He has secured his place in history as one of Britain’s most celebrated composers and theatre impresarios, with a career that has spanned five decades and produced a string of hit musicals on the West End and Broadway.
And so it was no surprise that many of the showbiz world’s brightest stars were on hand to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s celebrate 70th birthday on Thursday night, as his wife Madeleine Gurdon, 55, threw him a lavish party.
A host of familiar faces – including Sir Elton John and an injured Sir Michael Caine – descended on London’s Drury Lane Theatre for the retro-themed bash, for which the man of the hour arrived in a bright purple suit.
Birthday boy: Andrew Lloyd Webber celebrated his 70th birthday at a lavish party thrown by his wife Madeleine Gurdon, at London’s Drury Lane Theatre on Thursday night
Teaming his eye-catching suit with an equally colourful patterned shirt, he perfectly complemented his wife, who dazzled in a pink patterned floral A-line shift dress with a frilled cuff and knee-high black leather boots.
The main of the hour appeared to be in decidedly upbeat spirits as he exited the venue arm-in-am with his equally elated wife following a night of revelry at the exclusive gathering, where guests pulled out all the sartorial stops.
Not to be outdone, Elton John – who celebrates his 71st birthday on Sunday – arrived with his 55-year-old husband David Furnish in typically attention-grabbing style, wearing a pair of circular spectacles with a bejewelled frame.
Andrew and the Technicolor Dreamcoat: The celebrated composer caught the eye in a bright purple retro-style suit
Very colourful: The theatre impresario teamed his eye-catching ensemble of choice with an equally colourful patterned shirt
Pretty in pink: His wife dazzled in a pink patterned floral A-line shift dress with a frilled cuff and knee-high black leather boots
So in love: The pair lovingly linked arms as they made their exit from the exclusive gathering after a night of fun-filled revelry
Donning a dark suit, which featured a jacket embroidered with the glittering images of a pair of dogs, his ensemble was a tad muted in comparison to his spouse’s choice of a bright floral tuxedo jacket.
Meanwhile, Michael Caine – who celebrated his 85th birthday on Wednesday of last week – was seen getting a helping hand getting into the bash as he walked with the aid of a walking frame after breaking his ankle.
His broken ankle, which he sustained after slipping over earlier this month, forced him to miss out on a special London screening of the 1960s documentary My Generation, which he’d narrated.
‘He’s on strict doctor’s orders to stay at home and rest until he’s fully recuperated,’ a source told MailOnline at the time of his absence from the event, which attracted the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and Twiggy.
Eye-catching: Not to be outdone, Sir Elton John arrived with his husband David Furnish in typically attention-grabbing style
All that glitters: The veteran musician stepped out wearing a pair of circular spectacles with a glittering bejewelled frame
Suits you! The star opted to wear a dark suit, which featured a jacket embroidered with the glittering images of a pair of dogs
He’s got plenty of sole! The singer, 70, teamed his suit with a pair of floral decorated shoes and a white and peach frilly shirt
‘Tis the season for much celebration: It’s also a celebratory time for Elton, as he’s set to welcome his 71st birthday on Sunday
Say it with flowers: Sir Elton’s ensemble was a tad muted in comparison to his spouse’s choice of a bright floral tuxedo jacket
I come bearing gifts: David was seen carrying a small gift and a card as he and Elton made their way into the exclusive party
They were among a host of stars who stepped out for the party on Thursday night, including Prince Edward, Sir Tim Rice, Bob Geldof, Arlene Phillips, Mel C, Melvin Bragg, Craig Revel Horwood, Jason Donovan and Piers Morgan.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has enjoyed a glittering career in theatre that his seen him pen many hit musicals, including Joseph And The Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cats, The Phantom Of The Opera, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Last month, the star appeared to kick off the celebrations early, as he was spotted enjoying a relaxing pre-birthday beach break in Barbados with his beloved wife.
Soaking up the sunshine, the West End supremo and his wife appeared to be in upbeat spirits as they relaxed together during their break on the balmy Caribbean island.
Framed: Sir Michael Caine, who broke his ankle in a fall earlier this month, was seen using a walking frame at the gathering
Helping hand: The 85-year-old actor also received the help of attendees and venue staff as he carefully exited the bash
Miss: His injury forced him to miss out on a special London screening of the documentary My Generation, which he’d narrated
Glamorous: He was joined by his stunning 71-year-old wife Shakira, who cut a glamorous figure in a flattering black ensemble
Passenger: After making his way through the streets of the English capital, he climbed into the passenger seat of a waiting car
The love of love: As the couple prepared to be zipped away into the night, Shakira flashed a smile at her husband of 45 years
Turning heads: Erstwhile Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips, 74, turned heads in a cleavage-bearing floral dress
Reclining on sunloungers, the couple – who tied the knot 27 years ago – were all smiles as they laughed and joked with one another whilst looking out across the ocean.
The pair went on holiday after Andrew opened up about a past battle with depression which led him to consider suicide, and revealed that his wife had been a source of comfort to him in recent years.
The celebrated composer contemplated killing himself as recently as three years ago, a new book reveals, a thought which had plagued him since adolescence.
In his memoirs, Unmasked, he also identifies a troubling episode of sexual assault as the genesis in his journey to theatre greatness.
Special guest: Comedian Rowan Atkinson was also among the attendees who were on hand to celebrate Andrew’s big day
Me and my girlfriend: He was seen climbing into the back of a chauffeur-driven with his 34-year-old girlfriend Louise Ford
It’s good to talk: The lovebirds appeared to be deep in conversation as they sat and waited to be whisked off into the night
True blue: Piers Morgan arrived at the exclusive gathering in a smart blue suit, which he teamed with a patterned white shirt
Lads night out: The smiling TV personality was spotted outside the bash with Australian actor and singer Jason Donovan
They’re really having a laugh! The pair appeared to be in decidedly upbeat spirits as they posed together outside the venue
Miles of smiles: Piers sporting a broad smile as he emerged from the celebratory gathering, which attracted a host of stars
Keeping warm: Dressed in a smart black suit, 49-year-old Jason carried a thick quilted jacket to stave off the chilly night air
He wrote: ‘A saddo tried to fondle me under cover of the tight standing crush on the Tube train.
‘I was too shocked to make a fuss. But I was furious. So furious that it gave me an idea that maybe was big enough to call an epiphany.’
That same afternoon he performed at an end-of-term concert at Westminster Under School, ditching a planned recital for his own cheeky composition which mocked the masters and earned a rapturous reception.
His book lays bare the depths of despair which countenanced staggering heights of success reached with musicals such as The Phantom Of The Opera and Cats.
Classic: The British Royal opting against going for a bright or retro ensemble, choosing instead to step out in a classic tuxedo
In 1963, aged 15, he recalls first considering taking his own life after becoming ‘deeply depressed’ by how his mother – a piano teacher – became infatuated with the musical talents of another young pianist.
But a visit to Lavenham, Suffolk, and in particular the local church, convinced him ‘things weren’t so bad after all’.
Another attempt to end his life followed in the 1960s when he was barred from attending a potentially fortune-changing appointment to have a song recorded after failing an army test in the school corps.
The impresario told the Mail on Sunday: ‘I woke to find a doctor’s face pressed close to mine, demanding what the hell I was doing frightening my parents like this.’
More recently, he almost succumbed to the turmoil brought on by a diagnosis of prostate cancer and bouts of severe back pain, the paper reports.
He said: ‘I did think of suicide. It was so painful and I couldn’t sleep and you go on thinking about it.
‘You have all those ridiculous painkillers and none of them working and you just think, “I shall take the whole lot of them”.’
His wife of 27 years, Madeleine, provided a ray of light through dark times, however.
‘When I met Madeleine, it was almost like getting my life back; a door has been unlocked back into a world that I’d perhaps missed in the previous years – people outside the theatre.
‘There is a world outside the Tony Awards and I think that’s what Madeleine brings to me.’
Let’s go: Spice Girls singer Mel climbed into the back of a waiting vehicle after exiting the Theatre Royal later that night