Interview - A Theatre Life

A Theatre Life: Interview with Sir Tim Rice

In “A Theatre Life” we ask some of the most important and influential people within the London theatre business to reflect on their life and work.

Sir Tim Rice

Sir Tim Rice
Sir Tim Rice

Sir Tim Rice is arguably (and if you are talking to us then definitely) the world’s greatest living lyricist. His writing partnership with Andrew Lloyd Webber is the stuff of musical theatre legend and resulted in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, three of the most popular and successful shows of all time. Tim has also worked with composers including Elton John and Alan Menken on the lyrics for a number of Disney animated movies including The Lion King and Aladdin, and ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson on the musical Chess. Next week sees previews start for his major new musical From Here To Eternity at the Shaftesbury Theatre, his first totally new show for 13 years.

What was your earliest ambition?
To swim the channel. Not achieved to date.

How do you spend the first hour of your day?
Worrying about the next 12.

How physically fit are you?
Average for my advanced years.

Are you political?
On certain topics.

What’s your biggest extravagance?
Hardback books; first class travel.

Personal wealth or reputation? Which is more important?
Reputation (by miles).

What is your most treasured possession?
Parents’ wartime diaries.

Is London the world’s greatest location for theatre?
Equal first with New York.

In what place are you happiest?
Cover point or mid wicket.

Who do you most admire? Actors or theatre practitioners?
Don’t really know what theatre practitioners are.

What ambitions do you still have? What drives you on?
Survival. Survival.

What is the single greatest achievement in your life so far?
2 daughters and a son.

If your 18 year old self could see you now, what would they say?
You look like my dad.

How would you like to bow out of your career?

Does theatre really matter?

Which London theatre holds the strongest memories for you?
Prince Edward.

* * * * * * * * *

From Here to Eternity starts previews at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London from 30 September 2013. Based on the novel by James Jones, the musical unites the writing talents of Tim Rice (lyrics), Stuart Brayson (music) and Bill Oakes (book), and is directed by Tamara Harvey, designed by Soutra Gilmour and choreographed by Javier De Frutos. The show features a cast that includes Robert Lonsdale, Darius Campbell, Ryan Sampson, Siubhan Harrison and Rebecca Thornhill.


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