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Sir Cameron Anthony Mackintosh (born 17 October 1946) is a Britishmarker theatrical producer notable for his association with many commercially successful musicals. He is described as being "the most successful, influential and powerful theatrical producer in the world" by the New York Times. He is the producer of such shows as The Phantom of the Opera and Mary Poppins.

Early life

Mackintosh was born in Enfieldmarker, Londonmarker, the son of Diana Gladys (née Tonna), a production secretary, and Ian Robert Mackintosh, a timber merchant and jazz trumpeter. His father was Scottish and his mother, a native of Maltamarker, was of Maltesemarker and French descent. Mackintosh was raised in his mother's Roman Catholic faith and educated at Prior Park Collegemarker in Bathmarker. His younger brother, Robert Mackintosh, is also a producer.

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 just 8 years old.

Theatrical career

Mackintosh began his theatre career in his late teens, as a stagehand at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lanemarker, graduating to stage manager on several touring productions. Before long, he began producing his own small scale tours before becoming a London-based producer in the 1970s. His early London productions included Anything Goes (which closed after only two weeks), Side By Side By Sondheim, The Card, My Fair Lady and Tom Foolery.

In 1981, he produced Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, then considered an unlikely subject for a musical. 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. The musical opened in 1985 at the Barbicanmarker before transferring to the Palace Theatremarker. 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 perhaps the most commercially successful entertainment enterprise in history, outgrossing hit films such as Titanic and E.T.The original London and New York productions are currently still running.

In 1990, he produced Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's next musical Miss Saigon, which opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London, and was similarly successful, and the Broadway production achieved what was then the largest advance ticket sales in theatre history.

Mackintosh has produced several other successful musicals, including Five Guys Named Moe and a much-revised production of Stephen Sondheim's celebrated Follies.

In 1995, Mackintosh produced the 10th anniversary concert of Les Misérables in London. Additionally, throughout the 1990s, he was responsible for presenting the West End transfers of the National Theatremarker revivals of Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady, and Carousel.

Mackintosh's less successful productions include Moby Dick, Martin Guerre and the stage adaptation of John Updike's The Witches of Eastwick which, despite some positive reviews and run of over 15 months, failed to replicate the world-wide success of his previous blockbusters.

Mackintosh's involvement in the development of Mary Poppins led to his producing both the 2004 West End and 2006 Broadway stagings along with Thomas Schumacher of Disney's Theatrical Division. He also co-produced the London transfer of Avenue Q, which opened at the Noël Coward Theatremarker on 1 June 2006.

In 1998, Mackintosh celebrated thirty years in the 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 the Blind and the Combined Theatrical Charities. Many celebrities took part, and the 8 June performance was attended by The Queen and Prince Philip.

In 2008-2009, Mackintosh is producing a revival of Lionel Bart's Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The production was used in the BBC series "I'd Do Anything" to cast the role of Nancy using a public vote. The series was hosted by Graham Norton and Andrew Lloyd-Webber. Jodie Prenger became the eventual winner and was subsequently cast as Nancy in the production. Mackintosh then announced that Rowan Atkinson would play the role of Fagin. The publicity and attention surrounding the production has been 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. The official opening performance was on 14 January 2009.

Influence

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.

In mounting a plethora of productions across the globe, he has maintained tight creative control of his musicals in order to ensure the consistency and quality of the productions, no matter where they are seen. As far as possible, productions worldwide of Mackintosh musicals use the same staging, production design, lighting, front-of-house design, and orchestrations as their London and New York counterparts. This is a departure from previous practice, where international productions of West End or Broadway musicals would often be licensed out to foreign producers and entirely reconceived locally, with highly variable and often substandard results.

Mackintosh has also had considerable success in bringing legitimate theatre directors (such as the R.S.C.'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 Edwardmarker, the Prince of Walesmarker, the Novellomarker, the Queen'smarker, the Gielgudmarker, the Wyndham'smarker, and the Noël Cowardmarker.

Personal life

Mackintosh was knighted in the 1996 New Year's Honours List for services to musical theatre.

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

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

Politics

In 1998 Mackintosh was named in a list of the biggest private financial donors to the Labour Party .

See also

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


Further reading

  • 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


References

  1. "The Musical is Money to His Ears" New York Times 9th December 1990
  2. http://www.filmreference.com/film/2/Cameron-Mackintosh.html
  3. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/cameron-mackintosh-wizard-of-the-west-end-678446.html
  4. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/news/mackintosh-wins-tourist-award-for-londons-starring-role-474994.html
  5. :: Cameron Mackintosh Limited :: Home Page ::
  6. London Gazette: no. 54255, page 2. Accessed May 31, 2008.
  7. "Gay Power: The pink list" ~ The Independent 2 July 2006
  8. Biography of Cameron Mackintosh ~ ShowandStay.co.uk


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