Cameron Mackintosh

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This article is about British theatrical producer. For South African slalom canoer, see Cameron McIntosh.
Sir Cameron Mackintosh
Sir Cameron Mackintosh.jpg
Mackintosh at the Australian Premiere of Les Misérables, in December 2012
Born Cameron Anthony Mackintosh
(1946-10-17) 17 October 1946 (age 67)
Enfield, London, England

Sir Cameron Anthony Mackintosh (born 17 October 1946) is a British theatrical producer notable for his association with many commercially successful musicals. At the height of his success in 1990, he was described as being "the most successful, influential and powerful theatrical producer in the world" by the New York Times.[1] He is the producer of shows such as Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Oliver!, Miss Saigon and Cats.

Mackintosh was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996 for services to musical theatre.[2] In the Sunday Times Rich List of 2011, Mackintosh was estimated to have a fortune of £675 million ($1.1 billion), making him the third richest person in the British music industry.[3]

Early life[edit]

Mackintosh was born in Enfield, London, the son of Diana Gladys (née Tonna), a production secretary, and Ian Robert Mackintosh, a timber merchant and jazz trumpeter.[4] His father was Scottish, and his mother, a native of Malta, was of Maltese and French descent.[5][6] Mackintosh was raised in his mother's Roman Catholic faith[citation needed] and educated at Prior Park College in Bath.[7]

He first knew that he wanted to become a theatre producer after his aunt took him to a matinee of the Julian Slade musical Salad Days when he was 8 years old.[8]

Theatrical career[edit]

Mackintosh began his theatre career in his late teens, as a stagehand at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and then became an assistant stage manager on several touring productions. He began producing his own small tours before becoming a London-based producer in the 1970s.[9] His early London productions included Anything Goes in 1969 (which closed after only two weeks), The Card (1973), Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), My Fair Lady (1978) and Tom Foolery (1980).[10][11]

In 1981, he produced Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, then considered an unlikely subject for a musical.[10] It became the hit of the season and went on to become one of the longest running musicals on both sides of the Atlantic. After the success of Cats, he approached the French writing team Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil about bringing their musical Les Misérables (then a successful French concept album) to the London stage.[10] The musical opened in 1985 at the Barbican before transferring to the Palace Theatre. Les Misérables had a shaky start at the box office and a lukewarm critical reception before becoming a massive hit, largely by word-of-mouth.

In 1986, Mackintosh produced Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, which is (most likely) the most commercially successful musical of all time,[citation needed] outgrossing hit films such as Titanic and E.T.. The original London production is still running, along with the New York production, which is the longest-running Broadway musical of all time.[12]

He produced Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's next musical Miss Saigon, which opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in the West End in September 1989, and was similarly successful,[13] and the 1991 Broadway production[14] achieved what was then the largest advance ticket sales in theatre history.[15]

Mackintosh has produced several other successful musicals, including Five Guys Named Moe (both in London in 1990[16] and on Broadway) and a revised London production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies in 1987.[17] In 1995, Mackintosh produced the 10th anniversary concert of Les Misérables in London. Additionally he was responsible for presenting the West End transfers of the National Theatre revivals of Oklahoma! (1999),[18]My Fair Lady (2001),[19] and Carousel (1993).[11]

Mackintosh's less successful London productions include Moby Dick (1993),[20] and Martin Guerre (1996)[21] He produced the stage adaptation of John Updike's The Witches of Eastwick (2000) which, despite some positive reviews and run of over 15 months, failed to replicate the worldwide success of his previous blockbusters.

Walt Disney Theatrical president Thomas Schumacher met with Mackintosh in 2001 to discuss making Mary Poppins into a stage musical.[22] Mackintosh's involvement in the development of the 1964 musical adaptation led to his producing both the 2004 West End[23] and 2006 Broadway productions, at the Prince Edward Theatre and the New Amsterdam Theatre, respectively, along with Schumacher.[24] [25] He co-produced the London transfer of Avenue Q, which opened in the West End at the Noël Coward Theatre on 1 June 2006.[26]

In 1998, Mackintosh celebrated thirty years in show business with Hey, Mr. Producer!, a gala concert featuring songs from shows he had produced during his career. The concert was performed twice, on 7 and 8 June, with proceeds going to the Royal National Institute of Blind People and the Combined Theatrical Charities. Many celebrities took part, and the 8 June performance was attended by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.[27]

In 2008–9, Mackintosh produced a revival of Lionel Bart's Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The production was cast via the hit BBC television series I'd Do Anything. Jodie Prenger became the winner and was subsequently cast as Nancy in the production, with Rowan Atkinson as Fagin. The publicity and attention surrounding the production was unprecedented on the West End stage, and it was reported in January 2009 that the production was the fastest-selling show in West End history, with £15 million of pre-opening sales.[28]

Mackintosh has voiced interest in producing a Broadway revival of Barnum with American actor Neil Patrick Harris in the title role.[29]

In April 2010 Mackintosh staged a West End revival of the musical Hair in London's Gielgud Theatre. This production was transferred from Broadway where a production was revived in 2009.[30]

In 2013 he worked with the Chichester Festival Theatre on a revival of "Barnum (musical)", starring Christopher Fitzgerald (actor). Due the Theatre's refurbishment it was performed in a giant tent 'Theatre in the Park' in July and August.

On January 27, 2014, Cameron Mackintosh was the first British producer to be inducted into Broadway’s prestigious American Theater Hall of Fame.[31]

On Saturday 3 May 2014, Cameron Mackintosh relaunched Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre in London. Celebrating 25 years since the musical first launched.

Influence[edit]

Mackintosh is notable as a producer for his transformation of the musical into a global, highly profitable brand, and was the first theatrical producer to recognise that both touring productions and worldwide productions (often in countries where musicals were seldom seen, such as the former eastern bloc countries in the early 90s) were potentially highly lucrative markets which could, collectively, match and even surpass the revenues generated from New York and London productions.[32]

Mackintosh has also had considerable success in bringing legitimate theatre directors (such as the Royal Shakespeare Company's Trevor Nunn and Nicholas Hytner) and technicians to the world of musical theatre.

He is renowned for how closely he works with the creative team of a production.

He has recently expressed his interest in producing musicals from the otherwise neglected Asian and African regions, citing that the potential in these markets is inexhaustible.

Mackintosh's Delfont Mackintosh group owns seven London theatres, the Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, the Novello, the Queen's, the Gielgud, the Wyndham's, and the Noël Coward.

Personal life[edit]

Mackintosh was knighted in the 1996 New Year Honours for services to musical theatre.[2]

His partner is Australian-born theatre photographer Michael Le Poer Trench.[33]

In 2006, Mackintosh was listed 4th on The Independent on Sunday's Pink List, a list of the most influential "out-and-proud" gay men and women.[34] He was also listed 4th in 2005.[34] Mackintosh also topped The Stage 100 list in 2007 for the first time since 2000.[35] The list recognises the most influential members of the performing arts community at the end of each year.

He is a Patron of The Food Chain, a London-based HIV charity.

His younger brother, Robert Mackintosh, is also a producer.

In 1994 Mackintosh bought the Nevis Estate, on North Morar, to the east of Mallaig in the West Highlands of Scotland, covering around 14,000 acres (5,700 ha). He has since been involved in a long-running dispute with a tenant crofter, over the land use on the estate. Mackintosh wants to use the land for building holiday homes, but the crofter says the land is needed for grazing.[33][36]

Politics[edit]

In 1998 Mackintosh was named in a list of the biggest private financial donors to the Labour Party,[37] a decision he later claimed to regret,[38][39] saying: "Labour really fucked it up. They were profligate at a time when we were doing well. That's why we have the problems we have now. They didn't save any money for a rainy day. It couldn't have been worse these last 12 years."[40]

See also[edit]

  • The Sundowe, A new Scottish-based musical being produced by Cameron Mackintosh in association with Eden Court Theatre and the Scottish Executive

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Musical is Money to His Ears" New York Times, 9 December 1990
  2. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 54255. p. 21. 29 December 1995. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  3. ^ "The top 50 richest people in music: Sunday Times Rich List"'. This is Money. Retrieved 19 December 2012
  4. ^ Cameron Mackintosh Biography (1946-) Film Reference
  5. ^ "Cameron Mackintosh: Wizard of the West End" The Independent, 21 July 2001
  6. ^ "Mackintosh wins tourist award for London's starring role" The Independent, 21 April 2006
  7. ^ "Dance" priorparkcollege.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  8. ^ "Cameron Mackintosh". Cameron Mackintosh Limited. Archived from the original on 9 April 2008. 
  9. ^ "Cameron Mackintosh biography from official site" cameronmackintosh.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  10. ^ a b c Rothstein, Mervyn. "A Life in the Theatre: Cameron Mackintosh" playbill.com, 30 April 2011
  11. ^ a b "Production History, Official Site" cameronmackintosh.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  12. ^ http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=4491
  13. ^ " 'Miss Saigon' listing, West End" albemarle-london.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  14. ^ Miss Saigon at the Internet Broadway Database accessed 20 December 2012
  15. ^ Simonds, Jon. "AmerAsians and the Theater" newsun.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  16. ^ " 'Five Guys Named Moe' listing, Lyric Theatre" thisistheatre.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  17. ^ " 'Follies' inLondon" sondheimguide.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  18. ^ "Mackintosh Takes RNT's 'Oklahoma!' to Lyceum" whatsonstage.com, 25 September 1998
  19. ^ " 'My Fair Lady' Comes Home to Drury Lane, 21 Jul" whatsonstage.com, 20 March 2001
  20. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "UK's 'Moby Dick!' Musical Gets NYC Reading In Anticipation of US Licensing" playbill.com, 23 January 2003
  21. ^ "Mixed Reviews for London 'Martin Guerre'" playbill.com, 14 July 1996
  22. ^ Sibley, John; Michael Lassell (2007). Mary Poppins: Anything Can Happen If You Let It. Disney Editions New York. pp. 348–349. ISBN 0-7868-3657-1
  23. ^ Nathan, John (2008-01-12). "London Mary Poppins Takes Her Final Bow". Playbill. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  24. ^ Mary Poppins ibdb.com, accessed 19 December 2012
  25. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Playbill.Com's Brief Encounter with Thomas Schumacher" playbill.com, 19 September 2006
  26. ^ Shenton, Mark. "London's 'Avenue Q' Extends to January 2010" playbill.com, 30 July 2009
  27. ^ Archive for 'Hey, Mr. Producer!'" albemarle-london.com, accessed 19 December 2012
  28. ^ BWW News Desk Mackintosh's OLIVER! Scores Big with Critics and Box Office BroadwayWorld.com, 15 January 2009
  29. ^ BWW News Desk Neil Patrick Harris Headed Back to Broadway in BARNUM? BroadwayWorld.com, 5 February 2010
  30. ^ Hair stages a Sixties reunion London Evening Standard, 15 April 2010
  31. ^ "Cameron Mackintosh enters Broadway Hall of Fame" bestoftheatre.co.uk, accessed 11 February 2014
  32. ^ Gamerman, Ellen (23 July 2010). "Exporting Broadway". The Wall Street Journal. 
  33. ^ a b Jamieson, Alastair (17 October 2010). "West End millionaire Sir Cameron Mackintosh in court battle with crofter". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  34. ^ a b "Gay Power: The pink list". independent.co.uk. The Independent. 2 Jul 2006. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  35. ^ Smith, Alistair (27 December 2007). "Mackintosh tops this year's Stage 100". The Stage. Retrieved 4 January 2008. 
  36. ^ Brown, Jonathan (28 February 2011). "Sir Cameron Mackintosh: The impresario, the land dispute, and a boat in flames". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  37. ^ "'Luvvies' for Labour". BBC News. 30 August 1998. 
  38. ^ Walker, Tim (16 April 2010). "David Cameron wins applause from impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh". London: Telegraph. 
  39. ^ "Cameron Mackintosh:'Cuts needn't be bad for creativity'". London: Independent. 20 September 2010. 
  40. ^ "Cameron Mackintosh: 'Cuts needn't be bad for creativity'". The Independent (London). 20 September 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Hey, Mr. Producer! The Musical World of Cameron Mackintosh by Sheridan Morley and Ruth Leon, published in the UK by Weidenfeld & Nicolson and in the US by Back Stage Books, 1998.

External links[edit]