Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen was a theatre owner and manager from 1984 when he became Joint Chief Executive of Maybox Group (Albery, Criterion, Donmar Warehouse, Piccadilly, Whitehall and Wyndham’s Theatres, as well as developing the first British owned multiplex cinemas).
Maybox was sold in 1989, in which year he became Director of the Victoria Palace Theatre. He sold it to Cameron Mackintosh in 2014. Stephen ran the Vaudeville Theatre from 1995 to 2002, the Savoy Theatre from 1997 to 2005 and the Ambassadors Theatre from 2006 to 2018.
Before entering the theatre business Stephen was a financial journalist and a founder director of Euromoney Publications.
He was President of the Society of London Theatre from 2002 to 2005; a Trustee of The Theatres Trust from 1998 to 2004; Chairman of RADA from 2005 to 2021; Trustee of the Royal Theatrical Fund and Acting for Others since 2012; and in 1996 founded (and chaired until 2023) Mousetrap Theatre Projects, which each year takes thousands of young people, who would not otherwise have the opportunity, to the best of West End Theatre.
He is married to the sculptor Josie Spencer, and their two daughters are both professional musicians.
The arts play a central role in my life. I believe they should be open and accessible to everyone, for good social, cultural and well-being reasons, as well as benefiting the local and national economy.