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:
The Italian Job
Diamonds Are Forever
To Sir With Love
Dances With Wolves
Aspect of Love
The Man With The Golden Gun
Tell Me On A Sunday
The World Is Not Enough
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
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:
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