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The Likes Of Us for amateurs via NODA  
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's first collaboration now released for licence.
Tim Rice with Ilford Operatic & Dramatic Society members at The Likes of Us NODA launch

The Likes of Us was the first collaboration between award-winning composers Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The relationship began when a 17-year-old Lloyd Webber received a letter from then 21-year-old Rice offering himself as a “with-it writer”. And there a winning partnership was born.

Although written in 1965, The Likes of Us has only ever been performed twice, and Rice and Lloyd Webber moved onto global hits such as Joseph, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar. However, The Likes of Us was never forgotten and now with the approval of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber it is being launched by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) and the Really Useful Group (RUG) to amateur theatre prior to its professional release and eventual appearance in the West End. Not only is this a brave and ground-breaking move, but an exciting one for anyone involved in theatre.

“A musical that has existed for 40 years hidden away from view, is coming out from the mist of time and chimneys” Really Useful Group, 2005

NODA – the real theatre

NODA is the main representative body for amateur theatre in the UK.  It has a vision that amateur theatre is successful and sustainable, providing a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills, and enjoy taking part, at all levels.

NODA has a membership of some 2,500 amateur societies representing over 200,000 participants and attracting audiences of between five and seven million every year, all enjoying musicals, operas, plays, concerts and pantomimes in a wide variety of performing venues ranging from the country’s leading professional theatres to village halls.

There is a broad spectrum of ages involved nationwide, from a burgeoning number of youth groups to adult companies, which meet the needs of all levels of both performers, whether dramatic or musical, and enthusiasts involved backstage, front of house or with administration.

“We’re delighted to be working with Rice and Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group during this very exciting venture.”

NODA aims:

•   To give a shared voice to the amateur theatre sector
•   To involve people, young and old, in theatre across the UK
•   To help amateur societies and individuals achieve the highest standards of best practice and performance
•   To provide leadership and advice to enable the amateur theatre sector to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Tony Gibbs, NODA Chief Executive said: “The Likes Of Us contains some of Webber and Rice’s most tuneful, witty and touching songs. A musical experiment by two very young song writers, The Likes of Us shows the fascinating promise of both men.”

Ground breaking theatre

West End – professional – amateur: this is the cycle of most productions, including Rice and Lloyd Webber’s most notable hits. It can often take years for such high-profile productions to leave the West End and longer still to make it on to the amateur stage.  The decision by RUG to allow The Likes of Us to mark its beginnings on the amateur stage is a real landmark for theatre.

Professional and amateur unite

The unique partnership between NODA and RUG will give amateur theatre enthusiasts unprecedented access to a musical collaboration that will provide real scope to express their creativity and a genuine opportunity to encourage more young people into amateur theatre.


NODA and RUG are delighted to be supporting one of the UK’s leading children’s charities.  As part of The Likes of Us launch, NODA and RUG are pleased to announce that Barnardo’s will receive a contribution from box office sales until the end of 2010.  It’s an exciting fundraising opportunity that will encourage societies to work with local Barnardo’s groups to raise money and encourage wider audiences.

The Likes of Us

The Likes of Us is the story of the life of Dr Thomas Barnardo, a man who was evangelical, entrepreneurial and philanthropic, and whose crusade to rescue children living on the streets became world renowned. Described as “a musical that has existed for 40 years hidden away from view” The Likes of Us is Oliver!-esque in style and is best known for the much-quoted Tim Rice lyric:  “Here I have a lovely parrot, sound in wind and limb, I can guarantee that there is nothing wrong with him”.

Further information can be obtained from The Likes of Us Media Centre:

National Operatic and Dramatic Association
NODA House, 58 – 60 Lincoln Road, Peterborough, PE1 2RZ
Tel: 0870 770 2480
Fax: 0870 770 2490

A registered charity number 254640
Patron: The Lord Lloyd Webber

Posted on: 30th June 2008

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