Full name, Kenneth Hill; born January 28, 1937, in Birmingham, England; diedof cancer, January 23, 1995. Lyricist, playwright, actor, director, and television writer. Hill was best known for the rollicking musicals he wrote and directed for London's Theatre Workshop, performed in the Theatre Royal, Stratford East. He also gained acclaim for his productions in London's West End andabroad, specifically for the first musical adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera. Following stints as a clerk, basket weaver, and driver, Hill began workas a playwright in 1963. His affiliation with the Workshop began in 1970 with the performance of his political satire Forward up Your End. He served as actor, resident writer, and associate director for the company over the next few years, becoming its artistic director in 1974. His productions included IsYour Doctor Really Necessary?, Bloody Mary, and a musical adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo. In 1976 he left the workshop, securing a position at Newcastle Playhouse. He worked as director of stage plays, such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Mikado. Hill rejoined the Workshop in 1984 to stage his version of The Phantom of the Opera, two years before Andrew Lloyd Webber's megahit opened in the West End. Hill also frequently wrote for television and hosted the show ATV Today. His Zorro--The Musical! was in production at the time of his death.