The original London cast recording of Tim Rice and Stephen Oliver’s musical Blondel will be released on CD next month nearly 20 years after the double LP version went out of print.
Rice’s first musical outside of his partnership with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Blondel follows the fortunes of an ambitious minstrel in the court of King Richard The Lionheart.
Starring Paul Nicholas in the title role, the original London cast included Sharon Lee Hill, Stephan Tate, David Burt, Chris Langham and vocal quartet Cantabile.
Produced by lyricist Rice and his opera composer writing partner, Oliver, the double CD will be released by Stage Door Records on 26 May.
Ahead of the recording’s reissue, Rice commented: “More than 30 years after its creation, I still enjoy listening to Stephen Oliver’s marvellous score for Blondel, which was this great classical composer’s one foray into commercial musical theatre (perhaps ‘commercial’ is the wrong word as Blondel’s first staging only ran for a year in London).
“However, there have been quite a few further productions around the world since 1983, primarily amateur and school versions, and there are ambitious plans for a relaunch of Blondel in 2017-18. While waiting for this to happen I hope this re-release of the original West End cast recording will stir a few memories and/or help to create fresh interest in the show.”
Blondel opened at the Theatre Royal Bath in September 1983 and, following a two-week run at Manchester’s Palace Theatre, the show opened the newly refurbished Old Vic in November 1983. The production transferred to the Aldwych Theatre in January 1984 where it ran for 278 performances.