As his School of Rock prepares for the Tony Awards, in which it is nominated as Best Musical, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is already contemplating his next musical project, a love story set in the African nation of Botswana, according to a report in The Daily Mail.
The show would be based on the romance between the real-life African prince Seretse Khama and the English woman Ruth Williams. The paper quoted Lloyd Webber as saying, “It’s such a fascinating story, and they went through the most awful times. But love ruled. And they loved music! There’s a lot to explore, musically. I want to do more research. I believe it’s a good topic for a musical.”
The Romeo-and-Juliet story tells of the couple's marriage in the face of fierce opposition, both from the royal family of the nation then known as Bechuanaland and from London society, which was scandalized by the interracial romance in a time when it was drastically less accepted than today. The high-profile romance also became tangled with politics and business in the area, which was then a British protectorate.
Lloyd Webber told the newspaper that he had been intrigued by the story when he read an obituary of Williams in 2002. A film about the romance is due this fall, under the title A United Kingdom.
No word on the timing of the stage musical or Lloyd Webber's collaborators.