Andrew Lloyd Webber: Memories imagine...


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS


Andrew Lloyd Webber: Memories

Alan Yentob talks to Andrew Lloyd Webber about his new autobiography, bohemian childhood and the memories he's chosen to reveal.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Andrew Lloyd Webber: Memories. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER:

"I fell in love

with Perseus instantly."

0:00:000:00:02

"When I was around seven,

0:00:080:00:10

"I asked if I could take him

on a lead to Thurloe Square."

0:00:100:00:13

"Both Mum and Granny said yes."

0:00:180:00:19

"How trusting parents were

in those days!"

0:00:210:00:24

"So I became a regular spectacle,

0:00:260:00:28

"walking Perseus like a dog

0:00:280:00:30

"across the old zebra crossing...

0:00:300:00:32

"..that led to the train station...

0:00:340:00:36

"..and the only bit of greenery

Julian and I knew."

0:00:380:00:40

MUSIC: Memory from Cats

0:00:400:00:43

Cats have always had a special place

in the life of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

0:00:490:00:53

It was the family cat, Perseus,

and the poems of TS Eliot

0:00:560:01:00

that inspired the hit musical

0:01:000:01:02

loved by audiences

round the world.

0:01:020:01:04

What's going on here?

What is happening here?

0:01:060:01:09

He's a big thug, this cat.

0:01:100:01:12

And like all thugs, he becomes a

pussycat when anybody is near him.

0:01:120:01:19

Andrew has turned 70.

0:01:190:01:21

And to mark the occasion,

he's written a memoir.

0:01:210:01:25

# Memory

0:01:270:01:30

# All alone in the moonlight

0:01:300:01:34

# I can smile at the old days

0:01:340:01:39

# I was beautiful then

0:01:390:01:44

# I remember the time

I knew what happiness was

0:01:440:01:54

# Let the memory

0:01:540:01:59

# Live again. #

0:01:590:02:07

Andrew Lloyd Webber's autobiography

is a candid account of his childhood

0:02:090:02:14

and the early influences that led to

a string of hit musicals.

0:02:140:02:18

From make-believe shows he created

with brother Julian...

0:02:190:02:22

"Ten glorious hit musicals."

"Ten glorious hit musicals."

0:02:220:02:25

..to the legendary hits

he wrote with Tim Rice.

0:02:250:02:28

And that was when Argentina

happened.

0:02:300:02:33

And I remember saying to Tim,

"I think I've got a way in."

0:02:340:02:37

# All through my wild days

0:02:370:02:41

# My mad existence

0:02:410:02:44

# I kept my promise

0:02:440:02:47

# Don't keep your distance... #

0:02:470:02:50

MUSIC: Phantom of the Opera Overture

0:02:540:02:56

Phantom of the Opera

is celebrating a birthday too.

0:03:020:03:04

It's been running for 30 years,

0:03:090:03:11

making it the longest-running

Broadway musical of all time.

0:03:110:03:14

With two big birthdays to mark, this

is a perfect moment to look back.

0:03:190:03:24

So, what prompted you

to write this book?

0:03:350:03:39

I have to say, I'm terribly boring.

0:03:390:03:41

I mean, I really...

0:03:410:03:43

I wrote, in truth, in my preface,

that Andrew Lloyd Webber

0:03:430:03:46

is the most boring person

that I've ever written about.

0:03:460:03:49

So were you unmask...

0:03:490:03:50

Was it a kind of confessional,

then, as well?

0:03:500:03:53

Yes, it's a sort of confessional.

0:03:530:03:54

I mean, because I think

one of the things is

0:03:540:03:57

that one's career is not always up.

0:03:570:04:00

I mean, there are many bumps

along the way. But I...

0:04:000:04:03

Explain yourself.

I'm explaining myself

0:04:030:04:05

by saying that I know

quite a few things that

0:04:050:04:07

probably I shouldn't really

ever print.

0:04:070:04:10

But, luckily, I've been able to be,

I think,

0:04:100:04:13

as truthful as I can remember.

0:04:130:04:15

The problem is memory, isn't it,

you know?

0:04:150:04:17

Not the song, my brain.

0:04:170:04:19

I hope I've got things right.

0:04:190:04:20

70 years ago, bomb-damaged

and down-at-heel,

0:04:240:04:28

London was slowly recovering

from the Blitz.

0:04:280:04:30

Andrew's mother, Jean,

taught the piano

0:04:330:04:35

at the Royal College of Music

in South Kensington,

0:04:350:04:38

and it was here that she met

a young composer called William.

0:04:380:04:42

They married in 1942.

0:04:420:04:45

Lloyd Webber sounds like some posh

derivation of some sort.

0:04:450:04:48

There is no posh derivation at all.

0:04:480:04:50

It was that my father became known

as a composer as "Lloyd Webber"

0:04:500:04:56

and it just stuck

as the family name.

0:04:560:04:59

Well, the story of your childhood,

the first sentence in your book is,

0:04:590:05:04

"Before me there was Mimi."

0:05:040:05:05

Yes, Mimi, a monkey.

0:05:050:05:07

Mimi didn't like me, apparently.

0:05:080:05:10

Apparently attacked

my mother's tummy.

0:05:100:05:12

Therefore, I'm able to say

that she was the first person

0:05:120:05:15

to take a huge dislike to me.

And she had to be got rid of.

0:05:150:05:18

When was she got rid of?

0:05:180:05:19

Well, presumably before I was born.

0:05:190:05:21

My mother used to go around

South Kensington, where we lived,

0:05:230:05:27

round the back of

South Kensington station,

0:05:270:05:29

with this monkey on her shoulder.

0:05:290:05:31

And goodness knows

what everybody thought.

0:05:310:05:33

After Mimi came Andrew,

who was born in 1948.

0:05:360:05:40

The family lived in a mansion flat

in Harrington Court,

0:05:420:05:45

which they shared with

Jean's mother, Granny Molly.

0:05:450:05:49

Here she is on the roof with Mimi.

0:05:500:05:53

Granny basically kept the family.

I mean, she paid for everything

0:05:530:05:56

out of the little bit of money

that she had,

0:05:560:05:58

because my dad didn't earn any money

from anything much. I mean,

0:05:580:06:01

he was professor of composition at

the Royal College of Music,

0:06:010:06:04

but he wasn't earning

a lot of money.

0:06:040:06:06

So I think she really, more or less,

kept everything afloat.

0:06:060:06:08

So this is home?

0:06:120:06:14

This, on the top floor,

somewhere in the middle up there,

0:06:140:06:16

just towards the end, there,

was our flat.

0:06:160:06:19

On the top floor, what it then was,

0:06:190:06:21

because they've put these

rather smart-looking penthouse,

0:06:210:06:24

I suppose they probably call them,

on the top of it.

0:06:240:06:27

But it was... It's very different to

what it was then.

0:06:270:06:30

So it looks like that's it.

0:06:300:06:31

Yes, it would be.

And it had a balcony.

0:06:310:06:34

Outside of the place looks exactly

the same, apart from the top of it.

0:06:340:06:38

I'm quite pleased to see,

now that bus has moved,

0:06:380:06:40

that the greengrocer that used to be

there is still there.

0:06:400:06:43

Oh, that's funny.

So that's the one,

0:06:430:06:45

that must be the one family business

that's survived.

0:06:450:06:47

And it was pretty much

all of this bit,

0:06:490:06:50

South Kensington station itself...

0:06:500:06:52

There used to be an Italian

restaurant there.

0:06:520:06:54

That's pretty much as it was

when I was a kid.

0:06:540:06:56

In fact, it's almost exactly

the same.

0:06:560:06:58

A few years later, the family at

Harrington Court expanded to six,

0:07:030:07:08

with the arrival of a Siamese cat

called Perseus,

0:07:080:07:11

and a second son called Julian.

0:07:110:07:14

The words Harrington Court

suggest quite a posh environment.

0:07:150:07:19

No.

0:07:190:07:21

There was a lift there

that never worked.

0:07:210:07:24

A completely broken-down old lift,

which stank of pee most of the time.

0:07:240:07:27

You see, in those days,

there were no entry phones,

0:07:270:07:30

so you could just walk

straight in the place.

0:07:300:07:32

And people did.

0:07:320:07:33

We're in already.

Right.

0:07:390:07:41

OK, so which floor?

0:07:410:07:43

Well, we were on the fourth floor,

0:07:430:07:44

but I think they've got

an extra floor now on it.

0:07:440:07:47

Five.

It wasn't like this.

0:07:470:07:49

It was one of those big, open lifts

that, you know,

0:07:490:07:52

you put your hand out,

you'd get your hand chopped off.

0:07:520:07:54

Well, Julian told me what this lift

was like.

0:07:540:07:56

He said it had a smell.

0:07:560:07:58

Well, I... Yes, you say...

0:07:580:08:00

that he said that.

0:08:000:08:03

I don't remember it, really,

particularly smelling,

0:08:030:08:05

but maybe Julian has a better nose

than I.

0:08:050:08:08

Shall we get out?

Shall we get out?

0:08:080:08:10

I don't think this level existed.

0:08:120:08:15

So where do we go from here?

Do you recognise any of this?

0:08:160:08:19

Well, no, I mean,

it's not as I remember at all.

0:08:190:08:21

I don't believe...

0:08:230:08:24

After you.

This didn't exist.

0:08:240:08:27

I mean, it couldn't be

more different.

0:08:270:08:30

The roomy mansion flats

have long gone,

0:08:340:08:37

and have been converted into

luxury serviced apartments.

0:08:370:08:40

But in the Lloyd Webbers' day,

it was a place filled with music,

0:08:420:08:46

and under the influence of their

parents both brothers started young.

0:08:460:08:50

Is that the first instrument your

mother placed in your hands, really?

0:08:520:08:55

Well, that... We're not

looking at that, actually.

0:08:550:08:58

Why not?

No, we don't really approve

of that.

0:08:580:09:01

Why don't we approve of it?

That's

me on the front of Nursery World,

0:09:010:09:04

when my mum insisted on

my playing the violin.

0:09:040:09:07

So she tried to get you

to play the violin?

0:09:070:09:10

Yeah, yeah, she tried to turn me

into a protege, you see?

0:09:100:09:13

And then, thank God,

Julian turned up.

0:09:130:09:15

Thank heavens Julian turned up, yes.

0:09:150:09:17

Now, look, here you are...

That's Julian and me.

..with Julian.

0:09:170:09:20

You see, that was the only

really outside space we had.

0:09:200:09:22

So Julian's taken with, I suppose

it would be a quarter-sized cello.

0:09:220:09:26

I mean, God help us if we'd got

Britain's Got Talent in those days

0:09:260:09:29

with my mother around.

0:09:290:09:30

CELLO SCALES

0:09:300:09:34

I was four when I got a cello.

0:09:390:09:41

He says three in the book.

0:09:410:09:43

That's a little exaggeration,

you know.

0:09:430:09:46

Because you can't do much with

a cello at three, to be honest.

0:09:460:09:49

I saw this cello in a concert

I was taken to at Festival Hall,

0:09:490:09:54

and I asked if I could play that,

0:09:540:09:56

thinking that I'd be allowed

to give up the piano

0:09:560:09:58

if I took up a different instrument.

0:09:580:10:00

So, yeah, I was four

when I saw the cello.

0:10:000:10:02

And I really loved playing it.

I enjoyed it.

0:10:020:10:05

I never went near the piano

unless I was forced to,

0:10:050:10:07

but I just used to like

sitting with a cello

0:10:070:10:09

and trying to get a decent sound

out of it,

0:10:090:10:12

which took a few years,

I must say.

0:10:120:10:14

Andrew did take up the piano,

somewhat reluctantly.

0:10:160:10:20

His piano teacher, mother Jean,

was a strict disciplinarian

0:10:200:10:23

when it came to her children's

music lessons.

0:10:230:10:26

But Andrew had other ideas.

0:10:260:10:29

She had to give up on me

pretty early because...

0:10:290:10:31

I did learn the piano with her, but,

0:10:310:10:34

anyway, she soon realised that I had

another interest in my life,

0:10:340:10:39

which was... Well, it was,

in those days, ruined buildings.

0:10:390:10:43

I remember I took a trip

up to Doncaster,

0:10:450:10:48

and then from there I made my way

across to Hull,

0:10:480:10:51

and up to Beverley

where the marvellous minster is.

0:10:510:10:55

And then I made my way up

through Whitby

0:10:560:11:00

and up then to Newcastle,

0:11:000:11:02

and then back to London again,

0:11:020:11:04

over a school half-term.

0:11:040:11:06

And, you know, there was me

with my little suitcase,

0:11:060:11:09

and I was only, like, 14.

0:11:090:11:11

I mean, staying in, you know, B&Bs,

and nobody batted an eyelid.

0:11:110:11:16

I mean, I don't think

you'd let a kid go round today.

0:11:160:11:21

As well as trips alone,

0:11:210:11:23

Andrew dragged his family

into his burgeoning interest

0:11:230:11:26

in England's national heritage.

0:11:260:11:29

And we... Every holiday,

I used to take him

0:11:290:11:33

to see these places.

We got stuck in lanes and fields,

0:11:330:11:37

and I think I got to know every

ancient ruin in the country.

0:11:370:11:41

If you open this Pandora-like box

here,

0:11:430:11:46

you'll discover my early

literary efforts.

0:11:460:11:50

He wasn't just a seasoned

traveller at the age of 14,

0:11:500:11:53

but the writer of a travel journal.

0:11:530:11:56

The descriptions of the old

buildings are neatly typed up

0:11:560:11:59

and the photographs pasted in.

0:11:590:12:01

And, yes, he's kept them

to this day.

0:12:010:12:03

Can I hold it?

You can, yes, yes.

0:12:030:12:06

"A survey of the ruined castles

open to the public in Glamorgan."

0:12:060:12:10

You see, this...

"The author of".

0:12:100:12:12

I love the way

you're good at promotion.

0:12:120:12:15

The author of Ancient Monuments

in England and Wales,

0:12:150:12:17

Ancient Monuments

in the Home Counties,

0:12:170:12:19

and Roman Remains

in England and Wales.

0:12:190:12:21

People would like to know that!

0:12:210:12:22

I'm sure.

Then, you've got

Welsh border castles.

0:12:220:12:25

This is a pretty thick tome.

0:12:250:12:28

A hefty one.

Look at this -

0:12:280:12:30

this is big stuff here.

0:12:300:12:32

But that's not all he was up to.

0:12:320:12:34

A love for another kind of

architecture was blossoming -

0:12:340:12:37

the theatre.

0:12:370:12:39

I mean, I remember going around

the bombsites and, you know,

0:12:390:12:42

going to school and seeing

bombed buildings and things,

0:12:420:12:46

even in the late '50s.

0:12:460:12:48

I mean, I remember getting into

the Bedford in Camden Town

0:12:480:12:50

and there was a hole in the roof.

I've got the pictures I took of it.

0:12:500:12:53

And it made a really profound

impression on me.

0:12:530:12:57

EXPLOSION, AIR-RAID SIREN

0:12:570:13:00

Dozens of theatres were damaged

or lost during the Blitz.

0:13:000:13:04

But unlike the Bedford,

0:13:040:13:05

London's most popular theatre

escaped unscathed.

0:13:050:13:09

Come up and see me sometime.

0:13:090:13:11

I'm Dame Clod.

0:13:110:13:13

Like any kid, I think I was taken

to the Palladium pantomime

0:13:130:13:16

and thought it was wonderful.

0:13:160:13:18

And I think, again, sort of,

0:13:180:13:21

the feeling of that sort of

Victorian building...

0:13:210:13:23

The whole thing just captivated me.

0:13:230:13:26

MUSIC: Wouldn't it Be Loverly?

from My Fair Lady

0:13:260:13:31

# All I want is a room somewhere

0:13:380:13:42

# Far away from the cold night air

0:13:420:13:46

# With one enormous chair

0:13:460:13:50

# Now, wouldn't it be loverly? #

0:13:500:13:54

My Fair Lady came to London,

0:13:540:13:56

and of course everybody had

to go and see My Fair Lady,

0:13:560:13:59

so I was taken to a matinee.

0:13:590:14:01

I loved it and I said to...

It was my granny who took me to it,

0:14:010:14:07

I said, "I'd very much like

to hear something else."

0:14:070:14:10

And it was the same time

that Gigi was coming out,

0:14:100:14:12

so I was slunk in, because I think

Gigi was an A certificate.

0:14:120:14:16

And that wonderful overture,

which is just extraordinary.

0:14:160:14:20

# That since the world began

0:14:200:14:22

# No woman or a man

0:14:220:14:24

# Has ever been as happy as we are

0:14:240:14:27

# Tonight! #

0:14:270:14:31

But also, almost exactly

at the same time,

0:14:330:14:36

West Side Story came to London,

and I was taken to that too.

0:14:360:14:40

I thought, "Well, this is

the most fantastic world."

0:14:400:14:43

# Immigrant goes to America

0:14:430:14:44

# Many hellos in America

0:14:440:14:47

# Nobody knows in America

0:14:470:14:49

# Puerto Rico's in America! #

0:14:490:14:51

Trips to see these new

American musicals

0:14:540:14:58

cemented a passion for melody

in Andrew Lloyd Webber -

0:14:580:15:02

something he shared with his father.

0:15:020:15:04

William was a professor at

the Royal College of Music,

0:15:070:15:10

but his secret love

was writing melodies -

0:15:100:15:13

like this one.

0:15:130:15:14

Dad always remembers

0:15:270:15:28

being played Some Enchanted Evening

for the first time.

0:15:280:15:32

And Dad played it to me

because he saw me

0:15:320:15:35

getting so obsessed with musicals

and everything.

0:15:350:15:37

Go on, sing Some Enchanted Evening.

I don't think we really want that.

0:15:370:15:40

Yes, we do.

Well, we can play it...

0:15:400:15:42

# La da da da-da dum... #

0:15:420:15:45

CRACKLY VINYL RECORDING:

# Some enchanted evening

0:15:450:15:50

# You may meet a stranger

0:15:500:15:54

# You'll meet a stranger

across a crowded room... #

0:15:540:16:02

It's that...

0:16:030:16:04

PLAYS "SOME ENCHANTED EVENING"

MELODY

0:16:040:16:06

Rogers loved the tritone.

0:16:060:16:08

And he does it in a...

0:16:100:16:12

Doesn't he? But, Rogers, I mean,

that outpouring of melody.

0:16:140:16:19

I'm sorry, what anybody may say,

that to me...

0:16:190:16:22

Melody is, I think, the thing

that really, really gets me.

0:16:220:16:25

And I'm afraid that I was

as taken by my father

0:16:250:16:28

with Some Enchanted Evening.

Which I think, I still think,

0:16:280:16:31

is the greatest song ever written

for a musical.

0:16:310:16:34

MUSIC: Some Enchanted Evening

0:16:340:16:36

While American musicals dominated

London's West End,

0:16:570:17:00

it was television that brought them

into the sitting-room

0:17:000:17:03

at Harrington Court.

0:17:030:17:05

Ironically for me, television is

how I saw these theatres.

0:17:050:17:08

Sunday Night at

the London Palladium, yes.

0:17:080:17:10

I mean, you saw

shots of the audience

0:17:100:17:12

and then the famous

London Palladium revolve,

0:17:120:17:15

which used to go

at the end of the programme

0:17:150:17:17

with everybody waving goodbye.

0:17:170:17:19

I mean, of course, that made

a huge impression.

0:17:190:17:21

Andrew brought the magic and glamour

of the Palladium

0:17:270:17:29

into the living room

of the Harrington Road flat.

0:17:290:17:32

With the help of Julian,

he built a miniature theatre,

0:17:370:17:41

for which he wrote

no less than ten hit musicals.

0:17:410:17:46

"Ten GLORIOUS hit musicals."

Ten glorious hit musicals.

0:17:460:17:49

I don't think anybody ever has come

up with that kind of collection.

0:17:490:17:52

I mean, really, following The Land

of Twart with The Queen of Sheba,

0:17:520:17:55

I mean... It hasn't been done.

0:17:550:17:57

He called it

the Pavilion Empire Variety,

0:17:570:18:01

and even typed up theatre programmes

0:18:010:18:04

to accompany the - ahem -

productions.

0:18:040:18:07

I mean, it was a sort of Victorian

variety house, basically.

0:18:070:18:11

With the most massive stage

you've ever seen,

0:18:110:18:13

compared to the actual auditorium.

0:18:130:18:16

And it was put together with...?

0:18:160:18:17

It was sort of toy bricks, and it

had a kind of tea tray of a roof.

0:18:170:18:21

And it was then all painted...

It was very gold,

0:18:210:18:23

and there were lots of wallpaper

samples I got from Sanderson's.

0:18:230:18:27

Mostly wallpaper that looked as if

0:18:270:18:29

it should be

in an Indian restaurant.

0:18:290:18:30

How much space did it take up?

Oh...

From about here to the end...

0:18:300:18:35

It was the whole nursery.

0:18:350:18:37

I mean, it wasn't half measures.

0:18:370:18:40

Nobody else could get in there.

0:18:400:18:42

Lovely make-believe soldiers filled

up the audience so that, you know,

0:18:420:18:45

box office never, never,

ever wavered.

0:18:450:18:47

My career has absolutely

taken a dump since those days.

0:18:470:18:52

Oh!

Let's have a look.

0:19:000:19:01

Yeah, this is definitely

a level up from where we were.

0:19:010:19:04

We would have been a floor

below this, as it used to be.

0:19:050:19:10

Because I remember

one could look straight into

0:19:100:19:12

the windows of the hotel over there.

0:19:120:19:14

Do you know, I'd never

been in the hotel in my life,

0:19:140:19:16

until we went for

this programme today.

0:19:160:19:19

Never been in it.

There's a rather nice view

0:19:190:19:22

of the Natural History Museum

from up here, isn't there?

Yes.

0:19:220:19:25

And the old Imperial Institute.

0:19:250:19:27

Incredible view, because actually

you can see St Paul's Cathedral.

0:19:270:19:30

Yeah.

Now that's something

I never knew before.

0:19:300:19:32

If we'd got up on our roof,

we could have done that.

0:19:320:19:35

But it's... It'd have been

rather nice if we'd had this view.

0:19:350:19:38

That's been pedestrianised,

but I would imagine...

0:19:380:19:41

That's all been pedestrianised,

0:19:410:19:43

that was where the cat

used to walk with me.

0:19:430:19:45

There used to be a pedestrian

crossing down there...

0:19:450:19:47

Ah, that's it there, yeah.

And then we'd walk down past

0:19:470:19:49

where the underground sign is,

0:19:490:19:51

down Thurloe Place,

and Thurloe Square is just beyond.

0:19:510:19:55

So that's where Perseus...

0:19:550:19:56

So that is the route

that Perseus would take.

0:19:560:19:58

Taking Perseus for walks

round Kensington Gardens,

0:20:040:20:07

trips to the theatre,

and building one of your own,

0:20:070:20:11

sounds like an idyllic childhood.

0:20:110:20:14

And in some ways, it was.

0:20:140:20:16

But life at Harrington Court

was about to change

0:20:180:20:22

when eight-year-old Julian

brought home a fellow pupil

0:20:220:20:25

from the Royal College of Music,

where he was studying.

0:20:250:20:28

I got to know John Lill.

0:20:300:20:31

We were playing in

the junior department orchestra

0:20:310:20:34

and I got talking to him

and mentioned him to my mother.

0:20:340:20:38

And he was the big star student.

He was seven years older than me.

0:20:380:20:41

And we invited...

I invited him back.

0:20:420:20:45

He said, "My mother wants

to invite you for lunch."

0:20:450:20:48

And I was a bit shy,

a bit reluctant.

0:20:500:20:53

But, in the end, I said,

"OK, that would be very nice indeed,

0:20:550:20:58

"thank you." And that's when

I met the family.

0:20:580:21:00

Julian's mother, Jean,

took a special interest in John.

0:21:030:21:07

She'd dedicated her life to teaching

music and helping young talent,

0:21:100:21:15

a passion born out of

a childhood tragedy.

0:21:150:21:19

She was a very serious-minded

classical musician.

0:21:200:21:24

And all her training was that,

and all her interest was that.

0:21:240:21:28

And she had, really,

it has to be said,

0:21:280:21:30

a kind of obsession

about young male talent.

0:21:300:21:34

And I think it came because of

the very premature death

0:21:340:21:37

of her elder brother,

who was drowned at sea.

0:21:370:21:41

PIANO MUSIC PLAYS

0:21:410:21:44

The brother was called Alistair,

and he died aged 18.

0:21:480:21:53

And I think that when John Lill

came along,

0:21:530:21:55

this was like a godsend to her,

0:21:550:21:57

because here was someone, you know,

0:21:570:21:58

who was a fabulous pianist and from

a very, very poor background,

0:21:580:22:02

and absolutely in the mould of the

kind of person she wanted to help.

0:22:020:22:06

ORCHESTRA PLAYS

0:22:060:22:08

Jean's help even extended to

moving John into the family home.

0:22:250:22:30

She lavished a huge amount of

attention and care and concern

0:22:300:22:35

about my playing.

And she'd move the earth to help me.

0:22:350:22:38

It was extremely...generous of her

and, well,

0:22:380:22:43

I was often embarrassed by

the degree of kindness

0:22:430:22:46

she and her husband showed.

0:22:460:22:48

And my mother really sort of took

him in and he became like her son.

0:22:480:22:54

I mean, she really, really, really

just lived for John Lill.

0:22:540:22:57

Did you feel slightly sort of

left out of things?

0:22:570:23:00

Well, I did, I did feel that we had

an older brother now

0:23:000:23:03

who was not really ours.

I mean, I liked John a lot, but...

0:23:030:23:07

No, I sort of felt that,

certainly in my mother's eyes,

0:23:070:23:11

that he was the one

and he was the favourite.

0:23:110:23:14

"Towards the close of the Easter

holidays, I was deeply depressed.

0:23:200:23:24

"Mum's John Lill obsession

0:23:240:23:25

"was making her increasingly moody

and erratic."

0:23:250:23:28

"Home was a cauldron of overwrought

emotion and jealousy.

0:23:340:23:38

"My adolescent hormones

told me I'd had enough."

0:23:380:23:40

"One morning, I headed for

the underground station.

0:23:430:23:46

"I bought a one-way ticket."

0:23:460:23:48

I'd taken the old underground out

to as far as it went to in Essex

0:23:500:23:53

and, I think it was Ongar station,

I saw a bus going to Lavenham.

0:23:530:23:58

And I thought, this is the end,

0:23:580:23:59

I'm really going

to go into a hedge somewhere

0:23:590:24:02

and just take all these pills

I'd collected up.

0:24:020:24:05

"The ancient bus trundled through

the Essex countryside,

0:24:120:24:15

"and as we hit Suffolk,

the sun came out."

0:24:150:24:17

"By the time we arrived at Lavenham,

0:24:190:24:21

"an overcast morning had turned into

a glorious spring day."

0:24:210:24:25

"Lavenham. I'd never seen such an

unspoiled English village before."

0:24:290:24:34

"But it was the church that did it.

All I remember now

0:24:360:24:40

"is sitting inside

for what must have been two hours

0:24:400:24:43

"and saying,

'Thank God for Lavenham.' "

0:24:430:24:45

So I changed my mind very, very

quickly, and all was well.

0:24:480:24:52

And you wrote about...

Yes.

0:24:520:24:53

..what was, could have been

a suicide attempt?

0:24:530:24:55

Well, it was.

It was a suicide attempt.

0:24:550:24:58

I remember reading the letter

he wrote his mother,

0:24:580:25:01

that he was going

to put an end to his life.

0:25:010:25:03

And it wasn't very pleasant reading,

especially for her,

0:25:030:25:06

as you can imagine.

0:25:060:25:08

Andrew learned to live

with his adopted brother,

0:25:080:25:10

and grew to like him.

0:25:100:25:12

But mother Jean

was right about one thing -

0:25:120:25:14

John Lill was unquestionably

talented, and went on to win

0:25:140:25:18

the International Tchaikovsky Prize

for piano at just 26.

0:25:180:25:23

ENTHUSIASTIC APPLAUSE

0:25:240:25:27

During these trying teenage years,

Andrew needed an escape.

0:25:340:25:37

And he found one.

0:25:430:25:45

In Weymouth Street in Marylebone,

home to his mum's sister, Auntie Vi.

0:25:480:25:53

You could not invent Auntie Vi.

0:26:020:26:04

Central Casting could not come up

with Auntie Vi.

0:26:040:26:08

She was possibly,

without any question or doubt,

0:26:080:26:11

the funniest and also the rudest

person I've ever met in my life.

0:26:110:26:16

And I absolutely adored her.

0:26:160:26:18

And you've even dedicated the book

to Auntie Vi.

Yes, hard not to.

0:26:180:26:22

Hard not to dedicate a book

to somebody who once said,

0:26:220:26:25

"Too many cocks spoil the breath."

0:26:250:26:27

Auntie Vi gained minor notoriety

writing a series of cookbooks.

0:26:270:26:32

One was so risque she published it

under a male pen-name, Rodney Spoke.

0:26:330:26:39

It was inspired by

the comedy of the time.

0:26:390:26:42

What can we do for you?

Well,

actually, I'm looking for a pet.

0:26:420:26:45

Oh...

0:26:450:26:46

There's Cyril, he's half and half,

you know.

0:26:480:26:50

LAUGHTER

0:26:500:26:52

Half King Charles spaniel,

half fox terrier.

0:26:560:26:59

We call him a Fox Cocker.

0:26:590:27:01

She decided that she wanted to write

a gay cookbook.

0:27:020:27:05

Now, I suppose...

You see, at that time,

0:27:050:27:07

you had Kenneth Williams

and you had all that Polari

0:27:070:27:10

and all of that, Round The Horne,

and it was all really quite funny.

0:27:100:27:13

Recipes on offer included coq-up,

0:27:130:27:17

ducky a l'orange,

0:27:170:27:19

seedy queen cakes,

0:27:190:27:20

and poof pastry.

0:27:200:27:23

It is screamingly funny,

0:27:230:27:25

and she was very much the one

who kind of freed me, I guess.

0:27:250:27:29

# Food, glorious food... #

0:27:290:27:33

Astonishingly, Andrew was just 17

when he went in search of an agent.

0:27:330:27:38

Such was his determination

to make it as a musical composer,

0:27:400:27:44

he soon found one.

0:27:440:27:45

Desmond Elliott not only took Andrew

on but had a musical project too.

0:27:470:27:51

Called The Likes Of Us, it was about

the children's charity Barnardo's,

0:27:530:27:58

and was an attempt to cash in on

the current hit of the time, Oliver.

0:27:580:28:02

MUSIC: Consider Yourself

from Oliver

0:28:020:28:04

Now all Andrew needed

was a lyricist.

0:28:040:28:07

I'm going to read you your letter.

0:28:070:28:09

"Dear Andrew, I have been given

your address

0:28:110:28:13

"by Desmond Elliott

of Arlington Books,

0:28:130:28:16

"who I believe has told you of

my existence.

0:28:160:28:19

"Mr Elliott told me that you were

looking for a with-it writer

0:28:190:28:23

"of lyrics for your songs.

0:28:230:28:25

"I wondered if you'd consider it

worth your while meeting me.

0:28:250:28:28

"I may fall far short

of your requirements,

0:28:280:28:32

"but anyway it would be interesting

to meet up.

0:28:320:28:35

"Hoping to hear from you,

yours, Tim Rice."

0:28:350:28:37

Well, Andrew was already working on

this musical called The Likes Of Us,

0:28:370:28:40

which was about the life of

Dr Barnardo,

0:28:400:28:42

and it had some great tunes in it,

but it was very derivative,

0:28:420:28:46

not melodically, but style of...

0:28:460:28:49

a cross between Lionel Bart,

primarily,

0:28:490:28:51

I would say, and Richard Rogers.

0:28:510:28:53

And it kind of went...

0:28:530:28:55

HE PLAYS JAUNTY TUNE

0:28:550:28:57

It was one of that sort of...

0:28:590:29:01

It was a real Broadway number,

but...

0:29:010:29:03

# Da da da-da... #

0:29:030:29:05

But I was rather pleased with that.

0:29:050:29:07

There was one which we used in

the Barnardo song, which went...

0:29:070:29:10

SIMPLE TUNE PLAYED SMOOTHLY

0:29:100:29:12

This was done

as a kind of a Russ Conway...

0:29:150:29:18

TUNE REPEATED WITH MORE COMPLEXITY

0:29:180:29:20

Like that, you know?

And so, I, we...

0:29:230:29:27

There were quite a few in there.

0:29:270:29:29

And I knew by then,

academic career was not for me.

0:29:290:29:33

# In your life you can see

Just how sad you can be

0:29:330:29:37

# If you stay by yourself

all alone... #

0:29:370:29:41

In the autumn of 1965,

Andrew Lloyd Webber

0:29:410:29:44

started at Magdalen College,

Oxford, to study history.

0:29:440:29:48

He was there just one term,

0:29:480:29:51

spending most of it

agonising over the prospect

0:29:510:29:54

of three years away from Tim

and his music.

0:29:540:29:57

In December, Andrew called his

father to say he was returning home.

0:29:570:30:01

# ..You can never make it alone... #

0:30:010:30:05

It was rather a difficult time,

0:30:050:30:07

and I think lots of other people

were more disappointed than I was,

0:30:070:30:11

because I felt that, with Andrew,

0:30:110:30:13

that it would be quite hopeless

0:30:130:30:15

if you tried to make him do

something he didn't want to do.

0:30:150:30:17

It would only just come back on him

and oneself.

0:30:180:30:22

So I played it

as coolly as possible.

0:30:220:30:26

There followed quite a serious

family row afterwards,

0:30:260:30:29

with both my mother and grandmother

saying, this is absolutely terrible,

0:30:290:30:33

he's ruined his life,

what a ridiculous thing to do,

0:30:330:30:35

he's never going to make any money

out of music - ha-ha!

0:30:350:30:39

And, you know, my father was saying,

well, look,

0:30:390:30:43

that's where his interests lie,

he's talented, he can write tunes,

0:30:430:30:47

you've got to let him do it.

0:30:470:30:49

Andrew returned to the crowded

hothouse atmosphere

0:30:530:30:57

of Harrington Court.

0:30:570:30:58

With John Lill and Granny Molly

still living there, space was tight.

0:30:580:31:02

The family decided to rent the flat

next door.

0:31:040:31:07

There was a spare bedroom going,

0:31:070:31:10

so it made sense for Tim

to move in too.

0:31:100:31:12

So, that's your dad.

Yes, that's my dad.

0:31:140:31:17

That looks like Julian.

That's John Lill. That must be me.

0:31:170:31:20

And that's my mother.

You seem to be

a bit stuck for space, don't you?

0:31:200:31:24

Yes. I just don't know where...

0:31:240:31:26

It looks rather cramped!

I think

it must have been our kitchen.

0:31:260:31:30

That's Julian with his hand on,

sort of pushing John Lill away.

0:31:300:31:34

Yes.

0:31:340:31:35

I took that. I don't know

what we were doing.

0:31:350:31:38

We were just having a fight

or something.

0:31:380:31:41

It's a great picture.

0:31:410:31:42

It was just a bit chaotic.

0:31:420:31:44

And it took me a while to get used

to people padding around

0:31:440:31:47

with no shoes on and, you know...

0:31:470:31:50

It was just... It was fun.

0:31:500:31:52

It was a bit like living in

a student flat with grown-ups,

0:31:520:31:55

which was weird.

0:31:550:31:57

But it was a bit of a madhouse,

to tell you the truth.

0:31:570:32:00

But I felt very sorry

for nearby neighbours.

0:32:000:32:03

But they didn't seem to complain.

0:32:030:32:04

Perhaps they'd all been

driven deaf - who knows?

0:32:040:32:08

It was completely bohemian.

0:32:080:32:09

There were lots of

girlfriends around,

0:32:110:32:14

in various states of undress,

you know?

0:32:140:32:17

And our grandmother

in the middle of all this.

0:32:170:32:19

It was bizarre.

0:32:190:32:21

With such a racket going on,

0:32:240:32:27

it's a miracle that Andrew and Tim

emerged

0:32:270:32:29

with their first musical success.

0:32:290:32:31

Did you do any work here,

during that period?

0:32:310:32:34

Yeah, I'd do a bit of writing here.

I mean, we had the piano,

0:32:340:32:37

which we sort of shared.

0:32:370:32:39

But, yes, I would have done

quite a bit of Joseph here.

0:32:390:32:44

And...so the original sketches of

Joseph and everything would have,

0:32:440:32:48

without doubt, have been done here

at Harrington Court.

0:32:480:32:51

# May I return

May I return

0:32:510:32:55

# To the beginning? #

0:32:550:32:59

In the spring of 1967,

Andrew and Tim were approached

0:32:590:33:03

by a local music teacher

to write something

0:33:030:33:05

for a concert at Colet Court School.

0:33:050:33:08

They'd spent a year writing

The Likes Of Us,

0:33:080:33:10

but it was going nowhere.

0:33:100:33:12

# We are still waiting... #

0:33:120:33:15

Writing for a bunch of school kids

was hardly the dream,

0:33:150:33:19

but they agreed.

0:33:190:33:21

# Any dream will do. #

0:33:210:33:23

Tim thought it was a bit of

a come-down, to put it mildly,

0:33:250:33:28

because our West End debut

was not going to be.

0:33:280:33:31

And to then do something in a school

0:33:310:33:34

was not exactly what we thought was

going to be our launch on the world.

0:33:340:33:38

# Such a dazzling coat

of many colours

0:33:380:33:42

# How I love my coat

of many colours... #

0:33:420:33:46

Stuck for inspiration, they turned

to a children's book

0:33:460:33:49

of Bible stories,

and decided on Tim's favourite -

0:33:490:33:52

the revenge and forgiveness story of

Joseph and his coat of many colours.

0:33:520:33:57

Well, originally, Joseph -

0:33:580:33:59

talk about starting on the button -

started as...

0:33:590:34:02

# Way, way back,

many centuries ago. #

0:34:020:34:05

It just even started like that -

straight in with the children.

0:34:050:34:08

And then eventually we wrote,

I did the big fanfare...

0:34:080:34:11

But of the coat of many colours,

you know... # Joseph...

0:34:180:34:21

# He was Jacob's favourite son

0:34:210:34:23

# Of all the family,

Joseph was the special one... #

0:34:230:34:27

That's, again, Tim getting into

the story immediately,

0:34:270:34:30

knowing that he had to engage

those children

0:34:300:34:33

and we couldn't have any fat

anywhere.

0:34:330:34:36

# Jacob, Jacob, Jacob

0:34:360:34:39

# Jacob and sons. #

0:34:390:34:44

And Andrew kept coming up

with wonderful tunes.

0:34:440:34:47

I'd say, "We need a tune

for the coat,"

0:34:470:34:49

and Andrew writes

this wonderful tune.

0:34:490:34:51

It was a pleasure to stick words

onto them.

0:34:510:34:54

And writing allegedly funny words,

0:34:540:34:56

I've always found much easier

0:34:560:34:59

and much quicker

than writing romantic words.

0:34:590:35:02

And there weren't any romantic songs

as such in Joseph,

0:35:020:35:06

but there were a couple

of fairly serious songs.

0:35:060:35:08

But we did have

Close Every Door To Me.

0:35:080:35:11

# Hide all the world from me

Bar all my windows... #

0:35:130:35:18

I've always...

0:35:210:35:23

I've always felt, you know,

that that is the heart of Joseph.

0:35:260:35:29

And, despite everything else

that's going on around it,

0:35:290:35:33

all the fun and everything, that's

the central moment of it, I think.

0:35:330:35:37

The 1st of March 1968

was dull, grey and wet -

0:35:420:35:47

the day Joseph was first performed.

0:35:470:35:49

The audience loved it

and demanded a repeat performance.

0:35:510:35:56

Among the parents was a Sunday Times

journalist who was so impressed,

0:35:560:36:00

he gave Joseph a glowing review.

0:36:000:36:03

And Derek Jewell reviewed it.

0:36:030:36:05

Yeah, he was great...

He said, "It was fresh as paint,

0:36:050:36:08

"irresistibly melodic,

clever beyond mere wittiness."

0:36:080:36:12

His son was at the school

and he'd come along,

0:36:120:36:15

and he was so taken with it,

he reviewed it in the Sunday Times,

0:36:150:36:19

which meant that we had record

companies and music publishers

0:36:190:36:24

keen to find out about it.

0:36:240:36:26

One year later, in 1969,

Joseph was released as an album.

0:36:260:36:31

# I closed my eyes

0:36:310:36:34

# Drew back the curtain... #

0:36:350:36:39

It did poor business, but proved

to be the calling card

0:36:390:36:42

that attracted the attention of an

agent producer called David Land.

0:36:420:36:46

He offered the pair

a three-year writing deal.

0:36:460:36:49

While the Old Testament story

of Joseph launched Lloyd Webber

0:36:520:36:56

and Tim Rice's careers, the New

Testament and a Bob Dylan song

0:36:560:37:00

would be the inspiration

for what they would do next.

0:37:000:37:04

Bob Dylan, who I was

a very early fan of -

0:37:040:37:06

I'd even been to see him

way before he went electric -

0:37:060:37:10

and they did With God On Our Side

on television,

0:37:100:37:12

and it really, I thought,

0:37:120:37:14

"Wow, this is a fantastic song,"

0:37:140:37:15

and beautifully sung

and a very powerful lyric.

0:37:150:37:18

It had that line, "Did Judas

Iscariot have God on his side?"

0:37:180:37:21

A great line.

0:37:210:37:23

# Did Judas Iscariot

have God on his side? #

0:37:230:37:29

That made me think that you can

write songs about people like Judas.

0:37:310:37:35

Tim's fascination with Judas

gave them the way in.

0:37:370:37:40

Now they had the story,

Andrew set about writing the music.

0:37:400:37:44

Jesus Christ Superstar,

it's constructed

0:37:440:37:47

to the very, very last bar.

0:37:470:37:50

Only through the construction of

the music and the storytelling

0:37:500:37:55

could we engage an audience.

0:37:550:37:58

And I think maybe that's my kind of

architectural interest again,

0:37:580:38:01

you know, coming through. I think

the construction of a musical,

0:38:010:38:05

the actual architecture of a musical

is the most important thing.

0:38:050:38:09

When we got to the moment of

the money lenders in the temple,

0:38:090:38:13

and we have, you know...

0:38:130:38:15

HE HUMS THE MELODY

0:38:150:38:18

It's in 7/8 time, so it's... One,

two, three, four, one, two, three...

0:38:210:38:25

And it's very deliberate,

because if it had been...

0:38:270:38:30

How boring would that be?

0:38:340:38:36

Right.

So it was very...

0:38:360:38:38

What it does is it immediately

gets it going...

0:38:380:38:41

And I love using time signatures

0:38:410:38:46

like seven and five and things

in places,

0:38:460:38:49

because it just keeps

something dramatic.

0:38:490:38:52

# Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ

0:38:520:38:56

# Who are you, what have you

sacrificed? #

0:38:560:39:00

Like Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar

started life as an album.

0:39:000:39:04

But at first, it didn't take off.

0:39:040:39:07

It wasn't a big hit, that's true.

0:39:070:39:09

We didn't get a hit single

in England.

0:39:090:39:11

We got to number 39 or something.

0:39:110:39:14

I was slightly surprised, actually,

0:39:140:39:16

because it sounded good

on the radio.

0:39:160:39:18

But in America, whoosh!

You know, it was extraordinary.

0:39:180:39:21

# Tell me what you think

about your friends at the top

0:39:210:39:25

# Who'd you think, besides yourself,

was the pick of the crop? #

0:39:250:39:28

The success of the album in the US

0:39:280:39:30

led to a summons from

the pop promoter Robert Stigwood -

0:39:300:39:33

the man behind the careers

of Eric Clapton,

0:39:330:39:36

the Bee Gees and David Bowie.

0:39:360:39:38

On the table was both a Broadway

AND a movie deal for Superstar.

0:39:400:39:44

They could hardly say no.

0:39:440:39:47

INTRO PLAYS

0:39:470:39:51

Jesus Christ Superstar opened

on Broadway in October 1971.

0:39:540:39:59

But while the angels that adorned

both the album and posters

0:40:050:40:08

would become the first mega-logo

in musical theatre history,

0:40:080:40:12

the Broadway audience

were turned off,

0:40:120:40:15

as Christians took offence

and accused the show of blasphemy.

0:40:150:40:18

I think what annoyed them,

funnily enough,

0:40:180:40:21

was the concept of rock music,

0:40:210:40:24

which was associated with drugs

and sex and all these evil things -

0:40:240:40:29

that being associated with Jesus

was the problem,

0:40:290:40:32

not so much what it said.

0:40:320:40:34

When the show opened in London

the following year,

0:40:370:40:40

there were no protests,

0:40:400:40:42

and despite the cool reception

of the album in the UK,

0:40:420:40:45

the stage version was a massive hit.

0:40:450:40:47

Everyone loved it.

0:40:500:40:52

Even the composer Shostakovich

loved it.

0:40:520:40:55

He saw the show two nights running,

and confessed that,

0:40:550:40:58

but for Joseph Stalin, he would

have written similar work.

0:40:580:41:02

MUSIC: Superstar

0:41:040:41:06

The movie of Superstar started

filming, and Andrew got married.

0:41:280:41:33

He'd met Sarah Hugill

when she was 16.

0:41:330:41:35

She turned 18 in 1972,

the year they chose to tie the knot.

0:41:350:41:40

# Oh, what a circus

Oh, what a show... #

0:41:420:41:46

As Prime Minister,

I want to speak to you

0:41:460:41:49

simply and plainly

about the grave emergency

0:41:490:41:53

now facing our country.

0:41:530:41:54

The idea for their next project

was born during the early '70s,

0:41:560:41:59

when the IRA stalked the mainland

0:41:590:42:02

and Britain was crippled

by strikes and economic meltdown.

0:42:020:42:06

Britain in 1974, it was not

a particularly nice place to be.

0:42:070:42:12

I mean, we'd just come out of

the three-day week,

0:42:120:42:15

then the stock market

sort of absolutely collapsed,

0:42:150:42:19

and the IRA were blowing up London

and cities all around the place.

0:42:190:42:23

It was a time that I don't believe

people really think happened.

0:42:230:42:28

Tim Rice was driving one day.

0:42:290:42:31

On the car radio was programme about

the actress Eva Peron.

0:42:310:42:36

Eva Peron, in that old cinema

cliche, went from rags to riches.

0:42:360:42:40

The man she captured, Peron,

became the boss of Argentina.

0:42:400:42:45

And not content merely to be

his wife,

0:42:450:42:47

Eva Peron manoeuvred her way past

an oligarchy which hated her

0:42:470:42:51

to become the most powerful woman

Latin America has ever known.

0:42:510:42:55

And I'd got a vague idea

who she was,

0:42:550:42:58

I remembered her from

my stamp collection as a kid.

0:42:580:43:01

And I heard this radio programme and

I thought, "This is a great story."

0:43:010:43:06

The parallels between

the trade union-led revolution

0:43:110:43:11

The parallels between

the trade union-led revolution

0:43:110:43:14

that swept Peron to power in 1946

and the industrial unrest

0:43:140:43:19

that gripped '70s Britain

struck a chord.

0:43:190:43:23

The thought that an extremist could

get power in a democracy was

0:43:230:43:29

very, very much uppermost,

certainly in MY mind,

0:43:290:43:34

and I thought of Evita as a really

interesting cautionary tale.

0:43:340:43:39

I thought, I've got to find some

angle on this, musically,

0:43:400:43:45

that means that I can say to Tim,

0:43:450:43:48

"Yes, I think I know

how I can do this."

0:43:480:43:50

And I thought about it

for a long time,

0:43:500:43:53

and I remembered,

just after I left school,

0:43:530:43:56

I went to see Judy Garland

in The Talk Of The Town,

0:43:560:43:59

and it was pretty much

the last thing she ever did,

0:43:590:44:02

I think it might even have been the

last performance she ever gave.

0:44:020:44:06

Anyway, she was drunk,

she was out of it, you know,

0:44:060:44:08

the audience turned on her.

0:44:080:44:10

And she tried to sing

Over The Rainbow,

0:44:100:44:12

and it was like seeing a little bird

crushed in front of you.

0:44:120:44:16

It was just awful.

0:44:160:44:18

And I thought, if I can find

a melody or situation

0:44:180:44:23

where I could create an anthem for

Eva Peron that could turn on her,

0:44:230:44:29

and I could use it in a completely

different way,

0:44:290:44:33

then I'm on the case.

0:44:330:44:36

And I remember, in Bristol, it was,

that I was writing, I wrote...

0:44:360:44:40

And that is when Argentina happened.

0:44:400:44:42

I remember saying to Tim,

"I think I've got a way in."

0:44:440:44:49

# All through my wild days

0:44:490:44:51

# My mad existence... #

0:44:510:44:54

Like Joseph

and Jesus Christ Superstar,

0:44:540:44:58

they started by releasing

a concept album.

0:44:580:45:01

Julie Covington sang the title song.

0:45:010:45:03

We never thought that Don't Cry For

Me Argentina had a hope as a single,

0:45:050:45:07

because it was five minutes long,

0:45:070:45:09

Julie Covington was not

an automatic record seller.

0:45:090:45:12

But the single came out

and was a massive success,

0:45:120:45:15

um, to our surprise.

0:45:150:45:17

# And as for fortune

and as for fame... #

0:45:170:45:22

As Evita rose up the charts,

Lloyd Webber sent a copy

0:45:220:45:26

to the only director he felt was up

to the job of staging the story -

0:45:260:45:30

the legendary Hal Prince.

0:45:300:45:32

I've always thought that unusual

settings, unusual subjects,

0:45:320:45:36

the sort of thing that people say,

"Wait a minute, is that a musical?"

0:45:360:45:39

and then you give them that and

it's unexpected and they respond.

0:45:390:45:46

# Don't cry for me, Argentina... #

0:45:460:45:51

Nicknamed the Prince of Broadway,

0:45:520:45:54

Hal Prince boasted a string

of credits

0:45:540:45:57

that included West Side Story,

Fiddler on the Roof, and Cabaret.

0:45:570:46:01

Hal assumed they'd already found

their lead actress,

0:46:020:46:05

after the success

of Julie Covington's hit single.

0:46:050:46:08

We thought she'd be perfect to play

Eva, but she didn't want to do it.

0:46:090:46:13

Which actually, in the end,

was a plus,

0:46:130:46:15

because we then got

enormous publicity,

0:46:150:46:18

the press love disaster, so it was,

you know, "Julie turns down Evita."

0:46:180:46:23

You know, implying that the show was

going to be a total disaster.

0:46:230:46:26

And how did you find Elaine?

0:46:260:46:28

Well, the normal procedure

of auditions.

0:46:280:46:31

We had huge...

0:46:310:46:34

..interest in it. And literally

hundreds of ladies came along,

0:46:340:46:39

some of them quite well-known.

0:46:390:46:41

The audition period for me for Evita

was LONG and tedious.

0:46:440:46:49

I must have auditioned eight, nine,

I don't know, ten times.

0:46:490:46:52

Everybody - the world and his wife -

auditioned for this role.

0:46:540:46:57

You know, many of them were very

good but, you know, it's difficult.

0:46:570:47:00

And of course we... They all sang

Don't Cry For Me Argentina.

0:47:000:47:03

Faye Dunaway, Liza Minnelli,

Barbra Streisand,

0:47:030:47:07

all these names were being

bandied about.

0:47:070:47:09

# Peron, Peron, Peron, Peron

Evita, Evita... #

0:47:090:47:13

Elaine Paige made the final

shortlist of three.

0:47:130:47:18

She just got through on merit,

like the cup final.

0:47:180:47:21

She got through all the rounds

and saw off the opposition.

0:47:210:47:25

My doorbell went about midnight and,

to my surprise, it was my agent.

0:47:270:47:32

"The role of..."

0:47:330:47:35

"Yes, yes, yes, get on with it,

Libby!"

0:47:350:47:37

"..Eva Peron is..."

0:47:370:47:39

"Yes, yes, just tell me!"

0:47:390:47:40

"..yours."

0:47:400:47:42

# Evita. #

0:47:420:47:45

OK. Here we go.

0:47:450:47:47

# Don't cry for me, Argentina... #

0:47:470:47:52

Evita opened in London in June 1978,

0:47:540:47:57

but the cautionary tale about

economic crisis and the fragility of

0:47:570:48:01

democracy failed to resonate when

it opened on Broadway a year later.

0:48:010:48:06

"Stench is a stench on any scale."

That's the first sentence.

0:48:080:48:12

And they go on...

0:48:120:48:13

"If you want to fill the coffers

of these two amoral,

0:48:130:48:16

"barely talented whippersnappers" -

this refers to you and Tim -

0:48:160:48:20

"and their knowing

or duped accomplices,

0:48:200:48:23

"by all means see this

artfully produced monument

0:48:230:48:26

"to human indecency."

0:48:260:48:28

Well, that's not a very good review,

really, is it?

0:48:300:48:32

Well, he's an idiot. What can I say?

0:48:330:48:35

The Americans had no clue of the

context in which Evita was written.

0:48:370:48:43

I mean, Britain nearly fell apart,

and people forget that.

0:48:430:48:48

But we opened in September,

0:48:480:48:50

and it was that Christmas

that Russia invaded Afghanistan.

0:48:500:48:53

And you started to hear people

talking about politics again

0:48:530:48:57

in America. But something happened

in the zeitgeist,

0:48:570:49:00

and by the time the Tonys happened,

eight months later,

0:49:000:49:03

I mean, Evita was

the toast of the town.

0:49:030:49:06

# Don't cry for me, Argentina... #

0:49:060:49:10

Evita garnered award after award,

0:49:100:49:13

including an Olivier

for Best Musical in 1978.

0:49:130:49:17

Now, the winner is...

0:49:170:49:19

Oh, my nerves!

0:49:190:49:21

..Evita.

0:49:210:49:22

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:49:220:49:25

The ceremony was badly organised,

0:49:280:49:30

and during his acceptance speech,

Lloyd Webber quipped that Hal Prince

0:49:300:49:34

would have made a much better job

of the Oliviers

0:49:340:49:37

than that year's producer.

0:49:370:49:39

Unbeknownst to Andrew, the producer

was Cameron Mackintosh who,

0:49:390:49:43

up to this point, he'd never met.

0:49:430:49:45

I was furious!

And I went after him...

0:49:450:49:49

"I'm going to kill him." And I bump

into David Land, who's the wonderful

0:49:490:49:52

agent who had Tim and Andrew

under his wing, and I said,

0:49:520:49:56

"David, where's Andrew,

where's Andrew?!"

0:49:560:49:59

He said, "You're looking for

Andrew?" "Yes, I want to kill him."

0:49:590:50:03

"I want to kill him!"

0:50:030:50:04

And he went, "No, no, no, no, no,

don't do that."

0:50:040:50:07

I said, "Why not?" He said, "Because

you'll make a few bob out of him."

0:50:070:50:10

MUSIC: Theme Tune

to Thomas The Tank Engine

0:50:120:50:16

David Land's advice to Cameron

was prophetic.

0:50:160:50:19

Just a year earlier, Andrew had

parted company with Robert Stigwood

0:50:190:50:24

to take ownership of both

the creative and commercial control

0:50:240:50:27

of future productions.

0:50:270:50:29

The name of Lloyd Webber's

new company

0:50:300:50:32

was inspired by another childhood

passion - Thomas The Tank Engine.

0:50:320:50:37

It was called

The Really Useful company.

0:50:370:50:41

So Cameron's decision to forgive

Andrew's slight at the Oliviers

0:50:410:50:45

was probably the shrewdest

of his career.

0:50:450:50:48

I got a sweet letter from Andrew

afterwards

0:50:500:50:53

saying, "I'm really sorry."

And then cut to, I think, 1980,

0:50:530:50:58

and Andrew said, would I like

0:50:580:51:00

to come and have lunch with him

at the Savile Club?

0:51:000:51:03

So, we met at one o'clock,

0:51:030:51:05

and at half-past six, my secretary

was phoning the Savile Club to say

0:51:050:51:09

had this man killed me,

because I'd not gone home!

0:51:090:51:12

Because we got on so well

and started to...

0:51:120:51:14

I mean, it was hysterical, we just

laughed and laughed and laughed.

0:51:140:51:19

It was during the second bottle

of wine that Andrew Lloyd Webber

0:51:220:51:26

mentioned TS Eliot's anthology of

poems, the Book Of Practical Cats.

0:51:260:51:31

So, at the end of it he said,

0:51:310:51:33

"Well, would you come home to my

house and I'd love to play you a few

0:51:330:51:40

"of the songs that I've set

from TS Eliot."

0:51:400:51:43

Andrew, of course,

always loved cats,

0:51:480:51:51

and TS Eliot's playful poems

were favourite bedtime reading

0:51:510:51:55

when he was a child.

0:51:550:51:57

He would often take Perseus,

the family cat,

0:51:590:52:02

on daily walks from their flat

in Harrington Court

0:52:020:52:05

to Thurloe Square Gardens nearby.

0:52:050:52:07

And this would be... We're exactly

tracing the route Perseus would go.

0:52:090:52:13

Exactly tracing it.

0:52:130:52:15

A few distractions, you know,

other people's gardens and things,

0:52:150:52:18

but this is where he would

most definitely have walked.

0:52:180:52:22

Thurloe Square is the only garden

we ever really got to play in.

0:52:260:52:30

I remember the square as being

a lot rougher than it is now,

0:52:300:52:35

cos I'm pretty sure we used

to ride our bicycles around here,

0:52:350:52:38

and we were allowed to do that.

0:52:380:52:40

But to use the poems as a basis

for a stage musical,

0:52:420:52:46

he required permission

from TS Eliot's widow, Valerie.

0:52:460:52:49

He didn't have far to go,

as Valerie lived in Kensington too,

0:52:510:52:55

right in the heart of Mungojerrie

and Rumpleteazer territory.

0:52:550:52:59

My big away win with Valerie Eliot

0:53:010:53:03

was when I sort of took my life

in my hands, really,

0:53:030:53:06

and I just said to her, "Look,

0:53:060:53:08

"have you seen Hot Gossip

on the Kenny Everett Show?

0:53:080:53:13

"Cos I think the cats ought to be

much more like that,

0:53:130:53:16

"I don't think they should be

pussycats."

0:53:160:53:18

And she just said,

"Tom would have liked that."

0:53:180:53:20

Kids, 20-year-olds and things,

0:53:260:53:28

were all hugely taken by what Arlene

Phillips was doing with Hot Gossip,

0:53:280:53:33

which was considered to be rude and

naughty by Mary Whitehouse,

0:53:330:53:36

and once Mary Whitehouse intervened

and made a huge kerfuffle about it,

0:53:360:53:39

everybody watched. And what Arlene

really was doing was,

0:53:390:53:42

it was sexy, yes, but it was

modern dance that, really,

0:53:420:53:46

the majority of us in Britain

hadn't seen in this country.

0:53:460:53:50

Valerie Eliot gave her permission,

and at their next meeting,

0:53:530:53:57

she brought along some

unpublished work -

0:53:570:54:00

a poem that TS Eliot thought

was too sad for children.

0:54:000:54:04

Once beautiful and adored,

0:54:060:54:08

Grizabella is the sad and lonely cat

0:54:080:54:10

who remembers the glamorous days

of her youth.

0:54:100:54:14

Grizabella was a story

that made you care.

0:54:150:54:19

And I remember going

absolutely cold,

0:54:200:54:22

and Cameron was there and I said,

0:54:220:54:25

"Cameron, Cameron, we've got

something bigger."

0:54:250:54:27

And Cameron saw this and he said,

"We have, haven't we?"

0:54:270:54:31

And, oh, God...

0:54:320:54:34

I immediately was getting...

0:54:340:54:37

HE PLAYS AND HUMS MELODY

0:54:370:54:40

# She haunted many a low resort

0:54:400:54:44

# From the grimy road

of Tottenham Court... #

0:54:440:54:48

It all flowed immediately.

0:54:480:54:50

# She flitted about

the no-man's land

0:54:500:54:51

# From The Rising Sun

to The Friend At Hand. #

0:54:510:54:54

And with that, there was such

a different tone quality

0:54:540:54:57

to the whole piece.

0:54:570:54:58

It was that moment

that the musical Cats was born.

0:54:580:55:01

But some good tunes and a bunch

of verses by a dead poet

0:55:030:55:07

failed to persuade any investors

or convince Tim Rice

0:55:070:55:11

that his services were required.

0:55:110:55:14

Why did Cats not seem to you

to be the right thing for you?

0:55:140:55:17

Well, I wasn't needed. I mean,

the lyrics were there already.

0:55:170:55:19

So, simple as that.

0:55:190:55:21

So, what could I have done?

0:55:220:55:24

Chess.

Well, I did that, yes.

0:55:240:55:26

# Wasn't it good?

Oh, so good

0:55:260:55:29

# Wasn't he fine?

Oh, so fine... #

0:55:290:55:32

While Tim teamed up with ABBA

to write Chess,

0:55:320:55:36

Tim's literary replacement,

TS Eliot,

0:55:360:55:39

started to attract

some blue-chip names,

0:55:390:55:42

including the Royal Shakespeare

Company's Trevor Nunn,

0:55:420:55:46

Judi Dench,

and the choreographer Gillian Lynne.

0:55:460:55:50

# I lost my heart

to a starship trooper... #

0:55:500:55:55

With no money and not even

a theatre,

0:55:550:55:58

the search began for that impossibly

rare breed in 1980s Britain -

0:55:580:56:03

dancers who could sing and act.

0:56:030:56:05

First stop, Arlene Phillips,

the founder of Hot Gossip.

0:56:050:56:09

Arlene suddenly says to me,

"There's a girl in my dance troupe,

0:56:090:56:14

"her name's Sarah Brightman, she has

the voice to take on anyone."

0:56:140:56:18

I remember she mentioned

Barbra Streisand.

0:56:180:56:20

She said, "But that girl is going

to change the course of your life."

0:56:200:56:24

And so I thought, "Huh?"

0:56:240:56:26

And you'd just got

Starship Trooper out,

0:56:260:56:29

which I thought was a great

pop record, but I never thought...

0:56:290:56:31

So I thought nothing more of it.

0:56:310:56:33

Yes.

And then, of course,

Cats came along.

0:56:330:56:37

And I remember the first time

we met, I played appallingly,

0:56:370:56:40

and you came round to my flat, cos I

couldn't really believe it was you.

0:56:400:56:45

You were so lovely. I remember

sitting on your sofa,

0:56:450:56:47

looking at you, you were so lovely

and you were really quite nervous.

0:56:470:56:51

I was extremely nervous.

And I was nervous too.

0:56:510:56:53

I don't normally have people coming

round to my flat with blue hair.

0:56:530:56:56

Good morning, everybody.

Can you all come onstage, please?

0:56:560:56:59

We'll do a little bit of

cat warm-up! Cat dip.

0:57:000:57:04

Sarah clearly impressed,

0:57:040:57:06

and secured the role

of a cat called Jemima.

0:57:060:57:10

Once the cast was assembled,

0:57:100:57:11

the next challenge was for

Gillian Lynne to make them feline.

0:57:110:57:15

I gave them a long and difficult

class every day

0:57:150:57:18

so that we could find a way

to be cats, cos it's a tough show.

0:57:180:57:23

And unless you have people going

flat-out and really, you know,

0:57:230:57:29

practically breaking their leg and

really being very daring and brave,

0:57:290:57:34

and at the same time

you are being a cat,

0:57:340:57:36

which is not the same as

being a human, it's tough.

0:57:360:57:40

I remember when you came on,

you played all these tunes for Cats,

0:57:470:57:52

and I was thinking,

"How is this going to work?

0:57:520:57:55

"There's a director from

the Royal Shakespeare Company,

0:57:550:57:57

"there's Andrew playing these..."

0:57:570:57:59

I could not envisage at all...

0:57:590:58:02

And we still really didn't have

a theatre.

0:58:020:58:05

And we looked at all... You know,

we looked at Her Majesty's,

0:58:050:58:08

at Drury Lane and everything. Then

one day, at the tender age of 12,

0:58:080:58:12

Andrew was doing his second

This Is Your Life...

0:58:120:58:15

Tonight, Andrew Lloyd Webber,

this is your life.

0:58:150:58:18

Thank you very much.

0:58:180:58:19

This Is Your Life was recorded in

the West End's New London Theatre.

0:58:240:58:29

Back in the '80s, it was used

as a television studio.

0:58:290:58:33

But it wasn't the parade of friends

and relatives that captivated Andrew

0:58:330:58:36

that evening. It was the theatre.

0:58:360:58:39

He'd found his cats a home.

0:58:390:58:41

Problem was, there was no money

to hire it.

0:58:440:58:47

We couldn't get the money for it.

0:58:470:58:49

There was an incredible meeting,

quite late on in the process.

0:58:490:58:52

And Andrew said,

"Well, we haven't got the money,

0:58:520:58:56

"so we've all got to go home tonight

and anyone who knows anyone with any

0:58:560:59:00

"money, try and get at them."

0:59:000:59:01

Desperation set in,

0:59:070:59:09

so Lloyd Webber raised

a second mortgage on his house

0:59:090:59:12

to secure the theatre.

0:59:120:59:14

Two weeks before the first preview,

they moved into the New London,

0:59:160:59:20

at which point Judi Dench,

who was playing Grizabella,

0:59:200:59:23

snapped her Achilles tendon.

0:59:230:59:26

They had to find a replacement,

and fast.

0:59:260:59:29

PIANO PLAYS

0:59:300:59:32

Damn!

OK, thank you.

0:59:360:59:37

Luckily, Elaine Paige

happened to be free,

0:59:370:59:41

and agreed to take on

Judi Dench's role.

0:59:410:59:44

But all the mishaps and delays

that had plagued the production

0:59:450:59:48

had taken their toll.

0:59:480:59:50

We'd just seen a run-through

the night before.

0:59:500:59:53

We both said,

"There'll be just ridicule."

0:59:530:59:55

Cameron and I said, "People are just

going to... It's just hopeless."

0:59:550:59:59

So we sat Trevor down and we said,

"We're closing the show."

0:59:591:00:02

And Trevor said, "No, no, no,

1:00:021:00:04

"we'll just carry on rehearsals

tomorrow morning and..."

1:00:041:00:07

And Trevor's quite powerful,

and there's Cameron, you know,

1:00:071:00:11

now the powerful producer, and me,

the so-called powerful composer...

1:00:111:00:15

We just said, "OK."

1:00:151:00:17

And that was that!

1:00:171:00:19

The first preview night

finally arrived,

1:00:331:00:37

and, nervously, Andrew and Cameron

stood in the wings of the New London

1:00:371:00:41

and looked out at the expectant

crowd of theatre critics

1:00:411:00:44

who were sharpening their knives.

1:00:441:00:46

And it was an extraordinary thing,

really,

1:00:471:00:50

cos we were all waiting here

for the cats to go on

1:00:501:00:53

and none of us had a clue,

none of us had a clue

1:00:531:00:55

what the reaction was going to be.

1:00:551:00:57

We bade them good luck

and off they went,

1:00:571:01:00

and we went straight down to

the bar and ordered large drinks,

1:01:001:01:04

because we thought that was it,

it was going to be a disaster.

1:01:041:01:07

We did the overture and, of course,

we revolved the audience

1:01:111:01:15

and, of course, I suppose now,

with hindsight,

1:01:151:01:18

nobody expected that

that would happen - I mean,

1:01:181:01:20

it had never, ever been done before,

1:01:201:01:22

with a whole load of people

actually physically moving

1:01:221:01:25

through a building.

1:01:251:01:27

And they didn't realise

that they were moving either,

1:01:271:01:30

that was the thing. So suddenly,

when the first cat came out,

1:01:301:01:34

we were in a totally different

environment

1:01:341:01:37

to that that we started with.

1:01:371:01:38

# Jellicles would and Jellicles can

1:01:381:01:42

# Jellicles can and Jellicles do

1:01:421:01:44

# Jellicle cats and Jellicles would

1:01:441:01:47

# And Jellicles do... #

1:01:471:01:49

And the overture, I remember,

1:01:511:01:53

was actually greeted with a big

round of applause, and people were,

1:01:531:01:58

I think, genuinely,

utterly blown away.

1:01:581:02:01

And we heard the first cheer.

1:02:031:02:06

And then we listened a bit longer

and we heard this real...

1:02:061:02:10

You could feel the warmth coming,

you know?

1:02:101:02:13

So we crept back up

and the audience was going mad.

1:02:131:02:17

So we rushed straight back

to the bar and had another one...

1:02:171:02:20

To celebrate.

1:02:211:02:22

# Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats

1:02:221:02:24

# Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats

1:02:241:02:27

# Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats

1:02:271:02:30

# Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats

1:02:301:02:32

# Jellicle songs

for Jellicle cats. #

1:02:321:02:34

And at the end, it was just like

everybody rose up,

1:02:351:02:39

the whole theatre, and just

applauded and screamed,

1:02:391:02:42

and it was like,

"God, nobody expected that."

1:02:421:02:45

Already you could tell

the show was going to be a hit.

1:02:451:02:49

What we didn't know,

until a few weeks later,

1:02:491:02:52

was it was going to become

a phenomena.

1:02:521:02:54

# Touch me

1:02:551:02:57

# It's so easy to leave me

1:02:571:03:02

# All alone with the memory

1:03:021:03:07

# Of my days in the sun... #

1:03:071:03:13

The phenomena was not

just box office.

1:03:131:03:16

Within days of the opening, there

were long queues for Cats T-shirts,

1:03:161:03:20

signalling a merchandising sensation

1:03:201:03:23

that musical theatre

had never seen before.

1:03:231:03:26

# A new day

1:03:261:03:31

# Has begun. #

1:03:311:03:41

On October the 7th, 1982,

Cats opened on Broadway.

1:03:451:03:49

It was a huge hit.

1:03:491:03:51

But success was tinged with sadness.

1:03:531:03:55

Back home, Mum rang to say

Dad's operation had gone well.

1:04:011:04:04

I bought dad a Walkman

plus a few cassettes,

1:04:071:04:10

including Rachmaninov's

First Piano Concerto.

1:04:101:04:12

Dad donned the headphones

1:04:171:04:19

and was thoroughly enjoying

the first movement,

1:04:191:04:21

when he suddenly said,

"Andrew, what key is this in?"

1:04:211:04:24

I said, "G flat minor."

1:04:261:04:27

Dad shook his head.

1:04:281:04:30

"Have you still not learned

the difference

1:04:301:04:32

"between G flat and F sharp?"

1:04:321:04:34

These were the last words

I remember him saying to me.

1:04:351:04:38

William died the next day.

1:04:421:04:44

He was only 67.

1:04:441:04:47

But his legacy was to be the guiding

spirit of Andrew's next project.

1:04:471:04:52

# Pie Jesu

1:04:551:05:00

# Pie Jesu... #

1:05:001:05:07

In the winter of 1982,

Andrew's life began to unravel.

1:05:071:05:11

He was grieving for his father...

1:05:111:05:14

..and then fell in love

with one of his Cats.

1:05:171:05:20

Then I began writing

the Requiem Mass

1:05:221:05:25

and, of course, you were beginning

to really, really...

1:05:251:05:28

I would lock you in your room,

do you remember that?

1:05:281:05:31

I do.

"Just keep at it," I said,

"it's all there, it really is."

1:05:311:05:35

It's the one piece, you know,

that I'd love to go over again,

1:05:351:05:38

because I don't think

I got it completely right.

1:05:381:05:40

And you were very, very passionate

about the piece.

1:05:401:05:43

Um, and I think that's what

shines through,

1:05:431:05:46

through moments of it,

and especially the Pie Jesu.

1:05:461:05:49

You know, the thing that I always

think when I look back at it is

1:05:551:05:58

how extraordinary that Pie Jesu,

which I never thought of, you know,

1:05:581:06:02

as anything that would ever be

a stand-alone...

Piece, yes.

1:06:021:06:06

And, of course, that's really

the piece

1:06:061:06:08

everybody remembers from it now.

1:06:081:06:10

# Qui tollis peccata mundi

1:06:101:06:17

# Dona eis requiem... #

1:06:171:06:26

Pie Jesu reached number one in the

UK charts, and its income alone

1:06:261:06:30

could have kept the composer

living relatively comfortably

1:06:301:06:33

for the rest of his life.

1:06:331:06:35

The melody...

1:06:371:06:38

I mean, I was on my own turf

with that, but I didn't...

1:06:461:06:49

Anyway, it would have been lovely

sung by the Everly Brothers.

1:06:511:06:54

I mean, could you imagine...

1:06:541:06:56

..their harmonies on that?

1:06:561:06:59

I mean, that absolutely fits...

1:07:021:07:03

Can you imagine Don and Phil

doing that?

1:07:101:07:12

That really would have been

something.

1:07:121:07:13

In November 1983,

Andrew divorced Sarah Hugill,

1:07:171:07:21

his wife of nearly 12 years,

1:07:211:07:23

and married Sarah Brightman on the

afternoon of March the 27th, 1984...

1:07:231:07:29

..the very same day that

Starlight Express opened in London.

1:07:311:07:36

# Starlight Express

1:07:361:07:39

# You must confess

1:07:391:07:41

# Are you real? Yes or no? #

1:07:411:07:45

Performed entirely on roller skates,

1:07:451:07:48

it's the story about a child's dream

in which his toy train set

1:07:481:07:52

comes to life.

1:07:521:07:53

# There are dark days ahead... #

1:07:531:07:55

With the opening of Starlight,

1:07:551:07:57

Lloyd Webber now held the record

of three shows on Broadway

1:07:571:08:01

and four in London.

1:08:011:08:02

But his marriage to Sarah Brightman

would be the catalyst

1:08:021:08:06

for his next show - a project

that would eclipse

1:08:061:08:09

everything he'd written before.

1:08:091:08:11

I was sitting in the bath one day,

1:08:111:08:13

one morning, and Andrew says,

1:08:131:08:16

"Cameron, what do you think about us

doing Phantom of the Opera?"

1:08:161:08:20

Andrew came across a copy of

the French novel while

1:08:281:08:31

working with Sarah on Requiem.

He thought his new wife

1:08:311:08:34

would be perfect in the lead role

of Christine.

1:08:341:08:37

I remember reading it and it ending

up with Christine's ring

1:08:371:08:41

being on the Phantom's finger

and I thought, "Oh, my God,

1:08:411:08:44

"it's a high romance."

It's

a romance. It is a high romance.

1:08:441:08:47

And it was a huge risk

for a composer to say,

1:08:511:08:56

"I've written a show,

1:08:561:08:59

"but my wife's going to star in it."

1:08:591:09:01

And I think Sarah

was the remarkable catalyst,

1:09:011:09:05

the fact that she and Andrew had

this extraordinary relationship,

1:09:051:09:09

all touched on the ingredients that

were necessary to explode this

1:09:091:09:13

and give him a reason

for writing it.

1:09:131:09:16

The story of Phantom is about

1:09:201:09:22

a beautiful soprano called

Christine, who becomes the obsession

1:09:221:09:26

of a mysterious, disfigured composer

who haunts the labyrinth

1:09:261:09:31

of passageways beneath

the Paris Opera.

1:09:311:09:34

And so, I mean, there I was,

1:09:341:09:37

faced with the possibility of

writing the kind of melodies

1:09:371:09:39

I've always wanted to do. So, I

mean, out comes All I Ask Of You...

1:09:391:09:42

I mean...

1:09:451:09:47

I mean, it's wonderful.

I'm doing all the sort of...

1:09:521:09:55

..all those kind of harmonies.

1:09:551:09:57

And I just let myself go.

1:09:571:09:59

# All I ask for is one love

1:09:591:10:04

# One lifetime... #

1:10:041:10:07

And then, you see, I had this idea

that wouldn't it be great

1:10:071:10:11

if we started

in an old, old opera house

1:10:111:10:13

which was deserted for some reason,

1:10:131:10:15

and they were auctioning

off the contents

1:10:151:10:17

and one of the items

was a chandelier...?

1:10:171:10:20

MUSIC: Overture

from Phantom Of The Opera

1:10:221:10:25

So, what if it's in pieces on

the stage and it reassembles

1:10:281:10:32

and rises up over the audience?

1:10:321:10:35

And I just thought, "Oh, yeah!"

1:10:431:10:45

And that's, of course, when I got...

1:10:451:10:46

PLAYS MAIN MOTIF

1:10:461:10:50

I thought,

"We're off to the races now."

1:10:501:10:52

PLAYS MAIN THEME

1:10:521:10:54

And so on.

1:10:551:10:57

And it still is a moment,

I have to say, every time I see it,

1:10:571:11:00

it still is the moment I think

that I'm never going to top

1:11:001:11:02

that as a theatrical idea.

1:11:021:11:04

Lloyd Webber started

working on Phantom

1:11:091:11:11

with the Starlight writer

Richard Stilgoe.

1:11:111:11:14

But after months of rewrites,

1:11:141:11:16

the pair agreed that Andrew

should find another lyricist.

1:11:161:11:19

His name was Charles Hart

and he was only 25.

1:11:271:11:31

It was a cauldron, really,

of tension,

1:11:321:11:35

because there was so much at stake.

1:11:351:11:36

But at the same time,

it became apparent to me

1:11:361:11:39

as I worked on it that I had,

1:11:391:11:41

of all the people involved

in it, the least to lose.

1:11:411:11:44

Because the worst thing

that could happen to me

1:11:441:11:46

would be I would go back

to signing on,

1:11:461:11:48

which is what I was

doing at the time.

1:11:481:11:50

While Lloyd Webber took a big risk

with the lyricist,

1:11:511:11:54

he entrusted the staging of Phantom

to a safe pair of hands -

1:11:541:11:59

the Evita director, Hal Prince.

1:11:591:12:02

The problem was, Hal had

no Phantom to direct.

1:12:031:12:06

Andrew called from London and said,

"I've got an idea,

1:12:081:12:11

"and I think it's a terrific one."

1:12:111:12:15

And he said, "Michael Crawford."

1:12:151:12:18

And I said, "Michael Crawford?

Can he do this sort of thing?"

1:12:181:12:21

He said, "Get on a plane

and fly over

1:12:211:12:23

"and we'll have him sing for us."

1:12:231:12:25

So I did, immediately.

1:12:251:12:27

And so he sang a little for us and

you thought, my God, he's terrific.

1:12:271:12:30

That's it.

1:12:301:12:31

Frank!

1:12:321:12:34

The decision to cast

Michael Crawford was a bold move.

1:12:341:12:38

In the '80s, he was best known

to UK audiences

1:12:401:12:43

as the hapless Frank Spencer

in Some Mothers Do Have 'Em.

1:12:431:12:48

The question was

how to make him say yes.

1:12:481:12:50

It didn't take a lot of persuading,

1:12:501:12:52

because when I played him

the overture, which I'd recorded,

1:12:521:12:55

and told him about

the chandelier idea, he was in.

1:12:551:12:58

# Night-time sharpens

1:12:581:13:03

# Heightens each sensation

1:13:031:13:08

# Darkness wakes

1:13:081:13:11

# And stirs imagination... #

1:13:111:13:16

The whole point of

The Phantom of the Opera

1:13:161:13:19

is that Christine is obsessed

by the Phantom.

1:13:191:13:23

It's a relationship that is there,

made through music.

1:13:231:13:26

And also, she finds him incredibly,

incredibly charismatic.

1:13:261:13:30

There's nothing very likeable

about him, really. He's a...

1:13:361:13:39

He's an... You know, an egocentric

who kills people,

1:13:401:13:45

mesmerises,

virtually date-rapes women,

1:13:451:13:47

and in the end his only saving grace

really is his sense of decor.

1:13:471:13:51

You know? His pad is amazing.

1:13:511:13:53

Amazing as the Phantom's pad was,

1:14:001:14:03

the sinister opulence of

the Paris Opera House,

1:14:031:14:06

populated by swinging chandeliers,

1:14:061:14:08

floating gondoliers

and a grand staircase,

1:14:081:14:12

presented a whole host

of technical challenges.

1:14:121:14:15

As a set, it's quite simple.

1:14:161:14:18

It's a black box

with bits and pieces in it.

1:14:181:14:21

But those bits and pieces moved...

Had to move...

1:14:211:14:23

..quite complicatedly.

1:14:231:14:24

Yes, at the time,

because of course, nowadays,

1:14:241:14:26

with technical things that we have,

it's easier.

1:14:261:14:28

But then...

Because the dress rehearsals

1:14:281:14:31

were quite hairy, weren't they?

1:14:311:14:33

Well, because of the sets,

and it was the chandelier...

1:14:331:14:36

Yes.

..which was the main fear.

1:14:361:14:38

And the costumes,

the costumes were wonderful,

1:14:381:14:40

but, of course, they were complex.

1:14:401:14:42

They were very real

and they had to...

1:14:421:14:45

Everything had to move, it was all

moving parts, all the time.

1:14:451:14:47

Everything. That's the thing

about the whole production...

1:14:471:14:50

And it was very voluptuous,

so it had to move seamlessly.

1:14:501:14:53

And I think that was where...

That was the problem,

1:14:531:14:57

was getting it to do all of that.

1:14:571:14:58

September the 27th, 1986,

1:15:071:15:10

was the night when the infamous

Phantom dress rehearsal

1:15:101:15:13

entered into West End mythology.

1:15:131:15:15

The chandelier got stuck.

1:15:161:15:18

Many took this as an ill omen.

1:15:191:15:21

But on the opening night,

1:15:211:15:23

the set moved like clockwork

and Phantom became a musical legend

1:15:231:15:28

and a once in a generation

smash hit.

1:15:281:15:30

# Let your soul take you

1:15:361:15:40

# Where you long to be

1:15:401:15:50

# Only then can you belong

to me... #

1:15:501:15:58

It was a nuclear explosion...

1:16:031:16:05

..of heightened emotion.

1:16:061:16:11

But if it hadn't had that,

1:16:111:16:13

if he hadn't found a way of

channelling all things,

1:16:131:16:16

both in his private life

and his creative life, into that,

1:16:161:16:19

I don't think the show, however

beautiful, however well staged,

1:16:191:16:22

would have ever had the life it did.

1:16:221:16:24

Three, two, one...

1:16:371:16:41

Fast forward three decades

to January 2018.

1:16:481:16:51

Phantom has reigned

on Broadway for 30 years,

1:16:561:16:59

and Andrew and Cameron

are in town to throw a party.

1:16:591:17:02

As birthday celebrations go,

1:17:061:17:08

they don't come much bigger

1:17:081:17:09

than lighting up

the Empire State Building.

1:17:091:17:11

Many award-winning and critically

acclaimed shows followed -

1:17:151:17:18

Aspects of love,

The Woman in White,

1:17:181:17:22

Sunset Boulevard,

1:17:221:17:23

and Love Never Dies -

1:17:231:17:26

but none would match

the success of Phantom.

1:17:261:17:28

Andrew's relationship

with Sarah Brightman

1:17:311:17:33

didn't last the course.

1:17:331:17:35

It ended after publicity

over her affair

1:17:351:17:38

with the Phantom keyboard player.

1:17:381:17:40

A few years later,

1:17:411:17:42

he spotted the woman who would

become his lifelong partner on TV.

1:17:421:17:47

She was a professional rider.

1:17:481:17:50

She was a three-day eventer.

1:17:501:17:52

And I remember once seeing a race

before the Grand National,

1:17:521:17:55

and I remembered this girl

in the pouring rain underneath

1:17:551:17:59

the old Becher's Brook fence,

1:17:591:18:01

which was about three times

her size,

1:18:011:18:04

being very funny and saying,

"Where's my hair and make-up?"

1:18:041:18:06

Andrew and Madeleine have been

together now for nearly 30 years,

1:18:101:18:14

and since their marriage,

1:18:141:18:16

Madeleine has played

an increasingly active role

1:18:161:18:19

in the running of

The Really Useful Company.

1:18:191:18:21

All in all, it would seem

that he's led a charmed existence.

1:18:221:18:26

But the last few years

have proved challenging.

1:18:261:18:29

I think I got very depressed

when, recently,

1:18:311:18:33

when I really was pretty ill.

1:18:331:18:35

I mean, I had...

1:18:351:18:37

I don't want to bore anybody

with it,

1:18:371:18:40

but after I got cancer, I then...

1:18:401:18:42

That was fine, and that was cured.

1:18:421:18:44

But I then had issues with my back.

1:18:441:18:47

# Stephen Ward,

your friendly osteopath

1:18:471:18:53

# I can fix your lower back

for you... #

1:18:531:18:57

The timing couldn't have been worse.

1:18:571:18:59

Andrew was working on

the musical Stephen Ward,

1:18:591:19:02

a miscarriage of justice story

1:19:021:19:04

about the man who became

a public scapegoat

1:19:041:19:07

during the Profumo affair in 1963.

1:19:071:19:10

# 1963! #

1:19:101:19:12

Stephen Ward.

Hello.

1:19:121:19:14

Do you mind coming with us, sir?

1:19:141:19:15

I don't see why I should have to

take the rap for your bit of fun.

1:19:151:19:18

# Sometimes that's

what pain can do... #

1:19:181:19:22

Stephen Ward was

an osteopath by profession.

1:19:221:19:25

That was an irony not lost

on Lloyd Webber,

1:19:251:19:28

suffering severe back pain

at the time.

1:19:281:19:31

When I was doing Stephen Ward,

I was...

1:19:311:19:33

I mean, I was doing

the musical on morphine.

1:19:331:19:35

And I advise you not to do

a musical on morphine, actually.

1:19:351:19:40

It's not the most brilliant idea.

1:19:401:19:41

It doesn't actually

help the mind hugely.

1:19:411:19:44

It didn't help

the box office either.

1:19:451:19:48

The reviews were mixed

and the audience didn't come.

1:19:481:19:51

When Stephen Ward opened in December

2013, it ran for just four months.

1:19:521:19:57

I think to myself, "Why did I get

so low?" But it was just the pain.

1:19:591:20:02

And, you know, it was not being

able to move half the time.

1:20:021:20:07

And I just thought, "It's all over."

1:20:071:20:09

And I thought,

"If I can't do my musicals

1:20:091:20:12

"and I can't do any more,

why bother?"

1:20:121:20:15

Despite these dark periods,

Andrew did manage to recover.

1:20:161:20:21

He was full of energy once again

1:20:211:20:23

and rediscovered his passion

for musical theatre.

1:20:231:20:26

# Stick it to the man! #

1:20:291:20:31

His wife, Madeleine, gave him

the idea for a new musical.

1:20:311:20:35

The School of Rock was

Andrew Lloyd Webber's comeback.

1:20:371:20:39

It follows Dewey Finn,

an out-of-work rock guitarist

1:20:441:20:48

who pretends to be a teacher

at a private school.

1:20:481:20:51

That's great.

Well done. Bravo, guys.

1:20:571:21:00

Try something for me. Why don't you

come in, around, for the beginning?

1:21:001:21:04

Just come in. So it's all very,

very cosy, and it's all very smile,

1:21:041:21:08

lots of smiles to each other,

but it's all this,

1:21:081:21:10

and then when you get to

the big moment with the drum solo,

1:21:101:21:13

go back to your marks

and then rock out.

1:21:131:21:15

When we started out

with School of Rock on Broadway,

1:21:151:21:18

the audience didn't think that

the children were playing live.

1:21:181:21:21

But I tell you, every single note

that those children play is live.

1:21:211:21:25

And that's the joy of it,

because, in the end,

1:21:251:21:28

the very simple message of School

of Rock is that music empowers.

1:21:281:21:32

A few miles north

of London's West End

1:21:361:21:38

can be found another school of rock.

1:21:381:21:41

This is Highbury Grove,

1:21:431:21:46

which hosts an extraordinary,

pioneering project

1:21:461:21:49

called the Music in Secondary

Schools Trust.

1:21:491:21:51

Partly funded by Lloyd Webber,

1:21:531:21:54

the school uses music

to teach life skills,

1:21:541:21:57

improve exam results

and combat gang culture.

1:21:571:22:01

# Produced on this road

1:22:031:22:05

# A famous music man

and the one you should know

1:22:051:22:09

# I think of all the cattle

that pass by the place... #

1:22:091:22:13

Great, now... Well done, brilliant.

1:22:171:22:19

Now, it's fun that you're doing it

all on real instruments as well.

1:22:191:22:23

But I always think that

the one thing to remember

1:22:231:22:26

with real instruments is,

you can just play them, you know?

1:22:261:22:30

You don't have to feel

at all inhibited.

1:22:301:22:34

In the end, the one thing

about music is

1:22:341:22:36

that you don't have to be

a professional musician.

1:22:361:22:39

I mean, I don't know if any

of you ever would want to be.

1:22:391:22:41

But music is the one thing that

keeps us all together, I believe.

1:22:411:22:46

And I'm just thrilled to hear you

having such a good time with it all.

1:22:461:22:51

Andrew Lloyd Webber

has never forgotten

1:22:511:22:53

the strong foundation

music gave him as a child,

1:22:531:22:56

and is now determined that

as many children as possible

1:22:561:23:00

get similar opportunities,

in a world where music education

1:23:001:23:03

is seriously under threat.

1:23:031:23:06

What really impressed me, Truda,

about what you were doing here

1:23:061:23:09

at Highbury was not that you were

turning these kids into musicians,

1:23:091:23:13

but that you were using

music to empower them.

1:23:131:23:15

Absolutely. So it's a vehicle

for transformation,

1:23:151:23:18

that what it's teaching young people

is discipline -

1:23:181:23:21

they have to practise,

they have to bring their instrument,

1:23:211:23:24

they have to look after it.

1:23:241:23:25

Every child in this school

has had three years

1:23:251:23:28

of classical music education.

That is amazing.

1:23:281:23:30

Everybody does it,

and when everybody does it,

1:23:301:23:33

kids don't opt out.

1:23:331:23:34

It's normal. It has normalised

for every child

1:23:341:23:37

what classical music is.

1:23:371:23:39

So you have no...

I have no Government funding.

1:23:451:23:47

I've had nothing, and we've

reached 5,000 young people.

1:23:471:23:51

Wow.

All through philanthropists

1:23:511:23:53

and people who are

absolutely passionate.

1:23:531:23:56

It is a tragedy, what's happening

currently in our secondary schools.

1:23:561:24:01

Well, I completely agree.

1:24:011:24:02

I mean, I'm lucky, because

it was around me in my family

1:24:021:24:05

and music was around me

and the theatre was around me.

1:24:051:24:08

But you see what happens

when you take kids sometimes

1:24:081:24:11

who've never been near a theatre

for the first time...

Yes.

1:24:111:24:13

And I despair that, you know...

1:24:131:24:17

I mean, we just make

a passionate plea that someday,

1:24:171:24:20

sometime, people will understand

just how vital it is.

1:24:201:24:22

And the work you've done here,

Truda, is extraordinary.

1:24:221:24:25

Thank you.

Election broadcast.

Yes!

1:24:251:24:27

So, now he feels it's time

to give something back.

1:24:291:24:33

And not just through music

education, but to theatre too.

1:24:331:24:36

It's no small irony that Andrew now

owns seven major West End theatres,

1:24:381:24:43

including the London Palladium

and the Cambridge Theatre.

1:24:431:24:46

But his favourite is

the Theatre Royal Drury Lane,

1:24:501:24:53

where he first fell

in love with musicals.

1:24:531:24:56

And his passion for architecture and

theatre has finally come together

1:24:581:25:02

in an ambitious restoration project

1:25:021:25:04

which he's working on

with Simon Thurley.

1:25:041:25:06

What we're walking in today

1:25:071:25:09

is this incredible sort of

Regency palace, really.

1:25:091:25:12

And it was a palace because,

as you know,

1:25:121:25:14

it was designed for the Royal family

to come here to the theatre.

1:25:141:25:18

Drury Lane has been

a working theatre

1:25:181:25:20

since the reign of Charles II,

1:25:201:25:22

but it's also a shrine to some

of the great writers

1:25:221:25:25

whose work has been staged here.

1:25:251:25:27

Well, let's go through

into the great rotunda.

1:25:271:25:31

I mean, wow. That's wow factor.

1:25:311:25:34

I quite like it. It's a sort of

Cenotaph to all these famous actors.

1:25:361:25:40

Yes.

You've got these

statues of Garrick,

1:25:401:25:43

and it's a bit odd having

the statue of Shakespeare,

1:25:431:25:45

because obviously, he never

was involved here.

1:25:451:25:47

But you have these

incredible figures,

1:25:471:25:50

all of whom trod the boards

at the Lane.

1:25:501:25:52

Yeah. So where do we go from here?

We go the King's Route, I assume?

1:25:521:25:55

Let's go the... Yeah.

Well, you can go the King's Route.

1:25:551:25:58

Thank you. I will.

1:25:581:25:59

Front of house, the plan is to turn

this beautiful Regency room,

1:26:021:26:06

the grand saloon, into a social

space with a bar and restaurant.

1:26:061:26:11

But most of the money and effort

1:26:111:26:13

will be spent redesigning

the auditorium.

1:26:131:26:16

I don't suppose you remember

1:26:171:26:19

where you are sitting when you

watched... came to see My Fair Lady?

1:26:191:26:22

I think it was the upper circle.

1:26:221:26:23

I'm pretty sure

it was the upper circle.

1:26:231:26:25

And I have to say,

1:26:251:26:27

My Fair Lady looked pretty good,

because it was a great big show.

1:26:271:26:30

So, the whole purpose of

what I want to achieve here

1:26:371:26:41

is to make this an 1,800,

1,900-seater auditorium,

1:26:411:26:44

which is hugely more intimate

than it is today,

1:26:441:26:48

because if you look at this,

this is a vast, great cavern here,

1:26:481:26:51

and there is this gap between

the audience and the stage

1:26:511:26:55

which needs to be removed.

1:26:551:26:57

And the whole circle on both levels

here will come forward,

1:26:571:27:02

so the feeling of the auditorium

1:27:021:27:04

will be infinitely more intimate

than it is today.

1:27:041:27:08

We have got to recognise

it's a working theatre,

1:27:081:27:11

and it's got to be a theatre

that I leave fit for purpose

1:27:111:27:14

for the next couple of

hundred years.

1:27:141:27:16

That's long-term planning for you.

1:27:221:27:24

But it's not so surprising.

1:27:251:27:27

With brother Julian's help,

1:27:271:27:29

he started building his first

theatre in Harrington Court

1:27:291:27:32

over 60 years ago.

1:27:321:27:35

Nothing much has changed since then.

1:27:351:27:37

Andrew's love of melody

and passion for musicals

1:27:391:27:43

has barely wavered since childhood.

1:27:431:27:45

It's a kind of weird moment for me,

actually,

1:27:471:27:49

because I've got all of this

material sitting there...

1:27:491:27:52

..like kind of waifs and strays

looking for a home.

1:27:531:27:56

Yes, I think we've always...

The Lloyd Webber family,

1:27:561:28:00

especially from my mother's side,

has always loved a project.

1:28:001:28:04

If we don't have a project,

we're restless and we're not happy.

1:28:041:28:07

And Andrew...

1:28:071:28:09

..is very much like that.

He needs a subject,

1:28:091:28:11

and he will passionately find

and seek that subject.

1:28:111:28:15

So, Andrew has another show in him.

1:28:151:28:19

I have another show.

And there's a show after that too.

1:28:191:28:21

I just think we need

to keep working.

1:28:211:28:26

Have you got an idea that you're

not telling me about?

Yes.

1:28:261:28:29

Absolutely. I can't. It's an idea

that I need to meet with,

1:28:311:28:36

because the character

is very much alive,

1:28:361:28:38

and I would need to talk

to that person.

1:28:381:28:41

MUSIC: Memory from Cats

by Andrew Lloyd Webber

1:28:421:28:47

Andrew Lloyd Webber has reigned over musical theatre for nearly five decades and delighted millions worldwide with hit shows like Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love and, most recently, School of Rock the Musical.

To mark his 70th year, Lloyd Webber has written an autobiography - Unmasked, a candid and confessional account of his early life and career up to the opening of Phantom. In this imagine special, Alan Yentob talks to Andrew about the book, his bohemian childhood and the memories he's chosen to reveal.