Theatre News

Plaque for Alan Jay Lerner to be unveiled at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

The plaque will celebrate the centenary of the birth of the playwright and lyricist

Alan Jay Lerner and Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Alan Jay Lerner and Theatre Royal Drury Lane
© R: (C) Blake Ezra Photography 2018

A new plaque is to be unveiled at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in the West End, to mark the centenary of the birth of Alan Jay Lerner.

The plaque celebrates the playwright and lyricist and at the unveiling excerpts from The Songwriters DVD will be shown.

Liz Robertson, Lerner's widow, said: "Alan Jay Lerner was one of the greatest lyricists to have written for Broadway. He was also my husband and for one brief shining moment I was a witness to the struggles and torment that came with writing that perfect lyric. Alan confessed at one time, 'It is rather pleasant to know that if your songs are being played and sung when you are not around, it is difficult for people to forget you'. On the centenary of his birth we remember him well."

Lerner was born on 31 August in 1918 in New York City and educated at Bedales, Choate and Harvard. After being injured in a boxing match at Harvard, Lerner was unable to fight in WWII and instead began to write radio scripts.

He met Frederick Loewe in 1942 and the two collaborated together on shows including Brigadoon, and films including An American in Paris and Royal Wedding. Lerner and Loewe wrote My Fair Lady in 1956 which set box office records. His final collaboration was with Andrew Lloyd Webber on The Phantom of the Opera.

The plaque will be unveiled on Friday 31 August at 2.30pm.