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.
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.Synopsis complet
Génèse du musical
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.
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.
• 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.
Liste des chansons
Monks' Introduction - The Monks
Blondel and Fiona/I'm a Monarchist - Blondel, Fiona, the Blondettes^
The Creative Process - Blondel (not in 2006 revival)
How Long Can Someone Wait - Fiona
I'm a Monarchist - Blondel, the Blondettes
Artistes Are Tragic and Sensitive Souls - Blondel, Fiona, the Blondettes
The Ministry of Feudal Affairs - Fiona, Richard, John, the Monks^
The Ministry of Feudal Affaris - The Monks
Fiona's Plea to John - Fiona, John
Richard's Intervention - Richard (not in 2006 revival)
Economic Acrostic - Fiona, Richard, John (not in 2006 revival)
Crusade Rally - Fiona, Richard, John
The Least of My Troubles - Blondel, Fiona
Lionheart - Richard, the Monks
No Rhyme for Richard - John
Trio - Blondel, Fiona, John (not in 2006 revival)
Assassin's Song - John, the Assassin
Running Back for More - Fiona, the Monks, the Blondettes
Blondel in Europe - Blondel, Fiona, the Assassin, the Monks, the Blondettes
Saladin Days/I Can't Wait to be King - Richard, John, the Monks^
Saladin Days - Richard, the Monks
I Can't Wait to be King - John
The Inn at Salzburg/Blondel's Search - Blondel, Fiona, Richard, John, the Assassin, the Monks^
The Inn at Salzburg - Blondel, Fiona, the Assassin, the Monks
Blondel's Search - Blondel, Fiona, Richard, John, the Assassin, the Monks
The Duke of Austria's Quarters - Fiona, the Assassin, the Duke, the Monks
The Cell - Blondel, Fiona, Richard, the Assassin, the Duke^
Reunion - Blondel, Fiona, Richard
Death of a Statesman - Blondel, Fiona, Richard, the Assassin, the Duke
Tribute to a Statesman - Blondel, Fiona, Richard
A Royal Pardon - Blondel, Fiona, Richard
The Wrong Train - The Assassin, the Duke
Westminster Abbey - Richard, John, the Monks^
John's Coronation - John, the Monks
Richard's Return - Richard
I'm a Monarchist (Reprise) - Blondel, the Blondettes
Running Back for More (Reprise) - Blondel, Fiona
Liste des rôles
Blondel - A monarchist and unappreciated musician waiting, rather frustratedly, for his big break.
Fiona - His girlfriend, a serf of the English court and English activist eight centuries ahead of her time.
King Richard the Lionheart - The courageous King of England.
Prince John - The power-hungry and ambitious Prince of England and heir to the throne.
The Assassin - A hired hand willing to kill anyone for the right price.
The Duke of Austria - Leopold, the ruler of Austria, and captor of King Richard.
The Monks - A group of historians who serve as narrators and commentators.
The Blondettes - Blondel's back-up singers.
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