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Musique: Stephen Oliver • Paroles: Tim Rice • Livret: Tim Rice • Production originale: 6 versions mentionnées
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Blondel was one of the first musicals Tim Rice wrote outside the extraordinarily successful partnership with Andrew Lloyd Weber. Teaming up with the brilliant young composer Stephen Oliver, who had written the music for the RSC’s breathtaking adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby, they took on the legend of the twelfth century troubadour Blondel.
Genèse: Tim Rice first envisioned the idea for a show about the Crusades in the early days of his partnership with Andrew Lloyd Webber. Andrew and Tim had done some work on it, entitling the project "Come Back Richard Your Country Needs You". It was performed as an oratorio at the City of London School in 1969 directed by Alan Doggett. Also in 1969 a single of the title song was recorded with Tim as lead vocalist and backed with the unrelated "Roll On Over The Atlantic". After this, however, the idea for a musical about the Crusades sank back into obscurity. Tim Rice first met Stephen Oliver, who had composed for the opera and the RSC, when they both served on a panel at the Sydney Arts Festival in 1977. In 1982 they began collaboration to bring the idea of a musical about King Richard into a reality. Now titled Blondel, the show centered around Richard's minstrel, Blondel, who embarks on a quest to find his missing king . . . while at the same time trying to make it big as a pop singer and songwriter. London Stage Blondel opened in Bath on September 12, 1983 and soon moved to Manchester where it stayed for two weeks before moving to the newly-refurbished Old Vic on November 2. Lord Olivier spoke the prologue at a Gala performance on 8 November. The show remained at the Old Vic for eleven months before moving to the Aldwych on London's West End. Because of high production costs and decreasing revenues, Blondel closed in the Aldwych after only eight months. Original Cast • Blondel - Paul Nicholas • Fiona - Sharon Lee-Hill • Richard - Stephen Tate • John - David Burt • The Assassin - Chris Langham • Leopold - Kevin Williams • The Monks - Cantabile (group) The London revival of the show opened at the Pleasance Theatre on 23 November 2006. The production saw the show revamped and rearranged by Tim Rice and director Patrick Wilde. Young composer Mathew Pritchard took Stephen Oliver's original score and completely rearranged the work, also adding new material. The story was sharpened, particularly in the second act, to produce a punchier (and funnier) version particularly well suited for an ensemble production. 2006 London Cast • Blondel - Chris Grierson • Fiona - Abi Finley • Richard - Mark Inscoe • John - Matt Harrop • The Assassin - Napoleon Ryan • Leopold - David Paul West • Monks - James Durrant, Gavin James, Charlie Tighe, Nick Trumble • The Blondettes - Zoe Harrison, Polli Redston, Rebecca Seale Blondel in the United States The first production of Blondel in the United States was staged at the University of Texas in El Paso by the Union Dinner Theatre. It opened on April 11, 1985. Blondel was again produced in the United States by Farmingdale High School in Long Island, New York during May 1985. Both productions were attended by Tim Rice. Since the mid-1980s, Blondel has been produced by theaters and amateur groups all around the world but has yet to take its place on the Broadway stage.
Résumé: The musical follows the trials and triumphs of Blondel, an ambitious minstrel in King Richard The Lionheart's court desperately trying for a chart-topping song. Blondel and his long-suffering girlfriend Fiona undertake a mulit-nation search when King Richard is taken captive during the Crusades. They rescue him and return to England just in time to prevent the coronation of his shifty brother Prince John.
Création: 9/11/1983 - Old Vic (Londres) - représ.