Tim Rice musical set for West End

Sir Tim Rice Sir Tim is reportedly keen to write a musical about the life of Machiavelli

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Sir Tim Rice's first show in 10 years will open in the West End next year.

An adaptation of the 1951 novel - and hit film - From Here to Eternity, the musical will play at the Shaftesbury Theatre from September 2013.

Written in conjunction with composer Stuart Brayson, it follows the love affairs of US soldiers stationed in Hawaii in the run up to Pearl Harbour.

The lyricist remains best known for his partnership with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber on shows such as Evita.

The pair also co-wrote Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Speaking about the forthcoming production earlier this year, Sir Tim told the Telegraph: "This is great - two love stories unfolding with the threat of war hovering, in the wonderful setting of Hawaii, which is part incredibly beautiful and glamorous, and part very basic and stark with the barracks, and these guys cooped up and occasionally delving into the fleshpots of Honolulu."

Homosexual references

In 1953, James Jones' novel was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr.

The musical will be directed by Tamara Harvey who previously worked at London's Bush Theatre, and recently directed a national tour of Educating Rita.

In a recent interview, Sir Tim, who is the recipient of three Oscars for Evita, The Lion King and Aladdin, said the musical adaptation would include references to homosexuality from the original novel. The references were removed from the award-winning film and subsequent mini-series.

"It's quite a serious, grown-up show, but there's plenty of humour," said Sir Tim, who picked up an Olivier award for his "outstanding contribution to musical theatre" in April this year.

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