Sir Tim Rice has launched his first musical for 13 years, with From Here to Eternity having opened at London’s Shaftesbury Theatre earlier this week.
The Oscar-winning lyricist is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber on shows such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, while he has also worked with Elton John on the Lion King and Aida.
From Here to Eternity sees Sir Tim team up with composer Stuart Brayson, and is based on the 1951 novel of the same name by James Jones.
Starring Darius Campbell – who some audience members may remember from his stint on Pop Idol – the play tells the story of the love affairs of a number of American soldiers stationed in Pearl Harbour in the run up to the infamous Japanese attack, which led to the US’s involvement in World War II.
Jones’s book had previously been adapted into a film starring Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr, with the 1953 flick winning an Oscar.
However, Sir Tim has insisted that the musical will be somewhat more risqué than the movie had been, claiming that “some people might be mildly shocked,” the BBC reports.
“The film was wonderful but it was made in 1953 and, 67 years on, we can take different aspects of the book and look at it through 21st century eyes,” added the lyricist.
Indeed, there have been reports of some audience members walking out during previews, with some apparently being offended by scenes of nudity and some colourful language.
The play also includes a scene in a gay bar – something which Jones’s daughter has said she is delighted has been included in the show, “because my dad said this is just the way it was back then”.
The Shaftesbury Theatre can be accessed from Leicester Square, Tottenham Court Road and Covent Garden tube stations.