Musical theatre stars Jenna Russell, Daniel Evans and Janie Dee remember working with their hero, and the unique demands and rewards of his songs

Sam Mendes: ‘He was passionate, utterly open, sharp as a knife’

So much of his work is about love. People talk about it being cold but as a teenage girl all I could feel from it was warmth. The songs are ridiculously rich. I’d play the original cast recording of Company again and again, in the front room. I remember my mum came in with her rubber gloves on and tears streaming down her face. She said: “Oh my god, I get it!” The song was Being Alive.

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