Categories
Latest News News

Don Black to receive Special Award at Olivier Awards 2020 with Mastercard

Renowned lyricist Don Black will be honoured with this year’s Special Olivier Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to theatre.

In a prolific career spanning six decades, Black has provided lyrics for many musical theatre productions, working with Andrew Lloyd Webber on Tell Me On A Sunday, Aspects Of Love, Whistle Down The Wind and Stephen Ward

His collaboration with Christopher Hampton on Sunset Boulevard won them a Tony Award for Best Book in 1995. Other stage credits include A. R. Rahman’s musical Bombay Dreams, John Barry’s Billy and Brighton Rock, and Frank Wildhorn’s Dracula, The Musical.

Alongside his theatre work, Black’s output includes numerous film and television themes, as well as hit songs. He has written lyrics for Quincy Jones, Lulu, Meat Loaf, Michel Legrand and Debbie Wiseman, among many others. 

Black is particularly known for his long association with the James Bond films, starting with the Thunderball theme in 1965, and continuing with John Barry’s Diamonds Are Forever and The Man With The Golden Gun. A further collaboration with Barry on the title song of the film Born Free won Black a 1966 Academy Award for Best Song.

‘The Society of London Theatre is delighted to honour Don Black with the Special Award, marking an extraordinary career encompassing many genres, but particularly musical theatre. Lyricists often do not receive the recognition they deserve, despite their words being known and loved by audiences worldwide – and having personally known Don for over 25 years, it makes it a particular pleasure to celebrate his impact on the face of theatre.’

Kenny Wax, President of the Society of London Theatre

The Special Award is given each year to recognise an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to theatre over the course of their career. Past recipients include Matthew Bourne, Kenneth Branagh, Stephen Sondheim, Judi Dench, Alan Bennett, Sam Mendes, Maggie Smith, Harold Pinter, Alec Guinness, John Gielgud, Joan Littlewood and Ian McKellen.

The Olivier Awards, widely recognised as Britain’s most prestigious stage honours, take place on Sunday 5 April at the Royal Albert Hall, hosted by Jason Manford. Nominations were announced earlier this week and are available to view on the Olivier Awards website.

#OlivierAwards

Categories
Latest News News

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock – The Musical To Tour the UK and Ireland in 2021

School of Rock – The Musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hit, award-winning West End show, will go on a major UK Tour in 2021, opening at the Birmingham Alexandra Theatre on Saturday 13 February 2021.

Based on the hilarious hit movie, this new musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band – sensationally performed live by the production’s young actors every night with roof-raising energy!

While teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.

Featuring 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and all the original songs from the movie, this high-octane smash delivers face-melting guitar riffs and touching romance in equally awesome doses.

The production opened at the New London Theatre (now the Gillian Lynne Theatre) in November 2016 to 5-star reviews and widespread critical acclaim. It went on to win the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music. The Broadway production recently concluded its run at the Winter Garden Theatre with a US national touring production continuing. An Australian production opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne last October.

School of Rock – The Musical features new music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid, Sister Act) and a book by Julian Fellowes. It is directed by Laurence Connor (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, London Palladium 2019) with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, set and costume designs by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Mick Potter, music supervision by John Rigby with Matt Smith as musical director.

Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of some of the world’s best known musicals including Cats, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom of the Opera (which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary) and Sunset Boulevard.  In New York, School of Rock – The Musical, a stage version of the movie, is currently running alongside Cats and Phantom of the Opera, equalling Lloyd Webber’s previous record of three shows running simultaneously on Broadway.

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 owns seven London theatres including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the New London Theatre and the London Palladium.  He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 1992 and created an honorary member of the House of Lords in 1997.  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.

School of Rock has a book by Julian Fellowes, for which he received a Tony nomination. Julian the creator, writer and executive producer of the worldwide hit TV series Downton Abbey, which has received 69 Emmy Award nominations, winning 15, including two awards for Fellowes.

Casting for the UK Touring production is to be announced.