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article imageTim Rice says 'no one wants new musicals'

By Tim Sandle     Mar 1, 2014 in Entertainment
In the wake of his new musical closing early, lyricist Sir Tim Rice says the public is no longer interested in musicals based around new material.
Tim Rice's new musical - From Here to Eternity - will close unexpectedly early on March 29 after a six-month run in London's West End. In a conversation with The Times, the celebrated lyricist is pessimistic about the chances of a new musical succeeding in London or on Broadway. Rice told The Times that the public "just want old songs repackaged."
The news of Rice's project closing early comes on the heels of his former collaborator Andrew Lloyd Webber announcing that his latest project - Stephen Ward - is also closing after a very short run. The BBC said that the show, based around a sex and spies scandal, is to close after a West End run of less than four months.
But, speaking to The Daily Telegraph shortly before it launched, Lloyd-Webber had admitted he was unsure whether it would be a hit: "It's an amazing piece of work. Whether it's a commercial piece of work is another question. I haven't had a hit in 20 years. I've written six musicals in that time. I'm resigned now to the fact that anything I do probably nobody is going to like."
With regards to the From Here to Eternity project, according to a separate BBC report, Sir Tim's comments echo those he made during a musical theatre special on BBC Radio 3's Music Matters last December. Here he told presenter Tom Service that From Here to Eternity had in some respects been "rather a ghastly experience because we haven't had the numbers of audience that we'd hoped for". Rice added "I'm wondering if there's any market out there for musicals that aren't revivals, or jukebox musicals, or based on a recent hit film or something. It's difficult. There is of course the horrific possibility that our show might not be very good, but I've long since eliminated that as a possibility."
More about tim rice, andrew lloyd weber, Musicals, Broadway, West end
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