Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends is coming to the West End

Posted on 15 February 2023

Following a triumphant victory at the 2023 WhatsOnStage Awards for Best Theatre Event, Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends is making its way to the West End’s Gielgud Theatre for a limited 16-week run from September 16, 2023, to January 6, 2024. This once-in-a-lifetime event, produced by Cameron Mackintosh, is a chance to pay homage to the legendary Stephen Sondheim, who passed away at the age of 91 in November 2021.

Prepare to be transported to the golden age of theatre as West End and Broadway performers join together to bring Sondheim's timeless masterpieces to life, offering you the chance to experience unforgettable music and lyrics that have captivated audiences for generations. Don't miss this chance to celebrate the brilliance of one of the greatest talents in musical theatre history, keep your eyes peeled on our news page for updates about Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends!

About Stephen Sondheim 

Stephen Sondheim was an American composer and lyricist who rose to prominence in the 1950s working as a lyricist for the composer Leonard Bernstein. Their collaboration on the 1957 musical West Side Story was a tremendous success and helped to establish Sondheim's reputation as a rising talent in the world of musical theatre. He went on to work on other successful shows, such as Gypsy and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, eventually transitioning to writing both the music and lyrics for his own productions. 

Sondheim was mentored by Oscar Hammerstein II, Hammerstein became Sondheim's mentor after Sondheim's father introduced the two, with Hammerstein later teaching him the craft of lyric writing and providing him opportunities to work on various projects. Sondheim has often credited Hammerstein with shaping his career and influencing his approach to musical theatre. Through his work, Sondheim has revealed an unequalled style that can process emotions that are vague, repressed or even downright contradictory.

About Old Friends 

Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends showcases the refined talents of the legendary American composer and lyricist by showcasing some of his most beloved songs and works and highlighting his wit, intelligence, and emotional depth as a composer and lyricist. Old Friends features songs from a variety of Sondheim's classic shows, such as Sweeney Todd, Company, Into the Woods and many more!

The cast and creatives of Old Friends 

Prepare for an unforgettable theatrical experience with the star-studded cast of Old Friends. The legendary Bernadette Peters makes her long-awaited West End debut, with Lea Salonga returning to the stage after 27 years.

They are joined by an incredible ensemble that includes Christine Allado, Janie Dee, Bonnie Langford, Jeremy Secomb, Beatrice Penny-Touré, Joanna Riding, and Jac Yarrow, with more exciting casting announcements to come!

Old Friends is Directed by the renowned Matthew Bourne and co-directed by Julia McKenzie, it features electrifying choreography by Stephen Mear, musical direction by Alfonso Casado Trigo, musical supervision by Stephen Brooker, musical arrangements by Stephen Metcalfe, stunning set design by Matt Kinley, awe-inspiring projection design by George Reeve, dynamic lighting design by Warren Letton, and a sound design by the masterful Mick Potter

Keep an eye out for Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends 

From ‘Into The Woods’ to ‘Send in the Clowns’ the songs of Stephen Sondheim, performed by veterans musical theatre, are sure to touch the heart! Keep an eye on our news page for more information!

By Kevin Thomas

From as early as I can recall, writing has always been my passion. Being able to combine this with my love for theatre has been a rewarding and exhilarating experience. I truly believe that there is magic in seeing a story brought to life on stage, and this is what I would like to promote to audiences.