Stephen Sondheim in Melbourne

Stephen Sondheim with Geoffrey Rush on the set of Forum. Image by Tia Clark

Stephen Sondheim is one of musical theatres’ leading composers and lyricists, winning practically every award in the business (including an Academy Award and eight Tony Awards)! After an initial delay due to a wrist injury, Stephen Sondheim touched down in Melbourne for a one off event – One Afternoon with Stephen Sondheim – at Her Majesty's Theatre.

The celebrated 82 year old Broadway composer and lyricist has also managed to catch a performance of his musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, starring Australian of the Year Geoffrey Rush earlier in the week.

Sondheim told ABC Radio's Jon Faine yesterday that he was “raucously laughing” at our Aussie cast's performance on Tuesday night (20 November) at Her Majesty's Theatre Melbourne.

“Forum is my desert island show”, Sondheim said on ABC'

s conversation hour.

“It's the show I would live with night after night if I had to be on a desert island. It's always funny, and I know every word and every situation.”

“And last night there I was, raucously laughing”.

Stephen Sondheim takes a snap with the Forum company. Image by Tia Clark

Sondheim's other commitment whilst in Melbourne is the highly anticipated One afternoon with Stephen Sondheim, presented on the set of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, hosted by ABC CLASSIC FM Mornings presenter Christopher Lawrence. A stellar line-up of Australian talent will perform selections from Sondheim’s body-of-work.

The event will take place at Her Majesty's Theatre on Friday 23 November at 2pm.

One Afternoon with Stephen Sondheim will be the first in what will become a regular initiative to be known as The Guest Series under the umbrella of the ANZ Trustees Foundation – Rob Guest Endowment. Proceeds from The Guest Series will be contributed towards the annual endowment.


Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James