Blondel, which premiered in 1983, was the first musical Tim Rice wrote with a composer other than Andrew Lloyd Webber. The music for Blondel was instead provided by opera composer Stephen Oliver (1950-1992), who penned a lively score that was not at all operatic.
The musical follows the trials and triumphs of Blondel, an ambitious minstrel in King Richard The Lionheart's court desperately trying for a chart-topping song. Blondel and his long-suffering girlfriend Fiona undertake a mulit-nation search when King Richard is taken captive during the Crusades. They rescue him and return to England just in time to prevent the coronation of his shifty brother Prince John.
A fully sung-through musical, the show is packed with puns and witticisms. A trio of doo-wop Monks provide plot commentary between scenes. Also putting in appearances are Blondel's backing group, The Blondettes, and a hapless Assassin who does not enjoy international travel.
In 2006, Tim Rice revised the book and some lyrics for a production at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington, which starred television talent search show "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" runner up Abi Finley as Fiona.