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Remembering when Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice created a special musical for the Queen's birthday

Cricket on stage!

The Queen
© Joel Rouse/ Ministry of Defence, OGL 3 <http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Queen is turning 95 today, which means that we're the most excited we've been about those two numbers since we met Dolly Parton in the West End.

It's no secret that the Queen loves the stage – she seems to have done more press ops with Joey, the horse from War Horse, than she has with some of her own children. There's a well-known tale of when she was sneaked into an auditorium to watch the award-winning puppetry war piece without audiences knowing who was in their midst.

The occasion that perhaps proves this the most is when Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice created Cricket, a specially commissioned mini-musical that was performed at Windsor Castle after the pair were approached by Prince Edward.

About, as you might expect, cricket, the piece was played to the Queen in 1986 (with two subsequent follow-up private viewings later that year) before being shelved (it actually marked the final time Rice and Lloyd Webber worked together, for the time being) and left to gather dust.

It was directed by none other than the rather iconic Trevor Nunn, with a cast led by Ian Charleson, Sarah Payne, and John Savident (as well as a small cameo from Prince Edward himself).

We aren't sure what the Queen made of Cricket, but we expect it'll be more positive than her response to the new Diana musical, set to open on Broadway in December.

What's funny about Cricket is that anyone who saw it would have had an early look at what would end up being some of Lloyd Webber's most iconic numbers: five of the tunes from the half-hour piece would later be re-spun into Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love, while the finale number, "One Hot Afternoon", eventually became "As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Sunset Boulevard.

As to why there's never been a public revival of Cricket? We're stumped.

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