Rumour alert: CHESS musical to tour the UK?

Pure speculation at this point (I must stress!), is the suggestion that theatrical producer Bill Kenwright has been in discussions with Tim Rice and is interested in taking CHESS for a national tour of the UK next year.

Kenwright is best known for the long-running West End hit Blood Brothers and touring productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy, Whistle Down The Wind and Tell Me On A Sunday.

Watch this space…

18 Replies to “Rumour alert: CHESS musical to tour the UK?”

  1. Reference is made to plans for this in the programme of the current touring production of Blood Brothers which Kenwright is backing.

    Only downside of his works are that they tend to be cricised for their poor sets.

    It would be great to see the production transfer into the west end even if it was only for a limited run.

  2. Oh If only. I caught the 1996 tour which was stunning, but closed prematurely the next night.

    Rollicking production!

  3. I saw the same tour in 1996. The set was great (a smaller version of the west end set). Only shame was it was over simplified and cut a fair bit of music out.

    Jacqui Scott was fab though as Florence!

  4. I think Tim Rice wants to take the show to end up on the west end or Broadway more then anything else. I think it will fall apart or Rice will have nothing to do with the show unless he see it could to go to the west end or Broadway. But from what Mark said I see no chance if the set/costume and the production value is poor.

  5. Here’s hoping, but we need a really strong female lead – I suffered through the RAH 2nd night and Idena ruined it for me and most people around me (with the exception of ‘Heaven help..’ she seemed to rush the phrasing and screetch the top notes). I also saw touring verion in 1996 and loved it although it did feel very ‘downsized’. Looking forward to more news. Don’t know much about Bill other than he seems to be successful at touring productions – even making Whistle a success after its West End flop (ring a bell anyone?.

  6. WOW

    What news!

    Please – I have converted SO many people over the last 20 years to CHESS – and need it to tour . . .

    But PLEASE don’t downsize it – or dumb it down – especially the score . . .

  7. I don’t know whether this has already been mentioned, but there’s a production of Chess at the Oxford Playhouse in November. As for Bill Kenwright, my heart does rather sink as he’s usually known for slightly cheap productions that don’t really do justice to the originals.

  8. The production at Oxford is 24th-29th November. According to the playhouse website it is "Chess as you have never seen it before"……

    I got tickets, could be interesting!

  9. Chess is my favourite musical but as I was too young at the previous tour…I always hope that it will tour!!! Fingers crossed! 🙂

  10. I hope Chess does tour, we used the song One Night In Bangkok a few years ago in the Warrington Gang Show and since finding out it come from this musical have always wanted to go and see it. I hope it comes to the Empire in Liverpool, or even Warrington’s Parr Hall.

  11. I am in a wheelchair, and have been or am goinng to many many musicals. I would to see Chess in London west end. thanks

  12. I am in wheelchair ang go to see london musicals very very often. i would love to see Chess in London west end theatre. thanks

  13. Production of Chess in Exmouth, Devon,runs May 27th to 30th at Exmouth Pavilion by Exmouth Musical theatre Company,all fans of this great musical please come and show your support.

  14. The production at the King’s theatre in glasgow was a success and well recieved.
    As to the kenwright idea of a tour – i agree that bill kenwright’s productions, on the whole, do tend to be seen as ‘cheap’. the only exception recently was his production of ‘cabaret’. but even then the string section was replaced by a synth which jarred with the rest of the production.
    whoever decides to produce chess needs to produce it with due care and give it the production values it deserves- be that in the music department or production design. and it also deserves the best cast it can get.
    enough of my rant now…!

  15. To be fair, Bill has spent money on shows like Evita. And string sections in pits are pretty much a thing of the past. Other than double bass, I can’t think of any touring pits that have live strings.

  16. My husband so dearly wanted to see CHESS when on tour many years ago when we were in college. We decided to take a road trip and drove from Wisconsin to Huntville, Alabama. This was my first musical. We both thought it was well worth the trip! Stunning! I would love to surprise him with tickets to see it again! I think it would bring him to tears! I so hope the rumor is true!

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