A PLAY which was voted into the Top 10 of a recent Radio 2 poll of the UK’s ‘essential musicals’ is coming to South Hill Park next week.
Chess, which features the music of ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus and lyrics by Tim Rice, opened to rave reviews in the West End in 1986 and Broadway in 1988. Now, the pieces will fall into place at the Wilde Theatre at South Hill Park, thanks to the East Berkshire Operatic Society (EBOS).
The musical follows the story of a chess tournament at the International Championships where we see the principle pawns, the American Grandmaster and the Russian champion, fight it out not only for the title, but the affections of the Hungarian-American female chess second.
This love triangle plays out amongst the immense US-Soviet rivalry of the Cold War, and sees the players, lovers, politicians, CIA and KGB make their moves and struggle to get the upper-hand to the pulse of a monumental rock score.
Featuring iconic songs such as I Know Him So Well and One Night in Bangkok, Chess remains one of the most iconic musicals of the modern time.
EBOS director Margery Jackson said: “Chess has been described as having “a
buoyant, eclectic and stirring theatrical score”. It has all of these great elements plus some complex characterisations and plots that twist and turn. A demanding show indeed. However we auditioned and cast some talented and very hard working singers and actors who are all rising to the challenge.
“Our superb dancers have a variety of dances to perform all adding to the visual spectacle. The very wordy lyrics by Tim Rice have been quite a challenge for our chorus to learn but they are succeeding with enthusiasm. The set will be something like you’ve never seen before as well! Please do come along to see this magnificent show!”
Chess opens at The Wilde Theatre on Tuesday, November 1 and runs until Saturday, November 5, at 7.30pm. Tickets start at £16. For more details and to book visit www.southhillpark.org.uk or call the Box Office on 01344 484 123.