Phoebe Waller-Bridge honoured by The Stage for theatre relief efforts during pandemic


Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Andrew Lloyd Webber are among the stars who have been honoured by editors at The Stage in its annual list of influential performing arts figures.

The publication has dedicated its 2021 Stage 100 list to those “who have gone above and beyond” during the Covid-19 crisis, with Fleabag actress and creator Waller-Bridge recognised for establishing theatre relief efforts. The star helped raise more than $1 million (£809,000) for coronavirus relief by streaming her Fleabag one-woman show online last year.

Lloyd Webber is recognised for his lobbying and campaigning on behalf of the live entertainment industry, while the list also honoured actor Michael Balogun – who starred in one-man show Death of England: Delroy, which opened and closed at the National Theatre on the same night.

Other stars on the list include director Sam Mendes and veteran Ian McKellen, alongside Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith for fundraising efforts, after they raised more than $400,000 (£300,000) for the Acting for Others campaign with their For One Knight Only livestream Q&A.

The list also recognises individuals for services to the community and for those involved in providing support and development opportunities, with editors leaving one space empty “for all the other theatremakers who have done extraordinary and inspiring things in the face of huge adversity”.

Alistair Smith, editor of The Stage, said the people included by name should “be seen as representative of the huge numbers of people across theatre doing great work”.

“Theatre is chock-full of passionate, adaptable and resourceful people,” he mused. “They have set about their response to the global pandemic in many extraordinary ways.”

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