Lyricist Tim Rice has written the script for a new musical based on the life of 16th-century Italian politician and philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, best remembered for his posthumously published treatise The Prince. Rice is now searching for a composer to set his words to music. He’s already ruled out Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he collaborated on his best-known musicals, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Evita.

In an interview with The Stage, Rice said: “I have just written a script for a new show based on the life of Machiavelli, which I hope will work. I have not decided who will do the music yet, but it won’t be Andrew.” Lloyd Webber, said Rice, was too busy with his Phantom of the Opera sequel.

It’s from Machiavelli’s philosophy, as detailed in The Prince, that “the end justifies the means” in obtaining and maintaining power, thereby excusing cruelty and deceit, that the word “Machiavellian” derives.