Our review rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥♥
Plot summary: Not an autobiography as such as it stops at the first night of “The Phantom of the Opera” and therefore there is a lot of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s life which isn’t included, but rather a memoir chronicling some of the key defining moments of his career including “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat”, “Cats” and “Phantom of the Opera”.
What we liked: Celebrity autobiographies can start off a little dull e.g. “I was born in blah, in this house blah blah, when what we really want to get to is the point they became famous as that’s often the most interesting part (and of course why they’re writing an autobiography in the first place!). In this memoir, Lloyd Webber cuts to the chase pretty quickly – Tim Rice makes an early appearance and his musical career begins when he is actually very young. It’s really fun and interesting hearing how ‘Joseph’ came about and how this then leads into the start of a hugely successful career. Lloyd Webber writes in a really entertaining way and really brings the book to life and you really get from his writing how much of a musical genius he is (not that he is boastful on this topic, but it really comes across in how he describes his music and why certain tunes work, how he plans his musicals etc).
What we didn’t like: Well it probably goes without saying but if you’re not a fan of a) musicals and b) Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals then chances are you won’t like this book! What really makes it interesting is knowing of most of the music and people that Andrew Lloyd Webber describes (Tim Rice, Cameron Mackintosh, Sarah Brightman etc). It’s also a shame that the book doesn’t continue to depict the story after ‘Phantom of the Opera’ but we have no doubt that a follow up book will come out at some point!