Stephen Sondheim: Part 1/7 The South Bank Show 2010
Stephen Sondheim: The South Bank Show 2010 Part 1 of 7
Original air date: 25 April 2010
Stephen Sondheim is interviewed at home in Manhattan, for The South Bank Show Revisited on the eve of his 80th birthday.
This insightful interview with Melvyn Bragg is a combination of being gently reflective, whilst demonstrating clearly that Stephen Sondheim is a master of his craft. He talks movingly about his childhood, his parents' divorce and Oscar Hammerstein, one of the world's great lyricists, becoming "like a surrogate father".
This will be the third time that Stephen Sondheim has been the subject of The South Bank Show: the first in 1980, when working on his musical Sweeney Todd (which won an International Emmy for LWT), and in 1984 when The South Bank Show invited him to take a master class with students of the Guildhall School Of Performing Arts. He was also interviewed on The South Bank Show in the 1978 profile of Hal Prince, the great Broadway director, and Sondheim's long-term collaborator.
The South Bank Show Revisited includes clips from the current Broadway productions of A Little Night Music starring Catherine Zeta Jones and his classic West Side Story. The film uses archive footage from all the earlier South Bank Shows. Sondheim discusses his extraordinary work in the world of the musical, and talks in depth about the construct of his music, citing Sweeney Todd, which is still one of his most well known and successful musicals.