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Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire Top The Stage 100 For The Third Consecutive Year

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London and New York (1/5/12)  – The Stage Newspaper has today published The Stage 100 – the industry bible’s annual guide to the 100 most influential people in UK theatre, now in its 16th year.

Theatre’s power couple, husband and wife team Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, Joint Chief Executives and co-founders of Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), have topped the list for the third consecutive year.

ATG is the British commercial theatre success story. Performing to more customers than any other theatre company in the UK, selling some 11 million tickets this year, and with co-productions also in New York, across North America, Europe and in Australasia. Bucking current retail trends, ATG continues to achieve steady year on year growth, and boasts the UK’s largest theatre membership scheme (ATG TheatreCard), with 100,000 paid up members, and the UK’s most visited theatre website (Hitwise), with 114 million page views, 19 million unique visits per annum.

ATG has recently launched two major new production company initiatives. With Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell, Jerry Mitchell Productions will develop, create and produce new productions for London, New York and around the world; and under the Artistic Direction of Chris Luscombe, with Associate Directors Maria Aitken and Philip Franks, Theatre Royal Brighton Productions will present classic and new drama both on tour in the UK and in the West End.

ATG co-production highlights for the year included the European premiere of the multi award-winning Lincoln Center production of South Pacific at the Barbican, London, the World premiere of Ghost the Musical, Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett starring in The Mountaintop on Broadway, Legally Blonde the Musical winning 3 Olivier Awards (including Best Musical), Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! at Sadler’s Wells, London, the Rocky Horror Show in Europe and hit pantomimes starring the likes of David Hasselhoff and Dame Edna Everage.

A full list of ATG 2011 Highlights can be found below.

2012 is also set to be a landmark year as ATG celebrates its 20th Anniversary, new productions include All New People starring Zach Braff and the new ‘Austin Powers’ style musical Monkee Business (both of which premiere in Manchester prior to London), Ghost the Musical opens on Broadway in March, Legally Blonde the Musical debuts in Sydney in October and ATG welcomes the London 2012 Olympics.

Speaking about the opportunities that the Olympics will bring, Howard Panter said, “The West End has a dedicated home-grown audience and London theatre will be very much open for business during the Olympics. Theatregoers from Greater London and around the UK will still be able to see a show in the Capital during 2012. There is also a great opportunity for us to showcase the West End to the world and to welcome potential new audiences that will be visiting London during the Games.”

Rosemary Squire added, “ATG will be working closely with the Society of London Theatre and other theatre owners to continue to make ourselves accessible to everyone and we’ll be looking for support from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to help us reach London’s new visitors. We very much look forward to welcoming visitors to the Capital during 2012 and anticipate business being more buoyant than ever.”

Co-founded by Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire in 1992, the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd (ATG) is the largest owner/operator of theatres in the UK with 39 venues, an internationally recognised theatre producer and a leader in theatre ticketing services through ATG Tickets.

Current and recent ATG co-productions includet Ghost the Musical, South Pacific, All New People, Monkee Business, Matthew Bourne's The Nutcracker!, Legally Blonde the Musical, Monty Python's Spamalot, The Misanthrope, West Side Story, Elling, Guys and Dolls, Sweeny Todd, Company, Exit the King and The Rocky Horror Show.