Tim Rice’s musical Chess to be revived in London
Written by Tim Rice and ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the musical is set against the backdrop of the Cold War, and is about a chess tournament between American and Soviet grandmasters who fight over a woman.
Its first incarnation was as a concept album in 1984, which became a top 10 hit in the UK, West Germany and South Africa, as well as charting on the US Billboard 200. It features the songs “I Know Him So Well”, “Anthem” and “One Night in Bangkok”. A concert version of the album premiered at the Barbican Centre, and went on to tour Europe featuring the album’s original performers.
The stage version of the musical premiered in the West End in May 1986 at the Prince Edward Theatre, with direction originally from Michael Bennett, but withdrew due to health reasons after casting the show, and Trevor Nunn took over. The production featured many of the performers from the original concept recording, including Elaine Paige, Tommy Körberg and Murray Head, as well as Anthony Head, Grania Renihan and Ria Jones. The show ran until April 1989.
This new production at the London Coliseum will be directed by Laurence Connor, whose recent theatre credits include School of Rock and Miss Saigon both on Broadway and in the West End. It will be choreographed by Stephen Mear.
Casting for Chess is yet to be announced.
Chess is scheduled to run form 26th April to 2nd June 2018, with an official opening night on 1st May 2018.
Chess Tickets are available now.
Photo courtesy Gareth Williams (flickr)