James Thackeray, Neil Moors & Michael Burgen - Blondel
Fri, 16 Jun 2017
JAMES THACKERAY, NEIL MOORS and MICHAEL BURGEN will soon open in BLONDEL The Musical at the Union Theatre. Since it's premiere in 1983, Blondel has been updated and reworked by Sir Tim Rice who wrote the lyrics for the show. The show opens on 21st June.
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Tim Rice said: "I’m delighted Blondel is returning to the stage. It was one of the most enjoyable projects of my career, and I’ve always felt Stephen Oliver’s wonderful music deserved a larger audience than it reached back in 1983 when the show first ran. I hope this new production at the terrific Union Theatre will please old fans and some new ones."
When King Richard announces that he’s off on a Middle East Crusade to give Saladin a piece of his mind (and sword), the struggling court musician Blondel is forced to stay behind to write songs in praise of the King’s evil - and ambitious - brother, Prince John. Worse still, Blondel is separated from his sweetheart Fiona, who has been press-ganged into the King’s of cial crusade dry cleaning dept. However when Richard is captured by the murky - and rather cunning - Duke of Austria (just before the interval), Blondel decides to embark upon a pan- European adventure to save his King, Fiona, and England. An irritable assassin, a proto-Robin-Hood and a quartet of monks all aid and/or hinder Blondel’s efforts to write himself both a place in history and love song to dedicate to Fiona.
Blondel premiered in the West End starring Paul Nicholas in 1983. It was the first musical Tim Rice wrote with a composer other than Andrew Lloyd Webber, following hits with Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. Tim first had the idea for a show about the Crusades in the early days of his partnership with Andrew. They initially worked on it together, with the project titled Come Back Richard Your Country Needs You. That work was performed as an oratorio at the City of London School in 1969, and a single of the title song was recorded with Tim as lead vocalist. However their idea for a musical about the last seven days in the life of Jesus Christ took precedence. Then the idea for a musical about the Crusades sank into obscurity. Tim met Stephen Oliver, the distinguished classical and operatic composer, when they both served on a panel at the Sydney Arts Festival in 1977. In 1982 they began collaborating to bring the idea of a musical about King Richard into a reality. Now titled Blondel, the show centred around Richard’s minstrel, Blondel, who embarks on a quest to and his missing King.