Ned Sherrin, Prolific British Director and Author, Dies at 76

Obituaries   Ned Sherrin, Prolific British Director and Author, Dies at 76
Ned Sherrin, the multi-talented British performer who directed and starred in Side by Side by Sondheim, the first and still perhaps the most famous of the Stephen Sondheim revues, died Oct. 1 at the age of 76.

The revue, which helped to solidify Sondheim's reputation as the preeminent musical theatre composer of his time, opened April 13, 1977, and ran for more than a year on Broadway. Mr. Sherrin was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance. The show had earlier been a hit in London. It opened at the Mermaid Theatre and then transferred to the West End. It was his first theatrical success. Ned Sherrin was a little bit of everything, working in theatre, television and film as a producer, writer, director, composer and actor. With his collaborator Caryl Brahms, he wrote songs and novels, as well as five plays and six musicals for the theatre. These included Beecham, with Timothy West (1980), I Gotta Shoe (1962), Sing a Rude Song (1970), Liberty Ranch (1972), Nickleby and Me (1975) and The Mitford Girls (1981).

He was also a prolific director. In addition to Side by Side by Sondheim, he won an Olivier Award for his direction of The Ratepayer's Iolanthe in 1984. Other directing credits included Mr & Mrs Nobody, starring Judi Dench and Michael Williams, Victor Spinetti's one-man show, Thoughts From a Very Private Diary, and several plays by Keith Waterhouse, including Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell, which starred Peter O'Toole as the title journalist and a was a huge hit, Bookends, Our Song and Bing Bong. He also toured with a one-man show An Evening with Ned Sherrin.

For television audiences, Ned Sherrin was always the man who devised, produced and directed the 1960s satiric series "That Was The Week That Was," which sent up public figures and spoofed current events. No target was safe, and the program quickly shook up the then stodgy British broadcasting world. The show did not run for a long time, but it was hugely influential.

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