Little Theatre Blog Theatre What Makes Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Plays So Special?

What Makes Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Plays So Special?

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber was born on 22 March 1948 in London, England. He is an English composer and theatrical producer whose diverse rock-based works assisted with revitalising British and American musical theatre starting in the late 20th century. Lloyd Webber has an astounding 22 musicals to his name, the most popular of which is The Phantom of the Opera that is the second highest grossing musical of all time, second only to The Lion King.

Lloyd Webber studied at Magdalen College in Oxford and at the Royal College of Music. While a student, he started collaborating with Tim Rice on dramatic productions, with Rice writing the lyrics to Lloyd Webber’s music. Their first noteworthy collaboration was production Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968), which was a pop oratorio for children that earned popularity worldwide in a later full-length version. I

This was followed very closely by the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar (1971, film in 1973 and TV special in 2018), a very popular though controversial work that mixed classical formats with rock music to narrate the story of Jesus’ life. This show became the longest-running musical in British theatrical history.

Lloyd Webber’s final major partnership with Rice was on Evita (1978), which is a musical about Eva Perón, the wife of Juan Perón the Argentine dictator. The production in London won the Olivier Award for best musical and the Broadway staging netted seven Tony Awards, as well as best musical and best score. Also, Lloyd Webber and Rice shared in the Academy Award for the best original song for the 1996 movie version, which featured Madonna.

Critical Acclaim

The 1980s saw the end point of the Rice-Lloyd Webber partnership however it also marked Lloyd Webber’s blockbuster era. First up that was Cats that is based on the poetry of T.S. Eliot. Cats debuted in London in 1981 and became the longest-running musical in the British city’s history, running for 21 years. On Broadway, Cats’ run lasted 18 years. Starlight Express followed Cats, and although it didn’t wow the critics, it has remained very popular with audiences and is still staged in various venues.

Who Is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Wife?

In 1991, Andrew wed the former equestrian sportswoman Madeleine Gurdon. The couple have been married happily ever since then. Lloyd Webber was married to his first wife, Sarah Hugill, between  1971 and 1983, before he wed second wife Sarah Brightman in 1984. Brightman and Lloyd Webber when she joined the line-up Cats in the early 80s. In 1986, he penned the part of Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera just for her.

Who Are Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Children?

Lloyd Webber had two kids – Imogen and Nicholas Lloyd Webber – with wife number one, Sarah, and three children with his third wife Madeleine Gurdon – Alastair, William and Isabella Lloyd Webber. Imogen is a four-time Emmy nominee who has worked for MSNBC and Fox News, while Nicholas has followed in his father’s footsteps, penning The Little Prince in 2011 that was as big a hit as a jackpot at an online casino India has to offer, and then the recent Fat Friends The Musical.

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