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Elaine Paige talks to musical maestros

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 22 April 2008

Elaine Paige, one of British musical theatre’s most lauded stars, will host interviews with other leading lights of the genre at the Shaw theatre this spring. Lyricist Don Black, songwriting team Stiles and Drewe, and Laurence Olivier Award-winning leading man Michael Ball will all be grilled by both the lauded actress and the attending audience in a series of lunchtime events entitled Spotlight On… In Conversation With Elaine Paige.

Though Paige is best known for her stage performances including Evita, Cats and, more recently, The Drowsy Chaperone, she is no stranger to playing host as she currently presents a weekly radio programme, Elaine Paige On Sunday, for BBC Radio 2.

First to be grilled by the diminutive diva is Black, who is best known in Theatreland for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber on projects including Sunset Boulevard, Aspects Of Love and Song & Dance. Black, who has also worked with Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones, Michel Legrand and John Barry, talks on 17 April.

Stiles and Drewe, one of Britain’s most prolific songwriting teams, who began writing together when they met at university, get the Paige treatment on 15 May. The pair came to prominence with musical Just So, which won the Vivian Ellis Award in 1985. The team’s other musicals include Honk!, Tutankhamun and Peter Pan, while they also contributed new songs and music to Mary Poppins.

Ball closes the series on 18 June. Somewhat surprisingly, the behemoth of British musical theatre won his first Laurence Olivier Award earlier this year for his performance as a woman, Edna Turnblad, in the multi award-winning Hairspray. His many other credits include Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Woman In White and Aspects Of Love.

Each Spotlight On… takes place between 13:00 and 14:15.

MA

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