No, I’ve not gone all Pentecostal on you. But, at least according to the annual Sunday Times Rich List published yesterday, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber - the 101st richest person in Britain, with an estimated wealth of £750m - is richer than the Queen (264th in the list, £320m). So is Sir Cameron Mackintosh (£184th, £450m). So, there’s more money in theatre - or at least musical theatre - than a combination of inherited wealth and state-funded privilege. Perhaps, as I’ve urged before, His Lordship (as they quaintly refer to him on I’ll Do Anything) can use some of that accumulated wealth towards a proper refurbishment of his theatres.
The list is, of course, largely speculative - without direct access to the personal accounts of every individual listed, it cannot be otherwise - but it makes educated guesses to produce a 110-page glossy magazine for the rest of us mere mortals to gaze and gloat over. Of course, there’s always an irresistible fascination with other people’s money, but I’m fascinated by the overall absence of many other theatre people here.
Tim Rice, Lloyd Webber’s erstwhile writing partner, clocks in at 516th (£155m), and Robert Stigwood, who produced their earlier successes and is credited here as having “made his fortune from stage and screen musicals”, registers even higher at 379th (£212m). But otherwise, the only two theatre producing folk represented in the Top 1000 are the Old Vic’s Sally Greene, listed jointly with property entrepreneur husband Robert Bourne, at 644th (£120m), and former Apollo Leisure supremo Paul Gregg (also at 644th, £120m), who apparently netted £98m when he sold it in 1999 to what is now Live Nation.
The Sunday Times is for the first time this year expanding the list to include the next thousand, with wealth of more than £40m, which will be posted online from tomorrow. Maybe there will be more theatre folk in this list - a panel of the Top 50 Music Millionaires in yesterday’s magazine already indicates that Mamma Mia! producer Judy Craymer will be there (with wealth listed in the panel estimated at £58m). I’m also fully expecting to see Trevor Nunn there (with royalties from Cats, Les Miserables and Starlight Express contributing to his personal fortune, even if Gone with the Wind won’t add to it) and Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!) making the grade. Watch that space….!