Saying the right thing

Stars in their eyes: the production team and actors were stunned to hear Elton John and Tim Rice wished them well.
Stars in their eyes: the production team and actors were stunned to hear Elton John and Tim Rice wished them well.

MOVIE studio MGM once boasted it had “more stars than there are in heaven”.

But for one enterprising southside acting troupe two will do, thank you very much.



Theatre South Productions is putting on a production of musical hit Aida — penned by Elton John and Tim Rice.

It is the first time the musical has been performed in the west of Scotland, and only the second time in Scotland as a whole.

And so impressed was Tim Rice, that the composer penned a letter to the theatre group congratulating them and wishing them the best of luck from himself and Elton.

Tim states in the letter concedes that, although wildly popular in the States, the musical hadn’t done so well in his native homeland.

He says: “it is extremely gratifying to now that progressive theatre groups such as Theatre South are giving it a go”.

Director Gerry McLaughlin told The Extra the acknowledgement from the noted composer would push the cast to ensure the premier was “a stormer”.

He said: “We’re all a little star struck.

“We were already really excited to be performing such an important premier.

“But to have the backing of musical collosi like Tim Rice and Elton John is such a boost.

“We were always going to set the bar high for Aida, but now it’ll be stratospheric”.

The musical, which won four Tony awards when it played on Broadway, tells the story of a man and woman who see each other in a museum and are magically whisked away to ancient Egypt.

The man assumes the character of Radames, captain of the Egyptian army, while the woman becomes Aid, princess of Nubia.

The two fall in love, but the path to true love is marred by the couple being sworn enemies.

Musical director Alan Fraser said: “I am thrilled and delighted to hear from Tim Rice.

“As one of the giants of British music theatre since the late 1960s, he has been involved in some of the greatest shows ever written — Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and Chess among many others”.

Aida is reviewed in our entertainment section.