Gillian Lynne

Choreographer/ Director

Gillian Lynne’s career started dancing the Swan Queen on the stage of the People's Palace in the Mile End Road aged 16, since then she has worked with many of the greatest names in the entertainment industry: from Errol Flynn to Barbara Streisand, from the Royal Opera House to The Muppet Show series.

Initially as a fledgling ballerina with Sadler's Wells Ballet and later as a highly respected and in-demand choreographer, musical stager and director, her distinctive style has led to an array of groundbreaking works which include over 50 Broadway, West End and international stage productions, numerous television projects and 11 feature films. With Dudley Moore she devised the first ever company fusing jazz and classical dance in the UK - Collages, directed the first working class musical - The Match Girls, and, at the other end of the world, directed the first colour production for ABC television in Australia – The Fool on the Hill.

However, she is probably best known for her worldwide choreography and direction of Cats and her staging of The Phantom of the Opera and Aspects of Love, all with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh. Recent projects include Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, The Imaginary Invalid for the Washington Shakespeare Theatre, Triple Sensation for CBC, Now or Never at the King's Head and Off-Broadway, the 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Royal Albert Hall of The Phantom of the Opera ('Re-staging The Phantom of the Opera to fit the Albert Hall for the 25th Anniversary was fun, exciting and a truly warm emotional experience never to be forgotten'), the direction of Waxing Lyrical at the New Diorama, and in 2011 the completion of the first volume of her autobiography, A Dancer in Wartime, published by Chatto and Windus – now out in paperback.

She directed and choreographed Jerry Herman’s DEAR WORLD at the Charing Cross Theatre starring Betty Buckley, which opened in February 2013.

Gillian's productions have won numerous global awards including four Olivier Awards, one for the RSC's The Comedy of Errors, a Golden Rose of Montreux for The Muppet Show, the Samuel G Engel international television drama award for her TV production of Le Morte d'Arthur and a BAFTA for A Simple Man, both for the BBC. In 1989 Gillian was the subject of This Is Your Life. Additionally, Cats has brought her the Austrian Silver Order of Merit, the French Molière Award and a specially created category of Olivier Award to recognise outstanding achievement in dance. Gillian and has been presented with the George Abbott Award in America, the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award by the Royal Academy of Dance and in1997, Gillian was made a CBE.