's international expansion plan.
September 2015 saw ATG complete the acquisition of ACE Theatrical Group (ACE) in the US; a company which specialises in the operation, design, development and construction of world class, live performance venues throughout North America. ACE' s impressive portfolio of large-scale theatrical venues comprises the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York; the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, Louisiana; the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts in New Orleans, Louisiana; the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas; and the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in San Antonio, Texas.
2015 ended with ATG, through its subsidiary, Hudson Theatre LLC, entering a long-term lease for The Hudson Theatre, its second theatre on Broadway, from a subsidiary of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (M&C). M&C and ATG will be, in a multi-million dollar project, restoring the landmark venue to its former glory as a Broadway playhouse. The anticipated re-launch of the theatre is slated for the 2016/2017 Broadway Season.
Also in 2015, Rosemary Squire (as EY UK Entrepreneur of the Year) became the first woman ever to represent the UK at the EY World Entrepreneur Awards in Monaco, one of only 6 women world finalists in a field of 60 overall, and shortlisted to the final 10 and ATG topped the sixth annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200. The league table ranks Britain's mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.