RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN

After long and highly distinguished careers with other collaborators, Richard Rodgers (composer, 1902-79) and Oscar Hammerstein II (librettist/ lyricist, 1895-1960) joined forces in 1943 to create the most successful partnership in the American musical theatre. Prior to his work with Hammerstein, Rodgers collaborated with lyricist Lorenz Hart on a series of musical comedies that epitomised the wit and sophistication of Broadway in its heyday. Among their greatest successes were Pal Joey, On Your Toes and Babes in Arms. Throughout the same era, Hammerstein brought new life to the operetta, culminating in the masterpiece Show Boat (music by Jerome Kern). Oklahoma!, the first Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, was also the first of a new genre, the musical play, blending Rodgers’s musical comedy style with Hammerstein’s innovations in operetta. Oklahoma! was followed by Carousel, State Fair (film), Allegro, South Pacific,The King and I, Me and Juliet, Pipe Dream, Cinderella (television), Flower Drum Song and The Sound of Music. Collectively, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals have earned 35 Tony Awards, 14 Academy Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes, two Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards.

JEREMY SAMS (Director)

Jeremy has directed The Wizard of Oz,The King and I,The Sound of Music, Donkey’s Years, Little Britain Live, Noises Off, Passion,Wild Oats, Marat/Sade,The Wind in the Willows,Two Pianos, Four Hands, Spend Spend Spend (Olivier- nominated) and Benefactors.As lyricist, his credits include Amour (Tony-nominated), Ghetto,The Enchanted Island, and his translations include Die Fledemaus,Mirandolina,Les ParentsTerribles,Indiscretions,The Miser and Mary Stuart, The Rehearsal, Becket, Figaro’s Wedding, La Boheme,The Magic Flute,Wagner’s Ring Cycle and The Merry Widow. As composer he has written, arranged and directed music for over 50 shows for theatre, television, film and radio including The Wind in the Willows, Arcadia,The Merry Wives of Windsor, Le Weekend,The Mother, Hyde Park on Hudson, Enduring Love and Persuasion for which he won a BAFTA.Adaptations include The Wizard of Oz and the book of the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Olivier Award nomination).

ARLENE PHILLIPS CBE (Choreographer)

Arlene Phillips is a showbiz legend. She has worked with stars from film and television, to theatre and arenas, as well as becoming one of Britain’s favourite television judges. She produced Midnight Tango, The Sound of Musicals, The Very Hot Gossip Show, Britannia High, DanceX, Dance War and Barbie Dance. As a director, credits include Strictly Come Dancing, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, The Manchester XVII Commonwealth Games and the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games official theme with Sarah Brightman and Jose Carreras.

Her choreography credits include Monty Python Live at the O2, Starlight Express,The Wizard of Oz, Flashdance,The Sound of Music, Grease,We Will Rock You, Saturday Night Fever, Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar, EFX and Matador. Film work includes Annie, Legend,White Hunter Black Heart, Salome’s Last Dance, Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, Wind in the Willows,The Hunger, Can’t Stop the Music, It Couldn’t Happen Here and Escape to Athena. Phillips’ television work includes The Olivier Awards,The Best Possible Taste, An Evening with Michael Ball,The Brit Awards, The Royal Variety Show,The Prince’s Trust, Children in Need, Not the Nine O’Clock News,The Benny Hill Show, Party in the Park, Party at the Palace and Kenny Everett Video Show. Arlene has worked on music videos for Freddie Mercury, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Queen, Diana Ross,Tina Turner,AC/DC, the Bee Gees, Duran Duran,Aretha Franklin, Boy George, Kiss, George Michael, Cliff Richard and Robbie Williams. She has also made numerous television & radio appearances.