Andrew Lloyd Webber at 75 – an indelible mark on the theatre world
Andrew Lloyd Webber turns 75 this year – a significant enough milestone to reflect on the Jesus Christ Superstar and Phantom of the Opera writer’s work thus far.
The man is certainly not immune to some PR scandals (there’s a swimming pool in Patti LuPone’s garden that’s testament to this), and the West End fall-out of most recent hit Cinderella sparked headlines and raised eyebrows. Nevertheless, the show looks primed to make a splash on Broadway, with an opening night coming tomorrow.
Where Lloyd Webber has remained unwaveringly passionate, however, is in his crusading for music education in schools – a fundamental bedrock for the sustainability not only of theatre, but of the creative sector full stop. More than this – music is proven to aid learning, emotional wellbeing – it can lessen the impact of depression and anxiety. At a time when the UK government seems
Lloyd Webber’s assistance of the Music In Secondary Schools Trust has lasted over a decade now – there are currently over 10,000 students taking part in the scheme. This might end up being the Cats‘ creator’s most significant legacy – nurturing talent that is nowhere near anyone’s radar just yet – but might keep the British arts cutting edge for decades to come.