Sir Howard Panter, the co-founder, Joint CEO and Creative Director of the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd (ATG) attended the investiture ceremony hosted by The Queen at Windsor Castle last Friday (22 November) where he received a Knighthood for Services to Theatre.
Speaking at the ceremony, Panter said: ’Today has been the most special of days, and marks the pinnacle of an incredible year, both personally and professionally.
Working alongside my wonderful wife Rosemary to build ATG into the success story it is today has been a labour of love and I am truly delighted that our hard work has been recognised with this honour.
I am humbled by today's ceremony and look forward to continuing our Great British success story.’
Panter has been a key figure in theatre for more than 30 years. Alongside his wife and business partner, Rosemary Squire OBE, Panter has topped The Stage 100 four times consecutively, from 2010 to 2013 and the pair were recently placed first in the Evening Standard ‘Power 1000’ Theatre section.
Under Panter’s leadership, ATG has become the world’s number one live-theatre group and one of the most prolific theatre producers in the world with co-productions in London, across the UK, New York, across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
As Creative Director of ATG Productions, Panter has produced and co-produced musicals, dance and drama. He has been responsible for producing some of the most exciting stars in the theatrical world, from Damian Lewis to Simon Callow, from Keira Knightley to Ewan McGregor. As well as commissioning many writers. Some first time to the theatre, including Peter Ackroyd and Jonathan Bate.
Since the pair founded ATG in 1992, the company has grown from nothing to become the world’s largest live-theatre group with a total of 39 venues in Britain, and one in the US with 4000 employees. Earlier this year, the company acquired The Foxwoods Theatre, the largest theatre on Broadway and is now further expanding its portfolio overseas in key international territories including North America and Asia Pacific.
Panter has been the catalyst behind some of the most important production companies in the West End, UK regions and Broadway, including Sonia Friedman Productions, Jamie Lloyd Productions, Jerry Mitchell Productions and First Family Entertainment.
Panter’s diverse co-production credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Robert Lindsay, Rufus Hound and Katherine Kingsley, Macbeth starring James McAvoy, The Hothouse starring Simon Russell Beale and John Simm, Passion Play starring Zoë Wanamaker, Posh, Jumpy starring Tamsin Greig and Constellations starring Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins (Royal Court at the Duke of York’s), Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Legally Blonde the Musical, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Rocky Horror Show, Goodnight Mister Tom, The Mystery of Charles Dickens, Lincoln Center’s production of South Pacific, All New People starring Zach Braff, Ghost the Musical, Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker!, Being Shakespeare starring Simon Callow, The Misanthrope starring Damian Lewis and Keira Knightley, West Side Story. Elling and Guys and Dolls, starring Ewan McGregor.
On Broadway, his credits have included The Mountaintop starring Samuel L Jackson and Angela Bassett, Exit the King starring Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon and John Doyle’s award winning productions of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and Company.
Panter is a Director of the Rocky Horror Company Limited, was Chairman of The English Shakespeare Company and Director of West End theatre owners Maybox Group plc. He served on the LAMDA Development Council and is currently Chair of Rambert Dance Company. Rambert has recently raised over £20m required to build their magnificent new home on London’s South Bank, directly behind the National Theatre.