Stephen Sondheim: London’s West End to dim lights for theatre icon

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The lights in London's West End will be dimmed as theatres pay tribute to legendary US composer and songwriter Stephen Sondheim who has died aged 91.

The composer and lyricist, famous for creating the musical Sweeney Todd, was described as one of theatre's "greatest geniuses" after his death on Friday.

The lights will be dimmed for two minutes at 19:00 GMT on Monday.

Sir Cameron Mackintosh said the world had "lost one of its greatest and most original writers".

  • Musical theatre icon Stephen Sondheim dies at 91
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The theatrical producer renamed his Queen's Theatre venue after the composer in 2019.

Stephen Sondheim. Photo: December 2007Reuters

During his illustrious career, he wrote the scores of some of Broadway's best known shows including Company, Follies and A Little Night Music. He also wrote the lyrics for West Side Story.

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His ballad Send in the Clowns – from the 1973 musical A Little Night Music – has been recorded hundreds of times, including by Frank Sinatra and Judy Collins.

Six of Sondheim's musicals won Tony Awards and he also received a Pulitzer Price, an Academy Award, five Olivier Awards and he was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Honour.

Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, said: "The theatre world is a smaller place tonight after the passing of Stephen Sondheim.

"His legacy of extraordinary shows and songs will live on for many generations to come – but now, we pay tribute to his outstanding contribution to our theatres and celebrate his talent."

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