British theatre producer Martin McCallum, who worked with Sir Cameron Mackintosh on Cats, Les Miserables and The Phantom Of The Opera, has died at the age of 73, Society of London Theatre (SOLT) announced.
McCallum, whose career spanned more than 500 productions and included becoming president of SOLT, died “peacefully surrounded by his family” on January 14.
“In Martin McCallum, we have lost an extraordinary individual who shaped the landscape of the theatre sector,” Eleanor Lloyd, president of SOLT, said.
“His immense talent and expertise were matched only by his unwavering commitment to the arts. Martin will be deeply missed, but his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.”
We are deeply saddened by the passing of visionary leader and former President of SOLT, Martin McCallum (6.04.1950 – 14.01.2024). His significant contributions to the theatre industry will never be forgotten. Read about his remarkable legacy https://t.co/6KRfHTS5Zg pic.twitter.com/JmK5xWYN5S
— Society of London Theatre (@SOLTnews) January 17, 2024
Born in Blackpool, McCallum became a production manager at the Old Vic Theatre, then home to the National Theatre, where he was under the mentorship of Laurence Olivier and managed productions including Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land in 1975, with Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson.
He left the National theatre in 1978 and co-established The Production Office, which supervised show’s including Evita, Sweeney Todd and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Following his work on Cats, Sir Cameron employed McCallum as managing director and business partner where he stayed for 18 years – as well as three years as vice chairman, until 2003.
During this time Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and The Phantom Of The Opera were brought to the stage achieving worldwide success.
McCallum also chaired the Donmar Warehouse for several years, as well as becoming president of SOLT for four years from 1999.
As president he was an advocate for access, which included getting funding from then-London Mayor Ken Livingstone, for a campaign to use theatre as a driver to bring back people into the West End after the 9/11 terror attacks.
McCallum is survived by his partner Gwynne and children Gabriel, Fabian, Amy, Toby and Sophie.