An unforgettable visit from triple-Oscar-winning lyricist

Sir Tim Rice at Christ's Hospital. Picture by Toby Phillips.

Sir Tim Rice at Christ's Hospital. Picture by Toby Phillips.

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On Thursday November 26, Christ’s Hospital Theatre was the unlikely venue for a visit from a legend of British song writing, Sir Tim Rice. Sir Tim, who along with Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, has written hit musicals including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita, came to speak to pupils at the School on the surprising topic of ‘The Importance of Failure’.

The triple-Oscar-winning lyricist gave the audience a fascinating, self-deprecatory, and humorous account of his career and of how the pathway to success is anything but a smooth one.

During his talk, CH pupils sung some of his favourite songs live, including ‘I Don’t Know How To Love Him’, sung by Charlotte Willcock, ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’, by Mattie Slade, and ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall’, by 13 year-old Phoebe Weir.

Phoebe said: “I was privileged enough to perform during the talk. I was super nervous because on top of singing to all the senior pupils, I was singing to the man who wrote the song I was performing.

“After the talk which was so interesting and funny, I was introduced to Sir Tim Rice, which was so incredibly amazing because I’m such a huge fan of his work and to meet him and have him compliment my singing was a dream come true.”

Sixth Former Georgia Koronka, a member of the senior choir, said: “I was apprehensive when he introduced my song, ‘Any Dream Will Do’ as his favourite from ‘Joseph and the Techni-coloured Dream-coat’ - it’s a very famous, lovely moment in the production. I was lucky to have my song made complete by backing vocals from fellow pupil, Joseph Bryant.”

Sir Tim stayed on afterwards to answer individual questions, sign autographs, and pose for the inevitable selfies. He may well have heard stories about the School from his father, Hugh Rice, who was educated at Christ’s Hospital in the 1920s.

Overall, it was a wonderful and unforgettable evening and the members of the audience went away with both the glow from a great night of musical entertainment and food for thought from what had been said.

This was the final lecture in an inspirational season of visiting speakers for the CH pupils with topics including ‘The View from No. 11’ by Lord Lawson; Caroline Criado-Perez ‘Why Feminism Matters’; Dr Lars Kjaer’s History lecture ‘Why the Middle Ages matter’ and Erwin Jones ‘A Life Inside’.

Report contributed by Christ’s Hospital. Picture by Toby Phillips.