Plaque honouring Alan Jay Lerner is unveiled at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Liz Robertson unveils a plaque commemorating the life and work of Alan Jay Lerner at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Photo: Joanne Davidson

A plaque honouring Alan Jay Lerner has been unveiled at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, with Andrew Lloyd Webber paying tribute to the “one of the greatest lyricists” to write for theatre.

The plaque has been revealed to celebrate the centenary of Lerner’s birth, and will have a permanent home at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane following planned refurbishment works.

A tribute from Lloyd Webber, who could not make the event on August 31, praised Lerner’s talent as a lyricist. His shows included My Fair Lady, which had its UK premiere at the theatre in 1958.

“Alan was one of the greatest lyricists to write for theatre. The first musical I saw was My Fair Lady at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, and the thought I could have worked with him on The Phantom of the Opera remains with me until this day,” he said in a statement, read out by Don Black.

“I shall always remember the times I’ve shared with him and I am absolutely delighted this plaque shall commemorate him in the theatre, which was home to one of his greatest triumphs,” he added.

Liz Robertson, Lerner’s widow, said she had witnessed “the struggles and torment that came with writing that perfect lyric”.

“Alan confessed at one time: ‘It is rather pleasant to know that if your songs are being played and sung when you are not around, it is difficult for people to forget you’. On the centenary of his birth we remember him well,” she added.

Matthew Hemley

Matt is news editor for The Stage, having started as the newspaper’s broadcast reporter. He covers all areas of the industry in his role, but has a particular interest in musical theatre. Matt studied acting at Bretton Hall and presents a monthly theatre news round up on BBC London Radio.

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