Tim Rice's musical comedy Blondel returns to London at the Union Theatre
The Union Theatre welcomes a new production.
A new production of Tim Rice and Stephen Oliver's musical comedy Blondel has been announced to run at The Union Theatre in south London this summer, running from 21 June to 15 July 2017 with an official opening on 23 June.
Featuring music by Stephen Olivier and lyrics by Tim Rice it features a book by Tim Rice and Tom Williams with additional music by Mathew Pritchard.
Originally opening in the West End in 1983 in a production that starred Paul Nicholas, Blondel was Rice's first musical away from his then-frequent collaborator Andrew Lloyd Webber. The musical is inspired by the life of the eponymous French troubadour and is set during the period of the Third Crusade. After originally opening in Bath in September 1983 it moved to Manchester before a run at the Old Vic where it ran for eleven months. It later transferred to the Aldwych Theatre where it ran for a further eight months.
"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 official 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."
This new production will be directed by Sasha Regan with choreography by Chris Whittaker, musical direction by Simon Holt, design by Ryan Dawson Laight and lighting design by Iain Dennis. It is produced by Aaron Rogers & Sasha Regan for Union Theatre and Donald Rice for Heartaches Limited.
Tim Rice said of the news: “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 find some new ones.”
Blondel tickets are now on sale.