Thursday 15 November 2018

West End choreographer Dame Gillian Lynne dies aged 92

A major influence on dance and musical theatre, she was best known for her work with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Dame Gillian Lynne, who has died aged 92 (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Dame Gillian Lynne, who has died aged 92 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Ryan Wilkinson, Press Association

Renowned choreographer Dame Gillian Lynne, whose credits included the hugely successful Cats and Phantom Of The Opera musicals, has died aged 92.

Her husband, actor Peter Land, said she died at the Princess Grace Hospital in Marylebone, central London, on Sunday evening.

“She leaves behind a huge legacy & is adored by many,” he said in a tribute on Twitter to his “dearest wife & friend & love for 40 years”.

A major influence on dance and musical theatre, Dame Gillian was best known for her work with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The composer and impresario wrote on Twitter: “Farewell dearest Gillie, three generations of the British musical owe so much to you. With love, Andrew”.

Fellow choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne also paid tribute, tweeting: “RIP Dear Gillie … you supported and inspired me from the very beginning … your spirit & love of dance & dancers lives on in all of us who share that love.”

Dame Gillian also directed more than 50 productions in the West End and on Broadway and received two Olivier Awards.

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Dame Gillian Lynne after receiving her honour from the Princess Royalat Buckingham Palace (John Stillwell/PA)

She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to dance and musical theatre in 2014.

In June, Lord Lloyd Webber renamed his New London Theatre The Gillian Lynne Theatre.

It was the first West End theatre to be named after a woman.

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