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Cameron Mackintosh

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Cameron Mackintosh
Mackintosh at Hatchards, London, 2022
Cameron Anthony Mackintosh

(1946-10-17) 17 October 1946 (age 77)
Enfield, London, England
PartnerMichael Le Poer Trench

Sir Cameron Anthony Mackintosh (born 17 October 1946) is a British theatrical producer and theatre owner 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 including Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Miss Saigon, Mary Poppins, Oliver!, and Hamilton.

Mackintosh was knighted in 1996 for services to musical theatre.[2] Two of his productions, Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera, are the two longest-running musicals in West End history. In 2008, The Daily Telegraph ranked him number 7 in their list of the "100 most powerful people in British culture".[3] In the Sunday Times Rich List of 2021, Mackintosh was estimated to have a net worth of £1.2 billion.[4]

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.[5] His father was Scottish, and his mother who was a native of Malta, was of Maltese and French descent.[6][7] Mackintosh was educated at Prior Park College in Bath.[8]

Mackintosh 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 eight years old.[9]

Theatrical career[edit]

Mackintosh in 2012

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. In 1967, working with Robin Alexander, he co-produced five plays at the Kenton Theatre, Henley.[10] He began producing his own small tours before becoming a London-based producer in the 1970s.[11] His early London productions included Anything Goes in 1969 (which closed after a mere two weeks), The Card (1973), Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), My Fair Lady (1978), and Tomfoolery (1980).[12][13]

In 1981, he produced Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, then considered an unlikely subject for a musical.[12] 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.[12] 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 and is now the longest running musical[14] and second longest running London production.[15]

In 1986, Mackintosh produced Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera,[16] which is one of the most commercially successful musicals of all time.[17] The original London production is still running and is the 3rd longest running production in London,[15] along with the New York production, which is the longest-running Broadway musical of all time.[18]

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. It was similarly successful,[19] and the 1991 Broadway production[20] had what was then the largest advance ticket sales in theatre history prior to its controversy.[21] Asian American actors protested the casting of a Caucasian actor and the use of yellowface in the role of the pimp.

Mackintosh has produced several other successful musicals, including Five Guys Named Moe (both in London in 1990[22] and on Broadway) and a revised London production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies in 1987.[23] 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),[24] My Fair Lady (2001),[25] and Carousel (1993).[13]

Mackintosh's less successful London productions include Moby Dick (1993)[26] and Martin Guerre (1996).[27] He produced the stage adaptation of John Updike's The Witches of Eastwick (2000) which despite some positive reviews and a run of over 15 months, failed to replicate the worldwide success of his previous blockbusters.

Mackintosh became a co-owner of the theatrical licensing company Music Theatre International in 1990. He started the theatre group Delfont Mackintosh Theatres in 1991.

Disney Theatrical Productions president Thomas Schumacher met with Mackintosh in 2001 to discuss making Mary Poppins into a stage musical.[28] Mackintosh's involvement in the development of the musical adaptation led to his producing both the 2004 West End[29] and 2006 Broadway productions, at the Prince Edward Theatre and the New Amsterdam Theatre, respectively, along with Schumacher.[30][31] He co-produced the London transfer of Avenue Q, which opened in the West End at the Noël Coward Theatre on 1 June 2006.[32]

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.[33]

Mackintosh produced a revival of Lionel Bart's Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane which ran from 2008–09. 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.[34]

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 revival production was staged in 2009.[35]

In 2013, he worked with the Chichester Festival Theatre on a revival of Barnum, starring Christopher Fitzgerald. Due to the Theatre's refurbishment, it was performed in a giant tent 'Theatre in the Park' in July and August. Mackintosh has voiced interest in producing a Broadway revival of Barnum with American actor Neil Patrick Harris in the title role.[36]

On 27 January 2014, Mackintosh was the first British producer to be inducted into Broadway's American Theater Hall of Fame.[37]

On 3 May 2014, Mackintosh relaunched Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre in London, celebrating 25 years since its first launch.[38]

On 6 December 2017 Mackintosh began previews of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway hit musical Hamilton in London. It premiered on 21 December 2017 at the Victoria Palace Theatre.


Mackintosh is notable as a producer for his transformation of the musical into a global and highly profitable brand; he 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.[39]

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.

Mackintosh's Delfont Mackintosh group owns eight London theatres, the Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, the Novello, the Sondheim, the Gielgud, the Wyndham's, the Victoria Palace and the Noël Coward.

Personal life[edit]

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

His partner is Australian-born theatre photographer Michael Le Poer Trench.[40] They met at the opening night of a production of Oklahoma! in Adelaide, Australia in 1982.[41] The couple live between homes in London; Stavordale Priory in Charlton Musgrove, Somerset; and the Nevis Estate, on North Morar in the West Highlands.

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.[42] He was also listed 4th in 2005.[42] Mackintosh also topped The Stage 100 list in 2007 for the first time since 2000.[43] 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.

Laird of Nevis[edit]

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. As the laird, Mackintosh wants to use the land for building holiday homes, but the crofter says the land is needed for grazing.[40][44]


In 1990, Mackintosh responded to criticism of Jonathan Pryce using prosthetics and skin darkening makeup to play a Vietnamese character, "We passionately disapprove of stereotype casting...by choosing to discriminate against Mr. Pryce on the basis of his race, Equity has further violated the fundamental principles of federal and state human rights laws, as well as of federal labor laws."[45]

In 1998, Mackintosh was named in a list of the biggest private financial donors to the Labour Party,[46] a decision he later regretted,[47][48] saying in 2010, "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."[48] In the 2015 British general election, Mackintosh donated £25,000 to the successful Conservative candidate for Somerton and Frome, David Warburton.[49]

In the 2016 European Union membership referendum, Mackintosh voted for the UK to leave the EU, stating that it was "not because I don't love Europe - I do huge amount of work in Europe and love Europeans - but there is something wrong with a system where the Fat Controller is not accountable".[50]

Production credits[edit]


  1. ^ "The Musical is Money to His Ears" New York Times, 9 December 1990
  2. ^ a b "No. 54255". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1995. p. 21.
  3. ^ "The 100 most powerful people in British culture". Daily Telegraph. 9 November 2016. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  4. ^ "The Sunday Times Rich List 2021". www.thetimes.co.uk. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  5. ^ Cameron Mackintosh Biography (1946–) Film Reference
  6. ^ "Cameron Mackintosh: Wizard of the West End"[dead link] The Independent, 21 July 2001
  7. ^ "Mackintosh wins tourist award for London's starring role" The Independent, 21 April 2006
  8. ^ "Dance" Archived 19 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine priorparkcollege.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  9. ^ "Cameron Mackintosh". Cameron Mackintosh Limited. Archived from the original on 9 April 2008.
  10. ^ Behr, Edward (1989). The Complete Book of les Misérables. p. 55. ISBN 978-1559700337.
  11. ^ "Cameron Mackintosh biography from official site" Archived 21 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine cameronmackintosh.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  12. ^ a b c Rothstein, Mervyn. "A Life in the Theatre: Cameron Mackintosh" Archived 23 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, 30 April 2011
  13. ^ a b "Production History, Official Site" Archived 15 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine cameronmackintosh.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  14. ^ "The 20 Longest-Running West End Musicals". Official London Theatre. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Top 10 Longest-Running West End Shows". www.atgtickets.com. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera to premiere in Kuala Lumpur". www.nst.com.my. 10 December 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  17. ^ Gans, Andrew (22 September 2014). "The Lion King Is Now Top Earner in Box-Office History". Playbill. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  18. ^ The Broadway League. "The Phantom of the Opera – IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". ibdb.com.
  19. ^ " 'Miss Saigon' listing, West End" Archived 13 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine albemarle-london.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  20. ^ ​Miss Saigon​ at the Internet Broadway Database accessed 20 December 2012
  21. ^ Simonds, Jon. "AmerAsians and the Theater" newsun.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  22. ^ " 'Five Guys Named Moe' listing, Lyric Theatre" thisistheatre.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  23. ^ " 'Follies' inLondon" sondheimguide.com, accessed 20 December 2012
  24. ^ "Mackintosh Takes RNT's 'Oklahoma!' to Lyceum" whatsonstage.com, 25 September 1998
  25. ^ " 'My Fair Lady' Comes Home to Drury Lane, 21 Jul" whatsonstage.com, 20 March 2001
  26. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "UK's 'Moby Dick!' Musical Gets NYC Reading In Anticipation of US Licensing" playbill.com, 23 January 2003
  27. ^ "Mixed Reviews for London 'Martin Guerre'" playbill.com, 14 July 1996
  28. ^ 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
  29. ^ Nathan, John (12 January 2008). "London Mary Poppins Takes Her Final Bow". Playbill. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  30. ^ Mary Poppins ibdb.com, accessed 19 December 2012
  31. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Playbill.Com's Brief Encounter with Thomas Schumacher" Archived 9 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, 19 September 2006
  32. ^ Shenton, Mark. "London's 'Avenue Q' Extends to January 2010" playbill.com, 30 July 2009
  33. ^ Archive for 'Hey, Mr. Producer!'" Archived 17 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine albemarle-london.com, accessed 19 December 2012
  34. ^ BWW News Desk Mackintosh's OLIVER! Scores Big with Critics and Box Office BroadwayWorld.com, 15 January 2009
  35. ^ Hair stages a Sixties reunion Archived 17 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine London Evening Standard, 15 April 2010
  36. ^ BWW News Desk Neil Patrick Harris Headed Back to Broadway in BARNUM? BroadwayWorld.com, 5 February 2010
  37. ^ "Cameron Mackintosh enters Broadway Hall of Fame" bestoftheatre.co.uk, accessed 11 February 2014
  38. ^ "Miss Saigon to return to West End in 2014". BBC News. 20 June 2013.
  39. ^ Gamerman, Ellen (23 July 2010). "Exporting Broadway". The Wall Street Journal.
  40. ^ a b Jamieson, Alastair (17 October 2010). "West End millionaire Sir Cameron Mackintosh in court battle with crofter". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 2 March 2011. Sir Cameron, laird of the Nevis Estate
  41. ^ "Play it again, Cam: How Mr Mackintosh became theatreland's first ever". Evening Standard. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  42. ^ a b "Gay Power: The pink list". The Independent. 2 July 2006. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  43. ^ Smith, Alistair (27 December 2007). "Mackintosh tops this year's Stage 100". The Stage. Retrieved 4 January 2008.
  44. ^ 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.
  45. ^ Zia, Helen (2000). Asian American dreams: the emergence of an American people. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-14774-4. OCLC 42437065.
  46. ^ "'Luvvies' for Labour". BBC News. 30 August 1998.
  47. ^ Walker, Tim (16 April 2010). "David Cameron wins applause from impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh". Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  48. ^ a b Arifa Akbar (20 September 2010). "Cameron Mackintosh: 'Cuts needn't be bad for creativity'". Independent. London.
  49. ^ "Lib Dem Election Destruction Was Fuelled By More Than £867,000 of Donations". The Huffington Post UK. 29 June 2015.
  50. ^ Arlidge, John (7 July 2023). "Brexit? Now, all the world's a stage for us, says Cameron Mackintosh". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 7 July 2023.

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.
  • Master of the House. The Theatres of Cameron Mackintosh by Michael Coveney, published by Unicorn, 2023, ISBN 9781914414831 (about the historic London theatres owned by Mackintosh and their renovations)

External links[edit]