Theatre News

Gillian Lynne dies at the age of 92

The choreographer died on 1 July after a long career working on stage and screen

London Gillian Lynne (Choreographer) during the launch for Cats at the London Palladium, London, England on 6th July 2014.
Gillian Lynne (choreographer) during the launch for Cats at the London Palladium, London, England on 6 July 2014.
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage
Dame Gillian Lynne has died at the age of 92.

Peter Land, Lynne's husband, tweeted this evening to announce the news of her death at 6.20pm on 1 July at the Princess Grace Hospital.

The announcement comes days after Andrew Lloyd Webber officially renamed the West End's New London Theatre the Gillian Lynne Theatre.

Lynne had an extraordinary career on stage and beyond as the choreographer behind some of the most important British musical theatre creations. Her iconic work included the movement in Cats, The Phantom of the Opera and Aspects of Love.

Over 50 years in showbusiness, she worked for companies and organisations including the Royal Opera House, the RSC and The Australian Ballet.

Lynne began her career as a dancer with Sadler's Wells Ballet and had roles created for her by Frederick Ashton and Robert Helpmann. Lynne also directed for The Muppet Show.

She was made a dame in 2014. One of her final appearances was at the New London Theatre on 22 June when Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh paid tribute to the dancer and choreographer. On the day, Mackintosh said: "The two things I learnt on the first day of rehearsals [with you] was that you had the wickedest sense of humour ever and you liked to get your own way."

He added: "You've made many stars look wonderful over your career, but today you are the star of this theatre."

Other awards recieved by Lynne include a Special Olivier Award in 2013, an Olivier Award for Cats, a CBE and two Tony nominations, for the choreography on Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.

Land's tweet read this evening:

— Dame Gillian Lynne (@Gillian_Lynne) July 1, 2018

Tributes poured in on Twitter from stars of stage and screen.

— Matthew Bourne (@SirMattBourne) July 1, 2018

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