In addition to My Fair Lady and Brigadoon, Lerner was the playwright and lyricist behind musicals such as Paint Your Wagon, Camelot, Gigi and On A Clear Day You Can See Forever.
The service included heartfelt tributes from Don Black, Jasper Britton and Gerard Kenny as well as lively performances of “With a Little Bit of Luck” by Russ Abbott and the West End Chorus, “Wandrin’ Star” by Tim Rice and Cantabile, and “Ascot Gavotte” by students from Laine Theatre Arts.
One of the original costumes that Julie Andrews wore on stage in My Fair Lady was elegantly displayed (thanks to the V&A), and Lerner’s most famous musical was paid countless other tributes as well. Liz Robertson, Katie Knight-Adams, Jill Martin, Jean Scott, Amy Nuttall, and Sally Ann Howes – all of whom have played the role of Eliza at various times over the last fifty years – came out together to sing “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”.
The venue is all the more fitting as My Fair Lady opens with Eliza selling flowers from the portico of St Paul’s Church itself.
- Matt Hannigan