Stephen Waley-Cohen

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Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen
2009 photo of Waley-Cohen
Photo taken on 3 April 2009.
Born Stephen Harry Waley-Cohen
(1946-06-22) June 22, 1946 (age 68)
Education Eton and Magdalene College, Cambridge.[1][2]
Occupation Theatre producer
Spouse(s) Pamela Doniger (?-?; 3 children)
Josie Spencer (2 children)

Sir Stephen Harry Waley-Cohen, 2nd Baronet (born 22 June 1946)[3] is a theatre owner-manager and producer, following a career as a businessman and financial journalist. He manages the St. Martin's Theatre in London’s West End and is the current producer of The Mousetrap, the world's longest running play.[4][5] He is Chairman of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) Council.[6]


His father, Bernard Waley-Cohen, was Lord Mayor of London.


Waley-Cohen was a financial journalist, at the Daily Mail from 1968–73,[3] and a founder director and publisher at Euromoney Publications (which later became Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC)[4][7] from 1969-83.[3]

He was involved with the insurance business, including as chairman of Willis Faber & Dumas (Agencies) (part of what became the Willis Group) from 1992–99,[3][8] director of the Stewart Wrightson Members Agency Ltd 1987-98[3] and chairman of Policy Portfolio plc from 1993-98.[3][9]

He was chairman of First Call Group plc from 1996–98 and of Portsmouth & Sunderland Newspaper plc from 1998-99.[3] He was a director of Exeter Preferred Capital Investment Trust plc 1992-2003.[3]


Waley-Cohen has been a theatre owner and manager since 1984 when he was Joint Chief Executive of Maybox Group, which managed the Albery (now named the Noël Coward), Criterion, Donmar Warehouse, Piccadilly, Whitehall (now Trafalgar Studios) and Wyndham's theatres, until it was sold in 1989.[3][4]

In 1989 he became managing director of the Victoria Palace Theatre,[3][4] and took on the management of the St. Martin’s Theatre.[3][4] He managed the Vaudeville Theatre from 1996-2001[3][10] and the Savoy from 1997-2005.[4][11] In April 2007 he took over the Ambassadors Theatre.[3][4] In 2014, he sold the Victoria Palace and the Ambassadors to Delfont Mackintosh Theatres[12]

He became the producer of The Mousetrap in 1994.[3][5] During his time managing the St. Martin's Theatre, he had got to know The Mousetrap's producer, Peter Saunders. Waley-Cohen said, "When [Saunders] wanted to retire at the age of 80, he picked up the phone to me".[13] Mousetrap Productions, of which Waley-Cohen is the sole director, is licensed to produce the play by Mathew Prichard, Agatha Christie's grandson, to whom she gave the rights to The Mousetrap when he was nine.[13]

In 1997, Waley-Cohen launched the education charity, Mousetrap Theatre Projects.[14] The charity brings disadvantaged young people into the West End to experience theatre, and runs access, education and audience development programmes. The charity had taken over 100,000 young people to the theatre by 2012.[14]

Appointments and honours[edit]

Waley-Cohen is Chairman of the RADA Council (a position to which he was elected in September 2007),[3][4][15] and Chairman of RADA's Development Board.[6] He was President of The Society of London Theatre from 2002-2005, having been a member since 1984 and a Board Member since 1993.[3][4][16] He was a Trustee of The Theatres Trust from 1998-2004.[3][4]

He is President of the JCA Charitable Foundation, which supports projects for education, agriculture and tourism in rural areas of Israel such as Galilee and the Negev.[3][17] In 2011 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.[18]

He was chairman of the British-American Project executive committee from 1989–92, and continued to have a role in its subsequent development.[3][19]

As a hereditary baronet, Waley-Cohen is styled Sir as part of his baronetcy - the title is not a knighthood.


  1. ^ "Preview Family Record", Burke's Peerage. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  2. ^ "Stephen Waley-Cohen Bt: Executive Profile & Biography", Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen, Bt Authorised Biography", Debrett’s People of Today. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Victoria Palace Licenses AudienceView Ticketing Solution", AudienceView Ticketing Company, 22 January 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  5. ^ a b "Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen On ... Producing the Ultimate Long-runner",, November 25, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  6. ^ a b "About RADA | Governance", RADA. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  7. ^ Peter Truell, "Can 2 Magazine Cultures Find Happiness Together?", The New York Times , 6 September 1997. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  8. ^ "Appointment At Willis Faber And Dumas", Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, 16 February 1992. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  9. ^ "Bottom Line: Unsuitable Portfolio for investors", The Independent, 2 July 1993. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  10. ^ Mark Fox, "Theatres - Vaudeville Theatre", Nimax Theatres. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  11. ^ Alistair Smith, "ATG buys Savoy Theatre", The Stage, 12 October 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  12. ^ Cameron Mackintosh buys West End’s Victoria Palace and Ambassadors theatres
  13. ^ a b Valerie Lawson, "The Mousetrap a veritable money trap", The Australian Financial Review, 8 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  14. ^ a b "Mousetrap Theatre Projects - History", Mousetrap Theatre Projects, March 15, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  15. ^ "About RADA | Brief History", RADA. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  16. ^ Nuala Calvi, "ATG’s Squire elected SOLT president", The Stage, 28 June 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  17. ^ "ICA In Israel", JCA Charitable Foundation. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  18. ^ "Five Outstanding Individuals Honored", Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Summer 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  19. ^ "Our History Cont'd", BAP. Retrieved 2012-12-01.