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Andrew Lloyd Webber Announces The New London Theatre Is To Be Renamed After Legendary Choreographer Dame Gillian Lynne

Andrew Lloyd Webber Announces The New London Theatre Is To Be Renamed After Legendary Choreographer Dame Gillian LynneAndrew Lloyd Webber has today announced that the New London Theatre is to be renamed in honour of the trailblazing choreographer Dame Gillian Lynne. The theatre will be formally recognised as the Gillian Lynne Theatre later this year and will be the first West End theatre to be named after a woman.

Dame Gillian has made an unprecedented contribution to the arts world; from classical ballet to featured dance performance in theatre, film and television. She has worked closely with Andrew Lloyd Webber on some of his most famous creations, and her work on the ground-breaking staging and choreography for Cats means she is widely recognised as the leading choreographer of her generation.

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: "I am delighted to be able to announce that the New London Theatre is to be renamed as the Gillian Lynne Theatre. "Gillian has been a pioneer of British musical theatre and dance. Gillie's groundbreaking work on Cats inspired and launched countless careers in dance. It is only fitting that the theatre in which she created Cats is named in her honour."

Gillian Lynne said:"The minute I heard Andrew's music I fell in love with his ability to channel deep emotion into a single musical note. He continues to inspire generation after generation with his passion for musical theatre and Great Britain has benefitted enormously from his brilliance and his generosity."

Over the course of her career, Gillian has directed more than sixty productions in the West End and Broadway as well as working on eleven feature films and hundreds of television productions as producer, director, choreographer or performer. She has received numerous accolades including two Olivier Awards for Cats in 1981 and a Lifetime Achievement "Special" Olivier in 2013. She was honoured with a CBE in 1997 and made a Dame in 2014 for her services to Dance and Musical Theatre - the first woman to be honoured in this way.

The New London Theatre (which has been owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber since 1991) welcomes 450,000 people through its doors every year and is famous for being the home of the original production of Cats. Running from 11th May 1981 to 11th May 2002, this was the West End's longest running show at the time and the production was a chance for the theatre to make use of its design - the show used all of the technology that the innovative building provided including the revolving auditorium. Cats truly broke new ground in creating an environmental space where the audience didn't look at a set but were part of it, surrounded on all sides. Subsequent shows have included Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the Royal Shakespeare Company's repertory productions of The Seagull and King Lear, the National Theatre's production of War Horse and currently Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest award-winning musical, School of Rock - The Musical.

The modern theatre is built on the site of previous taverns and music hall theatres - and has been described as occupying "a hallowed, theatrically sacred place on Drury Lane" (Mark Shenton, The Stage) with a place of entertainment being located there since Elizabethan times. The theatre was designed by Paul Tvrtkovic and scenic designer Sean Kenny.

Dame Gillian Lynne's career started at fourteen, quickly encompassing ballet, star dancer at the London Palladium and a Hollywood film. Lynne went on to be the leading director/choreographer of her generation best known for her ground-breaking staging and choreography for Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. She has directed more than sixty production in the West End and Broadway; worked on eleven feature films and hundreds of television productions as producer, director, choreographer or performer. Most recent productions include Dear World in 2013 and Miracle In The Gorbals for Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2014.

She has received numerous accolades including two Olivier awards for Cats in 1981 and a Lifetime Achievement 'Special' Olivier in 2013. Other awards include: Vienna's 1983 Silver Order of Merit for the first proscenium arch production of Cats; Golden Rose of Montreux Award for The Muppet Show; Engel Television Award (USA) as director for her conceptual drama The Morte d'Arthur; a BAFTA for her dance drama A Simple Man, for the BBC; a Moliere Award for Cats in Paris in 1989. The Royal Academy of Dance elected her Vice-President in 2012. Lynne was honoured with a CBE in 1997 and made a DBE in the 2014 New Year's Honours List for her services to Dance and Musical Theatre, the first woman to be honoured in this way.

When Sunset Boulevard joined School Of Rock, Cats and The Phantom Of The Opera on Broadway last year, Andrew Lloyd Webber became the only person to equal the record set in 1953 by Rodgers and Hammerstein with four Broadway shows running concurrently.

Other musicals he has composed include Aspects Of Love, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and Love Never Dies. His production of School Of Rock is the first British musical to have world premiered on Broadway. He has co-produced his own shows including Cats and The Phantom Of The Opera and as a solo producer he presented the groundbreaking Bombay Dreams which introduced the double Oscar winning Bollywood composer AR Rahman to the Western stage. Other productions include the Olivier Award Winning Daisy Pulls It Off and La Bete, the record breaking Palladium production of The Sound Of Music and The Wizard of Oz. He owns seven West End Theatres including the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the Palladium and The Other Palace which provides a unique London home for new musicals in development. He is passionate about the importance of music in education and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has become one of Britain's leading charities supporting the arts and music.

His awards, both as composer and producer, include seven Tonys, seven Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre, a BASCA Fellowship, the Kennedy Center Honor and a Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Requiem, his setting of the Latin Requiem mass which contains one of his best known compositions, Pie Jesu. He was knighted in 1992 and created a life peer in 1997.

To mark his 70th birthday his autobiography Unmasked will be published by HarperCollins in March. About Really Useful Theatres Owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Really Useful Theatres group operates seven commercial theatres, six of which are located in the heart of London's West End. Our portfolio of theatres include some of the most prestigious and desirable venues in the world, including the London Palladium, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Her Majesty's Theatre, the Cambridge Theatre, the New London Theatre, the Adelphi Theatre (owned in association with Nederlander International Limited) and Lloyd Webber's latest venture, off-West End musical theatre venue, The Other Palace, located in Victoria. Current shows in our theatres include 42nd Street, Matilda, Kinky Boots, School of Rock and the world famous The Phantom of the Opera, which is now in its 32nd record-breaking year.


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