Andrew Lloyd Webber’s company The Really Useful Group (RUG) and National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) this week held a launch at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, to make The Likes Of Us available to the amateur stage.

The Likes of Us has only been performed twice to date, and with the approval of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber it is being made available to NODA members of the UK amateur market prior to a professional release.

The Likes Of Us was Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webbers first collaboration, written shortly after they met in 1965. It tells the story of Dr Thomas Barnardo, whose crusade to rescue children living on the streets became world-renowned. For the amateur productions, RUG will license the performance rights at 11% of gross box office receipts and will donate a portion of its own share of receipts to Barnardos until the end of 2010.

Speaking of the launch, Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “I am absolutely thrilled that NODA is working with the Really Useful Group on The Likes of Us.  It’s the first show that Tim Rice and I wrote together over 40 years ago. It never made the West End stage and received its world premiere just three years ago at the Sydmonton Festival where Tim himself played the Auctioneer.”

Eric Smart, Chairman of Trustees for NODA, said at the event: “Andrew Lloyd Webber is our Patron, and we are most grateful to him and Tim Rice for agreeing to release The Likes of Us to the amateur sector before a professional release. That in itself is truly unique and this innovation deserves to be widely recognised.”

To celebrate the launch, the youth section of Ilford Operatic and Dramatic Society performed excerpts from The Likes of Us. View video footage from their performance of ‘Another Cup Of Tea.’

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