Entertainment & Arts

Chichester, Bush and Jermyn are named top theatres

Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton in Sweeney Todd
Image caption Chichester's production of Sweeney Todd, starring Michael Ball, transferred to the West End

Chichester Festival, The Bush and Jermyn Street have been named the top theatres of last year in the Stage 100 Awards.

Chichester was awarded regional theatre of the year, Bush was recognised as best London theatre and Jermyn Street was named top fringe theatre.

In a separate power list, Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire were named theatre's most influential people.

It is the third year running the married duo have topped the poll.

Panter and Squire run the Ambassador Theatre Group, the organisation behind Legally Blonde, Ghost The Musical and Spamalot.

Alistair Smith, deputy editor of The Stage, said: "They are now UK theatre's undoubted commercial superpower."

Currently in its 16th year, The Stage 100 is the annual guide to the 100 most influential people working in the UK theatre industry.

The National Theatre's Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr came second in the power list.

The theatre was also named producer of the year in the Stage 100 Awards - for its work away from its South Bank base, including War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors.

The Stage 100 Awards were launched in 2010 and run alongside the annual Stage 100 list. Nominees for the six categories are put forward by readers of the industry paper, with the final selection made by a judging panel.

Last year, Chichester Festival Theatre celebrated six West End transfers, which included Top Girls, Singin' In The Rain and Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street.

The Bush Theatre, which has now moved from its original pub venue to the former Shepherd's Bush library, was singled out for its production of Tom Wells' The Kitchen Sink.

Stage judges called it "one of the plays of the year".

The Stage said the Jermyn Street Theatre had "enjoyed a renaissance" in 2011 with its production of Danger: Memory! and the original version of Terence Rattigan's Less Than Kind.

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