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Old Friends celebrate Sondheim

Published: 6 March 2022
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Stephen Sondheim Credit: Michael Le Poer Trench © CML
Old Friends

Old Friends, a gala evening celebrating the work of Stephen Sondheim, will take place at the Sondheim Theatre in London's West End on 3 May.

Funds raised from the evening will support The Stephen Sondheim Foundation established under his instruction to receive future income from his copyrights and intellectual property. The charity will support of playwrights, composers and lyricists in the early stages of their careers and musical theatre craft and arts education.

The event features contributions from a host of stars, amongst them Michael Ball, Petula Clark, Judi Dench, Daniel Evans, Bonnie Langford, Adrian Lester, Damian Lewis, Julia Mckenzie, Bernadette Peters, Elaine Paige, Clive Rowe, Imelda Staunton and Hannah Waddingham. They will be accompanied by a 26-piece orchestra conducted by Alfonso Casado Trigo.

The show is presented by producer Cameron Mackintosh who said, “it is impossible to overstate the influence and contribution Stephen Sondheim has made to musical theatre, both personally and professionally. He was as great a teacher as he was an incomparable writer and the Little Things that he did for so many people forged legions of friendships throughout his long life. I was lucky enough to be Steve’s friend and occasional collaborator for over 45 years since I first produced Side By Side By Sondheim and the Wyndham’s Theatre in 1976. It was a friendship full of laughter, gossip and glorious insightful camaraderie.

"Steve was so prolific and profound as a writer that it’s impossible to put together a definitive list of his greatest songs, as everyone has their own favourites, so our choice of songs will purely reflect the joy and love I have for one of the greatest Broadway Babies of all time.”

Old Friends is staged by Matthew Bourne and Maria Friedman with choreography by Stephen Mear. It takes place on 3 May at the Sondheim Theatre, London. Tickets go on sale on 15 March.