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NEWS: From Hackney to Hollywood: The Don Black Songbook launches UK Tour

From Hackney to Hollywood: The Don Black Songbook is a series of concerts which celebrate the life and works of one of our most versatile lyricists for over 50 years in the industry.

Directed by Olivier Award Winner Maria Friedman and conducted by Mike Dixon, special guests include Gary Wilmot (Chicago, Oliver!, The Wizard of Oz), Martine McCutcheon (Love Actually, Eastenders, My Fair Lady), Ria Jones (Anything Goes, Acorn Antiques), singer/ songwriter Jack McManus and Ricardo Afonso of The Voice fame.

You may be surprised at just how much influence Don Black has had (and not just in musical theatre) over the past half a century. An impressive résumé, his lyrics include Broadway Musical Bonnie &Clyde, Dracula, Aspects of Love, Tell me on a Sunday, Song &Dance, Starlight Express, Sunset Boulevard and Bombay Dreams. Not stopping with theatre, film credits include Dances with Wolves, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, The Italian Job and even the Downton Abbey theme song.

“Always try and write for yourself. Don’t copy and don’t follow. You are unique. There’s only one of you. Try and put your individual signature on each song.” – Don Black

Starting out as a stand-up comedian, Don Black made his West End debut as a lyricist with composer John Barry on the musical Billy, starring Michael Crawford at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. He has since worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Frank Wildhorn, Quincy Jones, Elmer Bernstein and Marvin Hamlisch among many others.

In 2007, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, after winning many awards throughout his career including an Oscar for ‘Born Free’, five Academy Award nominations, four Tony Nominations and two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe, six Ivor Novello Awards and numerous silver, gold and platinum discs. He has also been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list and has recently been awarded the honourary degree of Doctor of Arts by City of London University.

With such an extensive selection to choose from, selected venues around the UK are in for a feast of iconic songs. With a 10 piece band (including French horn), the programme is scheduled to include the following:

Born Free

The Italian Job

Diamonds Are Forever

To Sir With Love


True Grit

Sunset Boulevard


Dances With Wolves

Aspect of Love

The Man With The Golden Gun

Tell Me On A Sunday

Bombay Dreams

The World Is Not Enough

Downton Abbey

Tomorrow Never Dies

Dances With Wolves

Pink Panther Strikes Again

Out of Africa

As If We Never Said Goodbye

With One Look

Love Changes Everything

Take That Look Off Your Face

Walk Away

If I Never Sing Another Song

A theatrical treat, the Don Black Songbook promises to be an evening of indulgence as we delve into the ever expanding legacy of one of the most prolific songwriters of our time. Tickets for the UK tour can be bought direct from the venues below:

Tour Dates

March 25 – Wycombe Swan

March 28 – Malven Theatre

March 29 – Cardiff, St David’s Hall

March 31 – Bournemouth Pavilion

April 2 – Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall

April 3 – Birmingham, Symphony Hall

April 4 – Leeds, Town Hall

April 6 – Liverpool. Philharmonic Hall

April 8 – Manchester, Opera House


About The Reviews Hub - Features

The Reviews Hub - Features
Our Features team is under the editorship of Nicole Craft. The team is responsible for sourcing interviews, articles, competitions from across the country. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.