English composer and musical theatre impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber has just announced that the New London Theatre will be changing its name to the Gillian Lynne Theatre in honour of the dancing dame's extraordinary contribution to the arts.
This historic move marks the first ever West End theatre to be named after a woman. Dame Gillian Lynne has collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber, owner of the New London Theatre, on many of his famous projects.
Gillian began her career at 14 years old when she became a professional ballet dancer, starred in a Hollywood film and became star dancer at the London Palladium. She has directed over 60 West End and Broadway productions and has worked as a director, producer, performer, or choreographer on hundreds of television programmes and nearly a dozen feature films.
The dame most famously helped to develop the revolutionary choreography in Cats, solidifying her spot as one of the most well-known choreographers of her generation. Her contribution to Cats helped launch a number of careers in dance and won her two Olivier Awards in 1981 and a Lifetime Achievement Olivier Award in 2013.
The New London Theatre is famous for being the home of the original Cats production and welcomes nearly 450,000 people through its doors annually. Other popular shows housed at the New London theatre include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, War Horse, and the current School of Rock - The Musical, which is a stage adaptation of the hit film.
The theatre's name change will officially take effect later this year.