He has composed some of the most popular shows in musical theatre history
Five of the twenty longest-running musicals in West End history were composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber (source). The Phantom of the Opera is currently Broadway’s longest-running musical of all time. To give you some idea of the scale of this: there have, so far, been over 12,000 performances The Phantom of the Opera in the West End … and another 12,000 in Broadway.
As well as The Phantom of the Opera, and Cats, Lloyd Webber’s works include Starlight Express, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita. Even if you don’t really know the musicals, you will almost certainly recognise songs such as The Phantom of the Opera‘s title song, Memory (Cats) and Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (Evita).
Some of his most successful works were created in collaboration with Tim Rice
In the 1960’s and 70’s, Lloyd Webber and Rice collaborated on three iconic musicals: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita (source). Lloyd Webber also collaborated with Jim Steinman (who composed Bat Out of Hell, an album made famous by Meatloaf) to write Whistle Down the Wind … which is quite a mix of styles (source).
He started young
Lloyd Webber comes from a very musical family – his father was the director of the London College of Music, his mother taught piano, and his younger brother is a cellist. Andrew Lloyd Webber began to dabble in playing musical instruments at age three, and started writing music at age six (source). When he was nineteen, he composed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. When he was twenty, he composed Jesus Christ Superstar (source) – which went on to be one of the 20 longest-running musicals in West End history.
He has won a lot of awards (oh, and he’s received a knighthood and peerage too)
Lloyd Webber’s awards include seven Tonys, seven Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, and a Grammy (source). But it doesn’t end there. In 1922, he was knighted; and, in 1996, he received a peerage (which means that he can sit in the House of Lords) (source). No wonder, then, he is an inductee in the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and that you can see his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (source).
His company owns six West End theatres
Andrew Lloyd Webber is the sole owner of the Really Useful Theatres Group, a company which owns six West End theatres, including Her Majesty’s Theatre and the London Palladium. Currently, the theatres owned by the Really Useful Theatres Group are showing some of the West End’s biggest shows: Kinky Boots; The Phantom of the Opera; Matilda the Musical; School of Rock the Musical; Dick Whittington; 42nd Street (source).
He’s one of the 200 richest people in Britain
All of that renders Lloyd Webber quite well off, to say the least. In fact, he is one of the 200 richest people in Britain (source).
The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation is a large charity which supports the arts
Founded in 1992, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation offers arts-related grants and scholarships. Since 2010, the charity has awarded almost £14M to projects that surround arts education and participation (source).
Harriet has been immersed in the theatre life from a multitude of angles: from writing, to working backstage, to performing, to directing. She spends most of her spare time in the West End or regional theatres and fills the rest with talking about the wonderful world of theatre through regular blogs.