David Ian

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David Ian Lane (born 1961), is a former actor and now a theatre producer who The Stage has called "the most powerful man in UK theatre".[1]


David Ian is an independent Theatre Producer.

He started out as an actor and appeared in a number of UK theatre productions, including the musicals Time, The Pirates of Penzance, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Rocky Horror Show. He is known professionally as David Ian as the name David Lane was already taken when he applied to the actors union Equity. In 1990 David met fellow actor Paul Nicholas while they were both appearing in a production of The Pirates of Penzance at the London Palladium. The pair created a production company, Paul Nicholas & David Ian Associates Ltd. Their productions included;

  • Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Grease
  • Rocky Horror Show
  • Ain’t Misbehavin
  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • Evita
  • Chess
  • Happy Days
  • Saturday Night Fever
  • West Side Story
  • Pirates of Penzance

In 2006 he founded David Ian Productions, based in London's Covent Garden. It is now of the UK’s premier producers of live large scale theatrical entertainment.

Prior to founding DIP, David was the chairman and CEO of the global theatrical division of Live Nation (from 2005) having joined the group when it was part of Clear Channel Entertainment (in 2000).

At Live Nation, David was responsible for Broadway Across America, which produces and tours first class Broadway shows in over 40 markets in the United States and Canada. He was simultaneously CEO of the UK division which included over 25 theatres both in London’s West End and the majority of the regional markets in the UK.

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?[edit]

In 2006 David and Andrew Lloyd Webber agreed to co-produce a production of The Sound of Music. Together with the BBC they created the original TV casting show How do you solve a problem like Maria, hosted by Graham Norton. David, along with Lloyd Webber, was a judge on the programme. The TV show was a resounding success and led to the launch of The Sound of Music as a smash hit, starring Connie Fisher at the London Palladium. It was later to repeat this success in the US on NBC, which announced they would be looking for unknowns to play Sandy and Danny in Grease, via the reality TV show You're the one that I want. This led to a smash hit revival of the musical on Broadway, starring the eventual winners of the competition.

David Ian's productions include;

  • The Bodyguard
  • Cats
  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert
  • Ghost
  • Chicago
  • Seminar
  • Steel Magnolias
  • Starlight Express
  • The Producers
  • The Sound of Music
  • Flashdance
  • La Cage Aux Follies
  • Sweet Charity
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Gypsy
  • The King and I
  • Defending the Caveman
  • Guys and Dolls
  • Daisy Pulls it Off
  • The Phantom of the Opera (Las Vegas)
  • My Fair Lady
  • Dr Dolittle
  • Britain’s Got Talent UK Tour
  • Anything Goes
  • Ragtime
  • The New Statesman


  1. ^ Smith, Alistair (4 January 2006). "David Ian tops new Stage 100 list". The Stage. Retrieved 4 April 2007.