In The Frame: Theatre Interviews from West End Frame

S8 Ep55: Lea Salonga, star of Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends & Here Lies Love

October 20, 2023 West End Frame Season 8 Episode 55
In The Frame: Theatre Interviews from West End Frame
S8 Ep55: Lea Salonga, star of Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends & Here Lies Love
Show Notes

Tony and Olivier winner Lea Salonga is back In The Frame and back in the West End, starring in Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends at the Gielgud Theatre.

Devised and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends has direction and musical staging by Matthew Bourne, side by side with Julia McKenzie, with choreography by Stephen Mear. 

Lea come to London direct from Broadway where she was starring in Here Lies Love for which she is also a producer.  

Lea left the Philippines as a teenager when she was cast as Kim in Miss Saigon. She originated the role in the West End and on Broadway to tremendous acclaim, winning Olivier and Tony Awards for her performance.  

Lea also has a long association with Les Misérables, having played both Eponine and Fantine in London and New York, including for the musical’s 10th and 25th anniversary concerts.  

Just a few of Lea’s other theatre credits include: Eliza in My Fair Lady (Manila), The Witch in Into The Woods (Singapore), Grizabella in Cats (Manila), Kei Kimura in Allegiance (Broadway), Helen in Fun Home (Manila), Erzulie in Once On This Island (Broadway), Grace Farrell in Annie (Hollywood Bowl) and Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd (Manila/Singapore).  

Lea has worked extensively in film and television and famously provided vocals for the title role in Disney’s Mulan I (1998) and Mulan II (2004) as well as for Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin (1994), earning her the official title of a Disney Legend!

Away from the stage, Lea is a judge on the Philippines’ version of The Voice and has sold 19 million albums worldwide, making her one of the best-selling Filipina artists of all time.  

Lea recorded her first episode of In The Frame last year whilst preparing for the UK leg of her Dream Again concert tour which included a special performance at the Royal Albert Hall.  

Recorded backstage at the Gielgud Theatre, in this episode Lea discusses all-things Stephen Sondheim and delves into some of the material she sings in Old Friends. Lea also speaks about her whirlwind year, her relationship with her voice and towards the end of the interview she discusses the incident which took social media by storm when some fans found their way to Lea’s dressing room on Broadway earlier this year.  

Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends runs at the Gielgud Theatre until 6th January 2024. Visit for info and tickets.

Hosted by Andrew Tomlins 

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