Dame Gillian Lynne
Gillian Lynne, DBE, was a leading soloist with Sadler's Wells Ballet, the star dancer at the Palladium, starred with Errol Flynn in the movies and danced with all the greats on the television. She became instrumental in the development of jazz dance in Britain and her distinctive style led to her groundbreaking work on CATS. Gillian's 50 plus Broadway and West End shows include (as director): Tonight at Eight, Once Upon a Time, The Match Girls, TomFoolery, Jeeves Takes Charge and Cabaret.
For the RSC she co-directed A Midsummer Night's Dream and staged A Comedy of Errors; The Way of the World, As You Like It, Once In A Lifetime and directed The Boy Friend at Stratford. As choreographer and stager, her numerous productions include The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd, Pickwick, How Now Dow Jones, Collages, The Ambassador, The Card, Phil The Fluter, Hans Christian Andersen, The Yeoman of the Guard, My Fair Lady and Songbook. Her work for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden includes The Trojans, The Midsummer Marriage, The Flying Dutchman and Parsifal and for ENO, the direction of Offenbach's Bluebeard. Gillian's ballets include: A Simple Man, Lippizaner and the three-act ballet, The Brontës.
She is best known for her worldwide direction/choreography of CATS and her staging of The Phantom of the Opera for Andrew Lloyd Webber. Her television direction of Le Morte D'Arthur was awarded the Samuel G Engel award in America and her A Simple Man won the 1987 British Academy award for her direction. She stage many of The Muppets shows and her eleven feature films Half a Sixpence, Man of La Mancha and Yentl. She directed a new play by Bill C Davis called Avow at the George Street Playhouse in America in 1986 and in 1997 staged the CATS video in London.
In the spring of 1998 her new Bacharach/David musical (conception/direction/choreography) What the World Needs Now completed a successful run at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Also in 1998 she directed a ballet commissioned by the Bolshoi in Moscow and in the spring of 1999 she directed and choreographed Gigi at the Volksoper in Vienna. In December of 1999 her musical show for the millennium, Dick Whittington, which again she directed and choreographed, opened at Sadler's Wells. The year 2000 has seen Gillian create a new jazz ballet, Some You Win... for Irek Mukhamedov as part of the Irek Mukhamedov and Company season at Sadler's Wells and The Secret Garden for the RSC. In October 2002 Gillian danced the role of Lowry's mother, in her own choreography, in A Simple Man, in honour of HRH Princess Margaret's Birthday Gala at Sadler's Wells.
Source: CATS programme. Photo copyright © The Really Useful Group and Dewynters.