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To Gillie, With Love

Posted on April 30, 2019

Gillian Lynne

A special evening, To Gillie, With Love, will celebrate Gillian Lynne and launch the Lynne and Land Foundation on July 2 at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, Drury Lane.

A year and a day after Lynne died, To Gillie, With Love will see stars of the world of dance, theatre, film and television come together to show their admiration and gratitude for the director-choreographer who guided and inspired so many.

Remembering highlights from Lynne’s extensive career, the evening will include performances from Beverley Knight, Tamara Rojo, Richard O’Brien, Sierra Boggess and Ramin Karimloo, as well as a choir with students from Arts Ed and the Royal Academy of Music.

As well as honouring Lynne, To Gillie, With Love will launch the Lynne and Land Foundation, established by the choreographer and her husband Peter Land to enable talented young performers to achieve their dreams by providing scholarships and grants in the choreographic arts, drama and musical theatre.

Peter Land said: “Two years before my wife passed away we discussed the foundation and she insisted on having it in both of our names. We both benefited hugely in our careers from the kindness of others and that is what we want to do with the foundation – to be the help that Gillian Lynne was to so many performers throughout her career. I remember the actor George Baker being wonderfully generous to me and Gillian always said that the support she got from Noël Coward, personally and professionally kept her going when times were tough.”

The evening will be curated and produced by Peter Land and Lean Two Productions and directed and staged by Chrissie Cartwright, Lynne’s long-time collaborator on Cats, with musical direction by Peter McCarthy, scenic design by Matthew Kinley, lighting design by Michael Robertson and sound design by Adam Fisher. The evening is supported by LW Theatres and Cameron Mackintosh Ltd.

Lynne’s direction, staging and choreography included her collaboration on two of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most famous musicals: Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, which can still be seen nightly throughout the world.

The New London Theatre, where Lynne choreographed Cats in 1981, was renamed in her honour by Andrew Lloyd Webber in June 2018, making Lynne the first non-royal woman to have a West End Theatre named after her.

As a producer, director, choreographer and performer, throughout the course of her life Lynne was involved in more than 60 productions in the West End, 11 feature films and hundreds of television productions.

Tickets for To Gillie, With Love are now on sale with all proceeds going to the Lynne and Land Foundation.

Image: Gillian Lynne. Photograph by Greg Gorman

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, is out now as an ebook and available on Amazon, with the paperback following on August 22.

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