Written By GingersnapComments Off on Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends Concert Recording to be Released This Week
Live Recording on CD Set
by Alex Wood and Tanyel Gumushan | WhatsOnStage | December 6, 2023
A live cast recording of Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends will be released in the US and UK this Friday, December 8, 2023 on a 2-disc CD set and digital and streaming formats from First Night Records.
The WhatsOnStage Award winning event, which took place in May 2022, featured a bumper cast of Michael Ball, Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Petula Clark, Anna-Jane Casey, Rosalie Craig, Janie Dee, Judi Dench, Daniel Evans, Maria Friedman, Haydn Gwynne, Bonnie Langford, Damian Lewis, Julia Mckenzie, Julian Ovenden, Bernadette Peters, Sian Phillips, Jon Robyns, Clive Rowe, Jenna Russell, Imelda Staunton, Charlie Stemp, Gary Wilmot and Michael D Xavier. View photos from the event in our Gallery here.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Helena Bonham Carter and Damian Lewis Mark National Poetry Day With Allie Esiri’s New Anthology
365 Poems for Life: An Uplifting Collection For Every Day of the Year
by Katie Fraser | The Bookseller | October 5, 2023
Bluebird Books, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, will launch Allie Esiri’s 365 Poems for Life: An Uplifting Collection For Every Day of the Year, Esiri’s first anthology of poetry for adults, with readings from actors Helena Bonham Carter and Damian Lewis.
Publication on 5th October, National Poetry Day, will be supported with readings of Matthew Hollis’ “The Blackbird of Spitalfields”, Emily Dickinson’s “Hope is the Thing with Feathers” and Danusha Laméris’ “Small Kindnesses” by actors Bonham Carter and Lewis.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on VIDEO: Sondheim’s Old Friends Concert
Howling Good Time
by Gregory Peck Lives | YouTube | January 8, 2023
Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends concert, a Cameron Mackintosh’s tribute to late musical theatre trailblazer Stephen Sondheim, was presented May 3, 2022 at 8 PM at London’s Sondheim Theatre and simultaneously screened live at the Prince Edward Theatre. Watch the entire concert below.
Damian’s segments (approximately):
36:47 – “Hello Little Girl” from Into the Woods with Bernadette Peter
1:26:58 – “Everybody Ought to Have a Maid” from A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum with Rob Brydon, Julian Ovenden and Siân Phillips
2:12:07 – “Old Friends” from Merrily We Roll Along with Company
2:14:27 – “Our Time” from Merrily We Roll Along with Full Company
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Sondheim’s Old Friends to be Broadcast on the BBC This Christmas
All-Star Sondheim Concert Set for UK Screens and Streams
by Alex Wood | WhatsOnStage | November 29, 2022
Some Sondheim for Christmas!
The mega Sondheim tribute concert staged in the West End will be presented on the BBC and iPlayer, it has been announced. Dates and times for the BBC Two broadcast and subsequent iPlayer release are to be revealed by the Channel. UPDATE: Airing Saturday, December 31, 2022 at 5:35 pm on BBC 2. Available for streaming on BBC iPlayer shortly after broadcast.
The special event, which took place in February of this year, featured a bumper cast of Michael Ball, Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Petula Clark, Anna-Jane Casey, Rosalie Craig, Janie Dee, Judi Dench, Daniel Evans, Maria Friedman, Haydn Gwynne, Bonnie Langford, Damian Lewis, Julia Mckenzie, Julian Ovenden, Bernadette Peters, Sian Phillips, Jon Robyns, Clive Rowe, Jenna Russell, Imelda Staunton, Charlie Stemp, Gary Wilmot and Michael D. Xavier.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Damian Lewis Presented The McCrory Award in Private Exhibit
Inaugural Launch of Mentor Charity: The McCrory Award
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | June 15, 2022
Today, June 15, 2022, invitation-only attendees gathered for a private viewing of an art exhibit showcasing exclusive photography pieces of Helen McCrory to support the Sir Hubert von Herkomer Foundation and to honor The McCrory Award. The foundation – which Helen was the former Patron of and is now patroned by Damian – gives access to free art and media workshops for disadvantaged children “…so they can express their inner artist” and flourish. Other featured photographs that were donated by friends include Fay Ripley, Mark Strong, Eddie Redmayne, Helen Bonham Carter, Sienna Miller, Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Billie Piper, James Purefoy, Harriet Walter, Harry Treadaway, Stephen Mangan and Andrew Scott, all who posed for Debbi Clark, photographer and CEO/Founder of HvH Arts Foundation.
The McCrory Award was announced that evening, with Damian presenting the award to three young HvH Arts Foundation artistic beneficiaries. The foundation is dedicated to supporting children and young people who are gifted in their art, yet many do not have access to resources, training or support to fulfill their dream. The McCrory Award and charitable mentorship will make their dreams become a reality. Helen always believed every child should have equal opportunities and accessibility to the arts.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Celebration of Helen McCrory’s Life
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | May 20, 2022
According to a tweet by theatre critic Dom Cavendish, Damian hosted a memorial service at St. Paul’s Church, Covent Garden (aka The Actors’ Church) in London on Friday, May 20, 2022, to celebrate Helen McCrory’s life and her formidable personality. There was laughter, tears and a standing ovation in Helen’s honor. Attendees included Helena Bonham Carter, Allie Esiri, Ralph Fiennes, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Natascha McElhone, Bob Geldoff, Rory Kinnear, Mark Strong, Joe Cole, Finn Cole, Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawesdeath. Mark Strong led the tributes as the actor who had worked with Helen more than almost any other actor, appearing in seven different films, shows and plays together. Damian and Helen’s daughter Manon, 15, delivered a touching reading and son Gulliver, 14, played the guitar for guests at the ceremony.
You can see part of the event programme from Mr. Cavendish’s tweet below. Bob Dylan’s To Be Alone with You was featured and a film titled In Her Own Words played. One cannot help remember that Helen chose To Be Alone with You as one of her favorite tunes during a recent segment of Desert Island Discs and she added that she had a blank check from Damian to run away with Bob Dylan. A close friend who attended the memorial service said, “It was just the most beautiful memorial. It was very touching. Speechless.”
View images of memorial service attendees in our Gallery here.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Damian Lewis Caricature Featured in Celebrity London Tube Map Book
Stars on the Tube: Who’s Famous at YOUR Station?
by Bridget Galton | Hamstead & Highgate | May 19, 2022
Cartoonist Simon Ellinas has created a book of 272 caricatures of celebrities associated with each Tube stop, detailing their connections to each area. Simon Ellinas first started doing caricatures of his teachers as a Hampstead Schoolboy.
And after training at Harrow Art School of Art, the former St. Anthony’s and UCS pupil enjoyed a career as a cartoonist and illustrator for magazines and newspapers – including drawing caricatures for the nationals.
Now he has published his “lockdown project” which puts a famous face to every underground stop. The Barnet resident researched each destination, but says while areas like Hampstead (Ricky Gervais) and Highgate (Karl Marx) had “lots of possibilities” other celebrity connections were “more tenuous”.
“Once you get out onto the fringes you’re scrabbling around to find someone. For the new station at Nine Elms I chose Joanna Lumley because she was said to shop there. But most of them have strong connections, they were born, live, work or in the case of Dylan Thomas in Camden, they drank there – he drank in a lot of places, but I chose Camden Town.”
BBC correspondent Katya Adler was assigned Swiss Cottage because she attended South Hampstead High School. Martin Freeman is Belsize Park because “I heard he lived there.” Actor Damian Lewis lives in Tufnell Park, and Ray Davies is Archway, because Muswell Hill doesn’t have a tube stop and The Kinks played the Archway Tavern. Meanwhile Rolling Stone Keith Richards graces St. John’s Wood because “he wrote I Can’t Get No Satisfaction there in the 60s”, and Helena Bonham Carter grew up around Golders Green.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on People Magazine: Star Tracks
A Couple of Old Friends
by Staff | People Magazine | May 9, 2022
Photo: David M. Benett/Getty
From Hollywood to New York and everywhere in between, see what your favorite stars are up to in this week’s Star Tracks of People Magazine. Damian and Helena Bonham Carter were featured in the column, stating this couple of old friends attended the gala afterparty in aid of Stephen Sondheim Foundation held May 3, 2022 in London.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on THE TIMES REVIEW: Sondheim’s ‘Old Friends’
Five Stars: A Star-Spangled, Unforgettable Tribute to Stephen Sondheim
by Clive Davis | The Times | May 4, 2022
Photo: Danny Kaan
Excuse me if I gush, but this was one of those nights where it was difficult to focus on highlights simply because there were so many. Cameron Mackintosh’s memorial concert for Stephen Sondheim, who died in November, began on a high note when the veteran Julia McKenzie, who did so much to champion the composer’s work on this side of the Pond, walked onto the stage to sing Side by Side by Side. Proof, if needed, that British artists don’t need to feel like intruders on this territory. They’ve made the music their own.
McKenzie’s appearance was the kind of moment which, in normal circumstances, would crown a memorable evening. In this case it was just the prelude. Of course, it was all the more fitting that this gala concert for the Stephen Sondheim Foundation was happening at the theatre (formerly known as the Queen’s) that bears the artist’s name. In his opening speech, Mackintosh wryly quipped that the twisted ankle that had prevented the great man from attending the opening in 2020 had just been an excuse to avoid having to sit through Les Misérables.
After Mackintosh had his say, the songs began to flow, with no host to cause any longueurs. Matthew Bourne and Maria Friedman — who shared directing credits — managed to cram in an immense range of material. Meanwhile, the cheering and the applause grew louder and louder. It reached its peak, perhaps, in a comic version of Broadway Baby, which began with McKenzie pretending to audition with a surly pianist before being joined by a blowsy pack of rivals including Bernadette Peters, Bonnie Langford and an insouciant Helena Bonham Carter.
Imelda Staunton sang Everything’s Coming Up Roses. Who else but Judi Dench could be entrusted with Send in the Clowns? If Dench’s delivery barely rose above a whisper, Haydn Gwynne powered through a version of The Ladies Who Lunch that was as potent and savage and tipsy as anything the late Elaine Stritch gave us. A twinkle-eyed Damian Lewis joined in the party too, kicking and shimmying his way through the risqué Everybody Ought to Have a Maid alongside Rob Brydon, Julian Ovenden and a mischievous Sian Phillips. As ever, the elegant Janie Dee glowed in the dark, sizzling through the bossa nova parody The Boy Friend.
Read the rest of the original article at The Times
Written By GingersnapComments Off on LONDON THEATRE REVIEW: Sondheim’s ‘Old Friends’
A Tribute for the Ages
by Matt Wolf | London Theatre | May 4, 2022
“He’s left us with an impossible choice.” So the impresario Cameron Mackintosh told an entirely rapt crowd near the start of Old Friends, the one-off celebration of Stephen Sondheim that took place across three unforgettable hours May 3 at the Sondheim Theatre on the West End. “Impossible” because the legendary composer-lyricist left behind a capacious back catalogue when he died last November, age 91, not to mention a longlist of people who will forever be associated with his work.
Mackintosh, heralding an array of talent ranging from the “young to the ever young”, kicked off an evening rife with cheers and ovations on what, we were told, was one day shy of the 46th anniversary of the London premiere of Side By Side By Sondheim. That musical revue, produced by a then 29-year-old Mackintosh, helped bring Sondheim to the attention of the British, who have revered him ever since.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on GUARDIAN REVIEW: Sondheim’s ‘Old Friends’
A Glorious All-Star Memorial Service: Five Stars, Ten If Rules Allowed
by Mark Lawson | The Guardian | May 4, 2022
Photo: Danny Kaan
Stephen Sondheim was so vast a talent that London on Tuesday night required two theatres to remember him, after his death in November aged 91. Produced by Cameron Mackintosh and staged by Maria Friedman – longtime collaborators who personify the title Old Friends, from a number in 1981’s Merrily We Roll Along – the show at the Sondheim (named in tribute in 2019) was simulcast on the Prince Edward stage, a version of technology developed for the NT Live theatre-cinema hybrid, though not usually used between venues 0.17 miles apart.
Caused by ticket demand (proceeds to the Stephen Sondheim foundation), this arrangement bestowed immediacy in the eponymous auditorium but the overspill audience gained greater detail from closeups and cutaways.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on DEADLINE REVIEW: Sondheim’s ‘Old Friends’
Vamping It Up
by Baz Bamigboye | Deadline | May 3, 2022
Photo: Danny Kaan
Cameron Mackintosh, the London theatre owner and impresario, nixed the idea of having a host introduce artists performing at Tuesday’s one-night-only Old Friends tribute show honoring the legacy of musical theatre genius Stephen Sondheim, who died in November at age 91.
“All you need are Steve’s words and music, and our cast. They speak, or rather sing, for themselves,“ Mackintosh explained to Deadline before the star-studded event began at London’s Stephen Sondheim Theatre.
Worked like a treat. Thirty minutes saved, because Old Friends wasn’t lumbered with a host.