ONE of Britain’s most famous lyricists and authors has written a letter of encouragement to a Penarth dramatic society.

Sir Tim Rice sent a letter to Penarth Operatic and Dramatic Society (PODS) commending them for the choice of their latest production Chess.

Sir Tim is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cricket, and more.

In his letter to Pods, he said while Chess was a complex piece he was pleased PODS was taking on the challenge.

“I am delighted to hear that Penarth Operatic and Dramatic Society are presenting a production of Chess,” Sir Tim wrote.

Chess is a complex musical, but one of my favourites and I think there are enough great songs to keep audiences happy even if they don’t get every nuance of the story – which, as the story’s creator, I am convinced is extremely easy to understand!

“Good luck to one and all whether on stage, backstage, under the stage, above the stage or working in remote parts of the theatre. With very best wishes and thanks. – Tim Rice.”

Telling a story of East/West political intrigue and set against the background of the Cold War in the late 1970’s and early 80’s, Chess is about two chess masters who travel from Italy to Bangkok as they play out their moves and battle for the world championship amongst a love intrigue.

Penarth Times:

Sir Tim Rice sent a letter of supprt to Pods: Photo, Helen Maybanks

Penarth Times:

Nigel Crick, who played pirate Billy Bones in PODS' production of Treasure Island, plays The Arbiter in Chess

Fiona Porter-Smith, director of Chess, said it was a welcome surprise when the letter arrived.

“I am so touched to receive a good luck message from Sir Tim Rice,” said Ms Porter-Smith.

“The lyrics of Chess are phenomenal and it’s quite humbling that he would take time out of his day to send us such a thoughtful note.

“I was really fortunate to play the role of Svetlana in Chess when it was performed in Penarth 21 years ago so I jumped at the chance to direct it for PODS this year.

“To say that I can’t wait to bringing it to the stage in May is an understatement – it’s the most amazing show.”

Chess is on at the Paget Rooms in Penarth from 17th to 20th May and tickets can be booked at