Tim Rice was born in 1944 in leafy Buckinghamshire. He met the future Baron Lloyd-Webber of Sydmonton when he was Andrew Lloyd Webber of South Kensington, in 1965. They became close chums in view of ALW’s plans to dominate the world of musical theatre. Tim Rice put his ambition to be a pop star on the back-burner and went along for the ride.
Their first effort The Likes of Us got nowhere, but the second, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starting life as a 20 minute school play for a few dozen reluctant parents in 1968 got everywhere. Jesus Christ Superstar was their first collaboration to bring them to international attention, in 1971, and the follow-up Evita (1978) cemented their reputation if not their partnership.
Rice’s failure to come up with an immediate idea for a fourth consecutive smash led to a gradual split, and while Andrew Lloyd Webber hit several more jackpots in the eighties, Tim Rice had a quieter time with Blondel (music by Stephen Oliver) and Chess (written with Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson). However, the latter, a cracking show, refuses to go away and several major productions are slated for Europe in 2002. A return to London and New York is the aim.
In 1990, Rice began working for the Disney Organisation and this most enjoyable collaboration put him firmly on the comeback trail, beginning with songs for the animated movies Aladdin (with Alan Menken) and The Lion King (with Elton John) leading to a Broadway blitz with The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast (with Alan Menken) and his latest effort, Aida (back with Sir Elton again).
At one point in 2000 he had four shows on Broadway at once, but no-one else noticed.
He has also written the lyrics for Heathcliff (music: John Farrar), Starmania (Michael Berger) and King David (Alan Menken) · the last named of these being his latest project.
Tim Rice has won numerous awards, but rarely for the right things. His autobiography Oh What A Circus only slightly longer than this note, is probably still available if you ask.
Tim Rice writes about cricket for the Daily Telegraph and has three children, three Oscars and a knighthood. Future plans include losing weight. Ambition: to be a pop star.