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Andrew Lloyd Webber in Conversation at New London Theatre

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
The composer's 70th birthday is celebrated in style
An autobiography, an ultimate hits album and a special show at the New London Theatre – it's set to be a memorable March 2018 for Andrew Lloyd Webber as he celebrates his 70th birthday.

The Right Honourable The Lord Lloyd-Webber – to give him his full title – is 70 on March 22. On March 13 he will be in conversation with Graham Norton at the New London Theatre, which is currently hosting his School of Rock production, to celebrate the launch of his autobiography, Unmasked, and album, Unmasked: The Platinum Collection.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Unmasked The Platinum Collection, New London Theatre, Graham Norton, School of Rock
Rockin': Andrew Lloyd Webber with the original School of Rock cast (pic: Craig Sugden)

The evening of entertainment will include six performances by stars of the West End's most popular musicals, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, School of Rock and Pie Jesu from the Grammy Award-winning Requiem.

Those productions are all represented on Unmasked: The Platinum Collection, alongside songs from Sunset Boulevard, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Starlight Express. The tracks are performed by a stellar cast, including Barbra Streisand, Beyoncé, Donny Osmond, Gregory Porter, Lana Del Rey, Madonna, Michael Ball, Michael Crawford, Nicole Scherzinger and Sarah Brightman.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Unmasked The Platinum Collection, New London Theatre, Graham Norton, School of Rock

The collection, released on March 16, has been personally curated and overseen by Andrew, who says: ''A vast amount of thought has gone into selecting tracks from my almost 50-year old career. This compilation brings back a heap of memories – it has made this ancient composer very happy!''

Newly recorded songs by Nicole Scherzinger (Memory from Cats), Gregory Porter (Light at the End of the Tunnel from Starlight Express) and Lana Del Rey (You Must Love Me from Evita) are among the highlights, along with five new orchestral suites (Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, Variations, The Beautiful Game, Sunset Boulevard) on the special four-disc edition.

Says Andrew: ''I particularly love the new tracks and, of course, the orchestral suites. There' s nothing a composer likes more than hearing their melodies played by a cracking orchestra.''

Lana Del Rey says: ''Andrew Lloyd Webber has been one of my primary inspirations in music, so to do a cover of one of his songs is a dream.''

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gregory Porter, Unmasked The Platinum Collection, New London Theatre, Graham Norton, School of Rock
Admiration: Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter also expresses his admiration: ''Andrew is an icon of not only musical theatre, but he's an icon of music, our culture, and of our human experience.''

Nicole Scherzinger adds: ''Andrew's music absolutely influenced me as an artist. I grew up listening to his music. I grew up listening to Jesus Chris Superstar, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita; you just know it's his music when you hear the arrangements, when you hear the strings, the orchestra, the synths.''

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Evita, Gregory Porter, Unmasked The Platinum Collection, New London Theatre, Graham Norton, School of Rock
A scene from Evita, playing at Birmingham Hippodrome, March 20 - 24 (pic: Pamela Raith Photograpy)

Also in celebration of his 70th birthday, Andrew's new autobiography, Unmasked, has been published by Harper Collins. And after 10 years in the UK and two West End seasons, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical masterpiece, Evita, visits Birmingham Hippodrome from March 20 – 24 as part of a major new international and UK tour.
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Why? Andrew Lloyd Webber's story - by the man himself
When: March 13, 2018
Phone: 020 7087 7750
Where: New London Theatre, 166 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5PW
Cost: £70
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