Rosemary Squire

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Dame Rosemary Squire
Rosemary Squire.jpg
Squire in 2011
Rosemary Anne Squire

(1956-05-27) 27 May 1956 (age 65)
Nottingham, England
OccupationTheatre owner and producer
Spouse(s)Sir Howard Panter

Dame Rosemary Anne Squire, DBE (born 27 May 1956) is a British commercial theatre owner and entrepreneur. She was founder, co-owner and joint chief executive of the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) Ltd. Squire and her husband/business partner, Howard Panter, are the second largest shareholder of ATG.[1]

Squire is co-founder, Joint CEO and Executive Chair of Trafalgar Entertainment.[2]


Early life and education[edit]

Squire was born in Nottingham, England, on 27 May 1956. From 1967 to 1974, Squire attended Nottingham Girls' High School.[3] She studied at Southampton University between 1975 and 1979, gaining a First Class BA in Spanish with Catalan and French – working at the University of Barcelona in 1977–78 as an English language assistant as part of her studies. Squire then studied at Brown University (USA) in 1979–80 on a postgraduate scholarship.[4]


Squire arrived in Theatreland in 1980. Throughout the decade, she held various administrative roles at Wyndham's Theatres Ltd. In 1984, she was a general manager of Maxbox Group plc, the second largest group of West End Theatres, which was then owned by Associated Newspapers. In 1988, she became the general manager of the theatre production company Turnstyle Group Ltd, of which she became executive director in the 90s, co-producing (amongst others) the 1991 West End revival of the award-winning musical Carmen Jones.[5]

With the backing of Sir Eddie Kulukundis and brothers Sir John and Peter Beckwith,[6] Squire and her husband Panter established the Ambassador Theatre Group in 1992, with the acquisitions of the Duke of York's Theatre and a management contract of the Ambassadors Theatre and a cinema complex in Woking. In 1995, the expansion of ATG continued with the acquisition of the Ambassadors Theatre, subsequently renamed New Ambassadors Theatre in 1999. Between 1996 and 1997, the group expanded further with management contracts for the newly built Milton Keynes Theatre and the Regent Theatre, as well as Victoria Hall in Stoke-on-Trent. In 1997, Squire became executive director of the Ambassador Theatre Group.


In 2000, Squire and Panter acquired further regional venues such as Churchill Theatre in Bromley and Richmond Theatre in Surrey and purchased ACT Theatres (which then included the Albery Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Fortune Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, Piccadilly Theatre, Comedy Theatre, Whitehall Theatre – renamed Trafalgar Studios in 2004 – and Wyndhams), as well as the Playhouse Theatre and Theatre Royal Brighton, which were acquired in the same year. Squire also joined the board of management of the Society of London Theatres and the advisory panel of Arts Council Capital. Her work continued the following years, co-producing 25 shows in 2003, and with the acquisition of Squire's first two Scottish venues (King's Theatre and Theatre Royal Glasgow) and the reopening and rebranding of the New Wimbledon Theatre in 2004. She was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and joined the board of Donmar Warehouse Productions.

In June 2005, Squire became the first democratically elected president of the Society of London Theatre (the trade organisation of London's theatre owners and managers), and the second only female president in the organisation's 100-year history. She campaigned to improve the West End theatre-going environment, and to secure vital funding for capital improvements to protect the long-term future of London's historic theatres. After completing her three-year term in July 2008, she served a further three years as vice-president. She was a member of The Arts Council of England Lottery Advisory Panel from 2000 to 2005 and is a member of the Theatrical Management Association.[citation needed]

In 2009, Squire was appointed a National Member of the Arts Council England Board. She was Chair of Great Ormond Street Hospital's Theatres for Theatres Appeal and vice-chairman of Dance Umbrella, an international contemporary dance festival. She is also a Trustee of The Hall of Cornwall.[7][8] In February 2009, ATG was awarded the contract to run the new Aylesbury Waterside Theatre.[9] In November 2009, Squire and Panter realigned their share holding to bring in private equity group Exponent for a deal to secure the funding for the acquisition of Live Nation's UK Theatre portfolio. ATG became the largest theatre group in the UK.[10] Panter remained a joint-owner, and became joint Chief Executive and Creative Director. Greg Dyke became the Executive Chairman of the larger group.


In 2010, Squire and Panter opened the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, which was their 42nd theatre. In the same year, London's Evening Standard named Squire and her husband jointly as the most influential people in British theatre in the newspaper's list of "London's 1000 most influential people 2010".[11] In 2011, Squire and Panter (as ATG) launched their Manchester Gets it First (MGiF) initiative.[12][13] In February 2013, Squire appeared at number 16 on the inaugural BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour Power List, intended to serve as a snapshot of the 100 most powerful British women, or women operating in the UK.[14]

In 2014, Panter and Squire topped The Stage 100 list for the fifth consecutive year, equalling the record-breaking run previously set by Andrew Lloyd Webber.[15] From 2010 to 2016, Squire and Panter topped the list a record-breaking seven consecutive times.[16] This list, compiled annually, recognises British theatremakers for their achievements.

In March 2015, Squire launched The SPACe (the Squire Performing Arts Centre) at Nottingham Girl's High School which is named in her family's honour by her former school. Alongside its Patron, Stella Rimington, Squire was Chair of the 'Raise the Curtain' Development Board which was created to oversee the project. Squire officially opened The SPACe in April 2017.[17]

In 2016, Panter and Squire stepped down from their roles at Ambassador Theatre Group to concentrate on new projects[18] They co-founded a new live entertainment business, Trafalgar Entertainment, and acquired the two-space West End theatre, Trafalgar Studios.[19]

In December 2017, Squire was appointed Chair of Arts Council South West.

Personal life[edit]

Squire married Alan Brodie in 1982. They had two children, Jenny (born 1986) and Daniel (born 1987). Their marriage was dissolved in 1994. Squire is currently married to her business partner Howard Panter. The couple first met in 1979[20] at the Queen's Theatre, London where Squire was working in the box office during Panter's production of And a Nightingale Sang.[21] They married in 1994.[22] They had their first child Kate in 2002. Panter is step-father to Squire's children, Jenny and Daniel.


Produced by Rosemary Squire unless otherwise noted.

Honours and awards[edit]

  • 2006 – Squire won the CBI Real Business First Women Award for Tourism and Leisure, recognising her commercial success and the breakthroughs she made in promoting equal opportunities for women;[23]
  • 2007 – appointed an OBE for Services to Theatre[23]
  • 2008 – Entrepreneur of the Year – Regional Finalist (with Howard Panter)[24]
  • 2012 – named one of the 250 of the most influential people in Greater Manchester (shared with Panter) at the Manchester Evening News Awards[25]
  • 2013 – Squire and Panter were listed first in the Evening Standard 'Power 1000' Theatre section.[26]
  • In February 2013 she was assessed as the 16th most powerful woman in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.[14]
  • In October 2014, Squire was named the UK Overall Winner at the UK Finals of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year.[27]
  • In the 2018 New Year Honours, Squire was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.[28]
  • In 2019, Woking Borough Council bestowed Honorary Freedom of the Borough upon Squire and Panter, both long-serving members of the community.[29]


  1. ^ "Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire step down from top ATG roles". What's on Stage. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Theatre's power couple step back from ATG to run Trafalgar Studios". The Guardian. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  3. ^ "This is Nottingham | Rosemary Squire of Ambassador Theatre Group on Live Nation takeover". 12 July 2011. Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Rosemary Squire CV" (DOC). Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Rosemary Squire CV" (DOC). Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  6. ^ Kate Rankine, "Business profile: Impresario who never recovered from being stage-struck", The Telegraph, 4 January 2003. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  8. ^ "Co-Founder and Joint CEO : The Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd (ATG)" (DOC). Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Aylesbury Vale District Council • Operator chosen for Aylesbury Waterside Theatre". Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  11. ^ "London's 1000 most influential people 2010: Theatre – Home – London Evening Standard". 15 November 2010. Archived from the original on 22 November 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Manchester Gets it First: Following the success of GHOST The Musical at the Opera House, The Ambassador Theatre Group pledges to launch more new shows in the city | London Theatre". 16 May 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  13. ^ "What's On: Music, Film, & Things To Do in Manchester – Manchester Evening News". Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  14. ^ a b "BBC Radio 4 – The Power List 2013". 1 January 1970. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  15. ^ "ATG's Rosemary Squire wins entrepreneur award". The Stage. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Ambassador Theatre Group founders break Stage 100 record". The Guardian. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Nottingham Girls' High opens new £9m Performing Arts Centre". Independent Education Today. 8 April 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire to Step Down from Helm of Ambassador Theatre Group". Playbill. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  19. ^ "Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire Announce New Roles". British Theatre. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  20. ^ Louise Jury, "Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire – Mr & Mrs West End", London Evening Standard, 6 November 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  21. ^ Teather, David. "Howard Panter, theatrical ambassador". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  22. ^ "Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire". 6 November 2009. Archived from the original on 8 November 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  23. ^ a b "Rosemary Squire profile". Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  24. ^ "ATG Magazine Autumn/Winter 2008 by ATG Tickets". ISSUU. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  25. ^ "250 of the Most Influential People in Greater Manchester". Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  26. ^ "The Power 1000 – London's most influential people 2013: Imagineers, Theatre". Evening Standard. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Meet the winners of the 2014 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards". Financial Times. 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  28. ^ "Honour for theatre's most powerful woman Rosemary Squire four years after husband Sir Howard Panter". The Times. 28 December 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  29. ^ "Long serving members of Woking community honoured by council". Eagle Radio. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2019.