was the first musical Tim Rice wrote with a composer other than Andrew Lloyd Webber. The music for
'Blondel' was instead provided by opera composer
Stephen Oliver, who penned a lively score that was not at all operatic.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 multi-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 brother Prince John.
'Blondel' starred Paul Nicholas in the title role alongside Sharon Lee-Hill as Fiona,
Stephan Tate as Richard, David Burt as John, Chris Langham
as the Assassin and vocal quartet Cantabile as the Monks. The show opened at the Theatre Royal Bath on September 12th 1983 followed by a two week run at Manchester's Palace Theatre before opening the newly refurbished
Old Vic on November 2nd. 'Blondel' subsequently transferred to the West End's
Aldwych Theatre opening on January 21st 1984, running for 278 performances.
The complete original London cast album of
'Blondel', originally issued as a 2LP set, now makes a welcome return to CD having been out of print for nearly 20 years. The album, produced by its creators Tim Rice and Stephen Oliver, represents the complete production including the songs
'Running Back For More', 'The Least Of My Troubles', 'I'm A Monarchist' and
'No Rhyme For Richard'.
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DATE: MAY 26th, 2017