Sandy Wilson

Alexander Galbraith "Sandy" Wilson (19 May 1924 – 27 August 2014) was an English composer and lyricist, best known for his musical The Boy Friend (1953).[1]


Wilson was born in Sale, Greater Manchester and was educated at Harrow School and Oriel College, Oxford. During the war he served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in Great Britain, Egypt and Iraq. While at Oxford he wrote revues for the Oxford University Experimental Theatre Club and then attended the Old Vic Theatre School on a production course.[2]

Most of his work for the stage was material for revues, such as Hermione Gingold's Slings and Arrows, Laurier Lister's Oranges and Lemons, and See You Later, starring such performers as Peter Cook. He wrote the book, music and lyrics for The Boy Friend for the Players' Theatre in 1953. Its success resulted in a longer version being produced in the West End at Wyndhams Theatre. After its opening in January 1954, over 2,000 performances were put on there. It opened on Broadway in 1954, at the Royale Theater, and introduced Julie Andrews in her Broadway debut.[1] The show ran on Broadway for over 480 performances.[2]

Wilson wrote the musical Valmouth in 1958, based on a Ronald Firbank novel set in a seaside resort. In 1964 he wrote Divorce Me, Darling!, a sequel to The Boy Friend.[2] His last work was a version of Aladdin (1979) for the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith.[3]

His autobiography, published in 1975, is titled I Could Be Happy.[4]

Sandy Wilson died in Taunton, England in 2014, aged 90.[2] His longtime partner was Chak Yui.[5] Wilson was a member of the Labour Party.

In 1999, Wilson donated his papers to the Harry Ransom Center.[6] The papers include produced and unproduced plays, mostly musicals but also plays for stage and TV, as well as drafts of Wilson's published and unpublished works including an autobiography, illustrated book, novels, articles, and short stories, along with correspondence.



  1. ^ a b Stevens, Christopher (2010). Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams. John Murray. pp. 364/5. ISBN 1-84854-195-3.
  2. ^ a b c d Daniel E. Slotnik, "Sandy Wilson, Composer and Writer of ‘The Boy Friend,’ Dies at 90", New York Times, 31 August 2014
  3. ^ Freedland, Michael and Michael Coveney. "Sandy Wilson obituary", The Guardian, 27 August 2014, accessed November 10, 2017
  4. ^ Beck, Andy and Fisher, Brian. Broadway for Two, Alfred Music Publishing, 2007, ISBN 0-7390-4477-X, p. 82
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Sandy Wilson:A Preliminary Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center", retrieved 9 March 2010


  • Gale, Steven. Encyclopedia of British Humorists: Geoffrey Chaucer to John Cleese, Volume 2, Taylor & Francis, 1996, ISBN 0-8240-5990-5, p. 1216.

External links

1985 Toronto International Film Festival

The 10th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada between September 5 and September 14, 1985. The festival featured 460 feature films, the highest number of films in festival.My American Cousin by Sandy Wilson was selected as the opening film.

7th Genie Awards

The 7th Genie Awards were held March 20, 1986, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to honour achievements in Canadian film in 1985. The ceremony was co-hosted by Leslie Nielsen and Catherine Mary Stewart.

Aladdin (1979 musical)

Aladdin is a musical written by Sandy Wilson for the newly-refurbished Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. Although not a pantomime, it played during the theatre's inaugural Christmas pantomime season of 1979/80 at the theatre, opening on 21 December 1979, and starred Richard Freeman as Aladdin, Joe Melia as Tuang Kee Chung (Widow Twankey), Aubrey Woods as Abanazar, Ernest Clark as The Emperor, Martin McEvoy as The Genie, Elizabeth Welch as Fatima and Christine McKenna as Badr-al-Badur.

American Boyfriends

American Boyfriends is a 1989 Canadian comedy-drama film, and the sequel to My American Cousin (1985). As before, it was written and directed by Sandy Wilson. Margaret Langrick and John Wildman reprise their roles as Sandy Wilcox and Butch Walker respectively.

The soundtrack for this film contains songs by a number of popular Canadian music groups of the era including Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts, Colin James, Sass Jordan, Spirit of the West and BTO. The soundtrack was released on CD by Penta Records.

Einar Nerman

Einar Nerman (6 October 1888 in Norrköping – 30 March 1983 Lidingö) was a Swedish artist. He was born and grew up in middle-class family in the working-class city of Norrköping and was the younger brother of the Swedish Communist leader Ture Nerman. Einar Nerman also had a twin brother, Birger Nerman, who was an archeologist.

Einar Nerman dropped out of his Norrköping Gymnasium High School in 1905 and moved to Stockholm to study art. In 1908 he moved to France for many years to pursue his interest in art, studying with Matisse at the Academie Matisse in Paris.

When he came back to Sweden in 1912 he started studying music and taking dance lessons. In the 1920s Nerman lived in London and drew images for The Tatler. During World War II, he lived and worked in New York City.

Einar Nerman wrote songs and music and composed music to many of his brother Ture Nerman’s poems. He also made many of the artistic book covers for his Communist brother's published writings.

Einar Nerman also made illustrations for many of the books by Selma Lagerlöf. In Sweden today, he is mostly known, or unknown, for being the man behind the art of the Solstickan matchbox. He also made some famous drawings of Greta Garbo, one of which was used on a postage stamp in 2005, a hundred years after the moviestar's birth.

Nerman owned and inhabited Hersbyholm in Lidingö, Sweden. He bought the property in 1930.

A book of his drawings appeared in 1976: Caught in the Act (Harrap, London) with an introduction by his friend, lyricist Sandy Wilson. It contained many caricatures of friends in the London theatre world. From 1922 to 1930 he was the theatre cartoonist for The Tatler and also worked for the fashionable magazine Eve. The book is dedicated to Ivor Novello whom he had met in Stockholm in 1918. In the 1940s in New York he worked for the Journal-American. There is much additional information in Caught in the Act, as well as examples of his work, sometimes said to be "Beardsleyesque", and his celebrity caricatures are as distinctive as those of Ralph Barton.

Julian and Sandy

Julian and Sandy were characters on the BBC radio comedy programme Round the Horne from 1965 to 1968 and were played by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams respectively, with scripts written by Barry Took and Marty Feldman. According to a BBC Radio 4 programme on the characters, they were named after the writers Sandy Wilson and Julian Slade.

Maria Charles

Maria Charles (born 22 September 1929) is an English film, television and stage actress, director and comedian. She is probably best known for her TV performance as the overbearing mother Bea Fisher in the ITV sitcom Agony. Charles has also appeared on the stage in original West End productions including musicals by Stephen Sondheim, Charles Strouse and Sandy Wilson.

My American Cousin

My American Cousin is a Canadian drama film, released in 1985. Written and directed by Sandy Wilson based on her own childhood, the film stars Margaret Langrick as Sandy Wilcox, a preteen girl growing up on a ranch in rural Penticton, British Columbia in the late 1950s. Sandy's longing to be treated as an adult is roused even further when her older American cousin Butch Walker (John Wildman) comes for a visit. The cast also includes Richard Donat, Jane Mortifee, Babz Chula and Camille Henderson.

A 2006 On Screen! documentary about the film featured interviews with director Sandy Wilson and leading actress Margaret Langrick.

The sequel to this film, American Boyfriends, was released in 1989.

Sandy Wilson (RAF officer)

Air Chief Marshal Sir Ronald Andrew Fellowes Wilson, (born 27 February 1941), often known as Sir Andrew Wilson and sometimes known informally as Sir Sandy Wilson, is a retired senior Royal Air Force officer.

Sandy Wilson (director)

Sandra “Sandy” Wilson (born 1947) is a Canadian film director and screenwriter, based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is best known for her films My American Cousin (1985) and Harmony Cats (1992). Most of her films take place in the same areas she grew up: Penticton and Okanagan.

Wilson has received critical acclaim for her films. At the 1986 Genie Awards, My American Cousin won six awards including Best Achievement in Direction, Best Original Screenplay and Best Motion Picture. Harmony Cats was nominated for Genie Awards in 1993.

Sandy Wilson (disambiguation)

Sandy Wilson (1924–2014) was an English composer and lyricist.

Sandy Wilson may also refer to:

Sir Andrew Wilson (RAF officer)

Sir Colin St John Wilson (1922–2007), British architect, lecturer, and author

Sandy Wilson (director) (born 1947), Canadian film director

Shetland (TV series)

Shetland is a British television crime drama television series, made by ITV Studios for the BBC and broadcast on BBC One, that first broadcast on 10 March 2013. Initially based upon the novels of Ann Cleeves, the series was brought to screen by David Kane, who has remained a principal writer through all five series.

The series stars Douglas Henshall as Jimmy Perez, a detective inspector working for the Shetland police, Alison O'Donnell as Detective Sergeant Alison "Tosh" Macintosh, and Steven Robertson as Detective Constable Sandy Wilson. Mark Bonnar, Lewis Howden, Erin Armstrong, Julie Graham, and Anne Kidd are also credited as principal members of the cast.The story takes place largely on the eponymous Scottish archipelago, although much of the series' filming takes place on the Scottish mainland, with only some location filming actually taking place on Shetland. Five series have been broadcast to date. Douglas Henshall won the 2016 BAFTA Scotland award for best actor for his role as Jimmy Perez, and the series received the award for Best TV Drama.

Steven Robertson

Steven Robertson (born 1 January 1977) is a Scottish actor who stars as Detective Sandy Wilson in the BBC One adaptation of Ann Cleeves's Shetland, filmed near where Robertson was born and brought up. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal as Michael Connelly, a young man with cerebral palsy in Inside I'm Dancing and for playing Dominic Rook in the popular BBC Three comedy-drama series Being Human. He has had roles in numerous television programs including Luther and The Bletchley Circle.

Studley Priory, Oxfordshire

Studley Priory was a small house of Benedictine nuns, ruled by a prioress. It was founded some time before 1176 in the hamlet of Studley in what is now the village of Horton-cum-Studley, 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Oxford in Oxfordshire, England, at 1 Horton Hill Road. In 1176, the priory received a grant from Bernard of St. Walery. The nuns were unhappy to be served poor beef and new beer on Thursday and Sunday nights, and no mutton. The priory was declared closed by 1536, but appears to have experienced a brief revival before its suppression in 1539.

The priory lands were sold to the Croke family. The family built the house now known as Studley Priory, which still stands in its 10 acres (4.0 ha) of grounds, in 1587; a member of the Croke family was a judge in the 1649 trial of Charles I. The house and its estate (which comprised most of the village of Horton-cum-Studley) was owned by the Croke family until around 1870 when it was sold to the Henderson family, who occupied it until World War II. During the war, it was a sanatorium for Royal Air Force officers.

In 1947 the priory was leased by Raymond and Tessa Bawtree, who (with their partner, Wilma Hessey) ran it as a country-house hotel for the next 14 years. During that time, many eminent guests stayed there (including Adrian Boult, Gilbert Murray, Beverley Nichols and Sandy Wilson; it was a favourite hostelry of C.S. Lewis, who came regularly for a Sunday-morning beer after church and in later years stayed there with his wife Joy.

The Bawtrees did not renew their lease in 1961; that year the Hendersons auctioned off their estate, including the priory. The priory was bought by the Parke family, who continued to run it as a hotel until 2004;The monastery is mentioned in the historical novel Blanket In The Dark by John Buchan. It was used as a filming location for the exterior of Sir Thomas More's home in the 1966 version of Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons (interior shots were done in a studio, not at Studley Priory).

The Boy Friend (1971 film)

The Boy Friend is a 1971 British-American musical comedy film directed by Ken Russell and starring Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Tommy Tune, and Max Adrian with an uncredited appearance by Glenda Jackson. It is an adaptation of the musical The Boy Friend by Sandy Wilson. It was released on DVD on April 12, 2011.

The Boy Friend (musical)

The Boy Friend (sometimes misspelled The Boyfriend) is a musical by Sandy Wilson. The musical's original 1954 London production ran for 2,078 performances, making it briefly the third-longest running musical in West End or Broadway history (after Chu Chin Chow and Oklahoma!) until these were all surpassed by Salad Days. This musical marked Julie Andrews' American stage debut.

Set in the carefree world of the French Riviera in the Roaring Twenties, The Boy Friend is a comic pastiche of 1920s shows (in particular early Rodgers and Hart musicals such as The Girl Friend). Its relatively small cast and low cost of production makes it a continuing popular choice for amateur and student groups.

Sandy Wilson wrote a sequel to The Boy Friend. Set ten years later, and, appropriately, a pastiche of 1930s musicals (in particular those of Cole Porter) it was titled Divorce Me, Darling! and ran for 91 performances at London's old Globe Theatre in 1965. It is sometimes revived as a "double bill" with The Boy Friend.

The original score and manuscripts for the script and lyrics can be found in Wilson's archive at the Harry Ransom Center.

Tom Lavin

Tom Lavin is a Chicago-born musician and record producer and founding member of the Juno Award winning (1981) Canadian group, the Powder Blues Band on Warner Brothers Records. The band has headlined the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, won the Blues Foundation Award in Memphis, Tennessee and toured the US and Europe with legends like Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, James Brown, Albert Collins, James Cotton and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Leader, Tom Lavin has written many of the band’s best-known songs including ‘Doin’ It Right’ a SOCAN Classics Winner and ‘Boppin With the Blues’.

Tom Lavin has won BCMIA awards for ‘Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter and Producer of the Year’, a Juno award for ‘Best New Band’ and the American W.C. Handy Blues Music Award.

As a record producer, Lavin worked with a number of well-known artists including Long John Baldry, Amos Garrett, Denise McCann and Susan Jacks of the Poppy Family fame. He has over a dozen gold, and platinum records for Powder Blues, Prism, April Wine, Long John Baldry, Amos Garrett, and many others. Lavin played guitar on Prism's self-titled album, Prism (1977) on GRT Records, and guitar and drums on the Dale Jacobs and Cobra album for CBS Records (1977). As a composer, Lavin is credited with the soundtrack scores for Cannes-nominated Out of the Blue (1980), a film directed by and featuring Dennis Hopper, and Genie Award winning My American Cousin (1985) directed by Sandy Wilson.

Recent CDs produced by Lavin include Juno Award nominated James Buddy Rogers 'My Guitar's My Only Friend' and 'Rollin' With the Blues Boss' by Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne Stony Plain Records. Lavin continues to record and perform as Tom Lavin & the Legendary Powder Blues Band and is also currently director of the Pacific Audio Visual Institute.


Valmouth is a 1919 novel by British author Ronald Firbank. Valmouth is an imaginary English spa resort that attracts centenarians owing to its famed pure air. The town's name evokes actual seaside towns in the southwest peninsula of Britain, such as Falmouth, Dartmouth, Teignmouth, Exmouth and Weymouth.

The novel's plot concerns, among other things, the effects of a black woman and her niece moving into a spa resort inhabited by wealthy centenarians. The ironic novel is about eroticism and exoticism in the milieu of quaint but lewd old British ladies at the fictional spa. The novel is noted for its florid and baroque style and parody-like humour, and its sexual innuendos both heterosexual and homosexual. There is also a fanciful brand of Catholicism, a blend of mortification of the flesh, high-flown mysticism, and proselytism.

In 1958, a musical adaptation was made by Sandy Wilson.

Valmouth (musical)

Valmouth is a musical by Sandy Wilson based on the novel of the same name by Ronald Firbank.It premiered in London at the Lyric Hammersmith, before transferring to the Saville Theatre.

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