“Writing a song is much like being
an author. Yes, we all have tools to write (everyone has a brain I hope!), but
that doesn't all of a sudden make us best selling authors.”
– Ken Hill
Born on this date in 1937, British playwright Hill was an acclaimed theater producer and director, primarily on the stage of the Theatre Royal Stratford East and on London’s West End. Among his many hits were The Invisible Man and the original stage version of The Phantom of the Opera, which inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber to create his own musical blockbuster version.
Hill’s stock-in-trade was musical adventure stories, including Zorro, The Musical. Hill died of cancer at age 57 and part of his lasting legacy was the establishment of a memorial trust to help nurture new writing talent for theater. The trust also gives the annual “Ken Hill Awards” for Best New Musical and to support new playwrights with writing and producing their work.
An investigative journalist before he started writing for theater, Hill also was a gifted composer and said that composers, like authors, have a lot in common with the people for whom they are writing. “The prime goal of an author is the same as a musician, which is to emotionally connect with the reader in some way or another.”
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