Cameron Mackintosh has announced that he is making 5,000 tickets available at just £25 each for theatregoers aged 30 or under to see the top-rated show Old Friends, which celebrates the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim. The show runs at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End until 6 January 2024.
One of the many joys I've experienced during the opening performances of Old Friends is to witness night-after-night the reaction of younger audiences, many of whom I believe are hearing Stephen Sondheim's dazzling music and lyrics for the very first time.
Subject to availability, an allocation of Stalls and Dress Circle seats has been made available for all performances between Monday 23 October 2023 and Saturday 16 December 2023: sondheimoldfriends.com/under30s.
Steve made a provision under his will for the establishment of the Stephen Sondheim Foundation, of which I am a trustee, to support playwrights, theatre composers and lyricists in early stages of their career. He was passionate about supporting the new generation of theatre writers and I therefore want younger theatregoers to be able to experience Stephen's genius in this Great Big Broadway Show from great seats at an accessible price.
The cast of Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends is led by Bernadette Peters and Lea Salonga. They are joined by Christine Allado, Clare Burt, Janie Dee, Damian Humbley, Bradley Jaden, Bonnie Langford, Gavin Lee, Jason Pennycooke, Joanna Riding, Jeremy Secomb, Jac Yarrow, Marley Fenton and Beatrice Penny-Touré. The company also includes Harry Apps, Bella Brown, Richard Dempsey and Monique Young, “a cast that is truly the best of the West End and Broadway”.
Last year's Gala performance of Old Friends, which was also filmed, won the Best Theatre Event at the 2023 WhatsOnStage Awards. It sold out within a couple of hours last year leaving thousands of disappointed fans unable to get tickets.
Devised and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends has Direction and Musical staging by Matthew Bourne, side by side with Julia McKenzie, with choreography by Stephen Mear, and is conducted by Alfonso Casado Trigo.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.