To coincide with the premiere of the latest production of CHESS at London’s Union Theatre, Sir Tim Rice spoke to icethesite and answered a few questions about his thoughts on the musical’s past, present and future:
Q. If you were to start over again with CHESS, knowing what you know now, how might it differ?
A. “If I were re-launching CHESS today I would give the show a different title. I wouldn’t make such major changes from the original album for the stage production and I would never let other writers into the project.”
Q. Is CHESS at the Union Theatre in London likely to be transferred to the West End?
A. “Although I have not yet seen the Union Theatre’s staging, I believe it to be a very intimate version and I have no expectation that this production will transfer to the West End.”
Q. CHESS has had many theatrical incarnations since it first premiered in 1986, each seemingly more “definitive” than the last. Where will they end?
A. “I have no idea, but I wish they would!”
Q. In the 80s, us long-time CHESS fans were used to hearing rumours about CHESS – The Musical – The Movie! In reality, how realistic a possibility was this?
A. “I would love to see CHESS made into a movie. It would be much easier for audiences to follow the plot as they would be able to hear the words. We would then at last have one unchangeable version! After the success of Les Miserables as a film I think there may be a renewed interest in CHESS as a movie. We have had a few approaches over the years but nothing has yet materialised.”
Thanks to Sir Tim for his time and here are some images from CHESS at the tiny Union Theatre in London:
- West End Frame review of Union Theatre’s CHESS
- Front Row Dress review of Union Theatre’s CHESS
- Union Theatre Website
- Follow @ChessReturns on Twitter
- Read more about CHESS on icethesite