I think it can be agreed that Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice were one of the most well known and iconic show writing duos in London’s West End. Between them they’ve written and composed some of the most well known and award winning shows ever to hit the West End, both becoming household names to anyone who enjoys musicals. They both currently have four shows each playing in the West End at present – Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita were written by them both, Phantom of the Opera and School of Rock by Webber and Aladdin and The Lion King by Rice.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has composed thirteen musicals altogether and has received seven Tony awards, three Grammys, one Academy Award, seven Olivier Awards, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Knighthood (to name a few). Tim Rice is the lyricist, collaborating with Lloyd Webber in writing shows such as Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, as well as writing the lyrics for Chess with Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA fame. He himself has also been awarded a Knighthood, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters.
This week saw the return of Jesus Christ Superstar to Regents Park Open Air Theatre, the show which last year won critical acclaim. The re-opening of this iconic show highlights the true popularity of the power-writing pair, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It is one of their most successful musicals and marks the fourth show currently running in London for each of them.
They also collaborated on Evita which recently completed its UK tour and re-opened at the Phoenix theatre at the start of this month. It stars Emma Hatton (Wicked, We Will Rock You, Dreamboats and Petticoats) as Eva Peron, Argentina’s First Lady and has already received critical acclaim.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s newest show School of Rock opened in the West End last year and has been wowing audiences nightly with some of the most amazing children in the West End. Based on the hit movie, the music was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater and book by award winning Julian Fellows (who has also written several other hit shows, such as Half A Sixpence and The Wind in the Willows, both currently also on the West End). School of Rock received the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music in the 2017 Olivier Awards and features three children’s bands who share the roles and ‘kick some class’ eight times a week.
Another hit show for Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of London’s longest running shows Phantom of the Opera. Currently in its 31st year in London’s Her Majesty’s Theatre this is one of the most popular shows in London and tells the story of a ‘phantom’ who terrorises performers in a Parisian Opera in order to bring his leading lady to fame.
Tim Rice has equally taken over the theatre world, collaborating with Alan Menken in writing the lyrics for Disney’s Aladdin which opened in the West End last year and has recently won two What’s-on-Stage awards and a Mousetrap award.
Also written by Tim Rice and currently in its 17th year in London, is The Lion King. This Disney musical tells the story of Simba the Lion cub as he meets new friends and learns how to become King of the Jungle. Playing in the Lyceum Theatre this show is a burst of colour and music, and highlights the true success of Tim Rice’s writing.
It seems this iconic duo really are continuing to take the West End by storm, let us at MTAS know your favourite Rice, Webber or Rice and Webber shows at @MTASOfficial.
Written by Lauren Philpott (@lphilpott1)