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Choreographer and director Gillian Lynne dies aged 92

Gillian Lynne.
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Choreographer Gillian Lynne, whose credits include Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, has died aged 92.

News of her death was posted on Twitter by her husband Peter Land, who paid tribute to his “darling wife”.

“I am heartbroken to write that Dame Gillian Lynne and my dearest wife and friend and love for 40 years passed away at 6.20pm tonight, 1st July 2018 at the Princess Grace Hospital,” he wrote.

He added: “She leaves behind a huge legacy and is adored by many.”

Lynne was famed for her work with Andrew Lloyd Webber, who earlier this month renamed the New London Theatre in her honour.

Her credits with the composer included choreographing Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. She was musical stager for the Barbra Streisand film, Yentl. Other stage credits included Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Dear World, which she directed in 2013.

Tributes have poured in for Lynne, with Lloyd Webber saying that three generations of British musical theatre were in her debt.



Cameron Mackintosh described her as “a unique light” in musical theatre.

“Inspirational and indefatigable, wickedly funny and fabulously sexy, Gillie’s brilliantly inventive talents over the decades have illuminated the lives of all those who have had the luck to work with her as well as the audiences who have witnessed her magic, he said.

He added: “She always signed her notes to me “Taut and Tight” – it perfectly summed up both her timeless elegance and her extraordinary work ethic. We will all miss her beyond words, but I have no doubt she already has the angels rehearsing the Jellicle Ball up there in the Heaviside Layer! God bless her. She is truly unforgettable.”

Matthew Bourne said Lynne had supported and “inspired” him.


John Owen-Jones described her as “one of a kind”.

Bernadette Peters said Lynne’s talents had given “joy” to so many.

Ben Forster recalled working with her on The Phantom of the Opera.

Director Laurence Connor described her as the “brightest jewel in the crown”.

A full obituary will appear in this week’s issue of The Stage.

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