First Glimpse of…Blondel, Union Theatre

Production images for the revival of Tim Rice’s musical have been released ahead of it opening at the Union Theatre. 

BLOBNDEL The Assassin played by Michael Burgen and Blondel played by Connor Arnold. Photo by Scott Rylander
Michael Burgen and Connor Arnold. (c) Scott Rylander. 

When King Richard announces that he’s off on a Middle East Crusade to give Saladin a piece of his mind (and sword), the struggling court musician Blondel is forced to stay behind to write songs in praise of the King’s evil – and ambitious – brother, Prince John. Worse still, Blondel is separated from his sweetheart Fiona, who has been press-ganged into the King’s of cial crusade dry cleaning dept. However when Richard is captured by the murky – and rather cunning – Duke of Austria (just before the interval), Blondel decides to embark upon a pan- European adventure to save his King, Fiona, and England. An irritable assassin, a proto-Robin-Hood and a quartet of monks all aid and/or hinder Blondel’s efforts to write himself both a place in history and love song to dedicate to Fiona.

BLONDEL Blondel played by Connor Arnold Photo by Scott Rylander.jpg
Connor Arnold (c) Scott Rylander. 

This London premiere of Tim Rice’s musical is directed by Sasha Regan and features a book by Tom Williams and Tim Rice.

As well as lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Stephen Oliver, Blondel features choreography by Chris Whittaker, designs by Ryan Dawson and lighting by Iain Dennis.

BLONDEL King Richard played by Neil Moors and Prince John played by James Thackeray. Photo by Scott Rylander.jpg
Neil Moors and James Thackeray. (c) Scott Rylander.

The cast for the production is led by Connor Arnold who plays the title role. He performs alongside Courtney Bowman, Michael Burgen, Lauren Byrne, David Fearn, Ryan Hall, Oliver Marshall, Jessie May, Katie Meller, Calum Melville, Neil Moors, Craig Nash, Michaela Stern, James Thackeray and  Jay Worthy.

Talking about the new production, Tim Rice said: “I’m delighted Blondel is returning to the stage. It was one of the most enjoyable projects of my career, and I’ve always felt Stephen Oliver’s wonderful music deserved a larger audience than it reached back in 1983 when the show first ran. I hope this new production at the terrific Union Theatre will please old fans and find some new ones.”

(c) Scott Rylander. 

Blondel originally premiered in the West End starring Paul Nicholas in 1983 and was the first musical that Tim Rice wrote with a composer other than Andrew Lloyd Webber, following hits with Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.

This production is produced by Aaron Rogers & Sasha Regan for Union Theatre and  Donald Rice for Heartaches Limited.

Blondel plays at the Union Theatre until the 15th July. For more information visit: . 

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