Written by William R. Hartston, Tim Rice
Chess: The Making of the Musical
by William R. Hartston, Tim Rice, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson
Pavillion Books | November 1986 | ISBN-10: 1851450068 | PDF | 100 pages | 13 mb
When CHESS opened to huge acclaim at London's Prince Edward Theatre, it was the culmination of five years' work by lyricist Tim Rice and composers Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA. Here is the story of the making of that musical, from Tim Rice's first idea of a show based on the often bizarre world of championship chess, to the final frantic days leading up to the first night. Written with the full participation of the principals, this book follows the chequered history of the show, with inside information on album recordings, the concert tour and rehearsals as well as the problems, both human and technical, which posed such a threat to the whole enterprise. Complete with libretto of the main songs and numerous photographs of the production, this is a handsome pictorial record of a piece of theatre history.
Published in 1986, (for the London production of CHESS), this is a good exploration of this Abba/Tim Rice musical. The dozens of pictures and informative text follow the genesis of Tim Rice's idea, to Trevor Nunn's last-minute directorial rescue. It is a whirlwind ride from the rehearsal rooms at Cricklewood to the Prince Edward Theatre. I cannot imagine anyone who has an interest in this musical not enjoying this book. The final chapter houses a selection of the lyrics with accompanying production photographs.
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