Sir Tim Rice has said he hopes a free online showing of Jesus Christ Superstar will be a “small contribution” to providing people with some entertainment during the lockdown.

The production is just one of the many he wrote in his collaborations over the years with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

It will be available online for 48 hours as part of a series titled The Shows Must Go On!, featuring a selection of Lord Lloyd-Webber’s musicals being shown for free during the coronavirus lockdown.

Sir Tim told the PA news agency: “I imagine they will go down pretty well. People need entertainment even if they are locked away. If this is a small contribution, I am very glad”.

It is the second musical to be shown, following the series launch last week with Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Sir Tim added: “Sometimes I feel like watching something that is pretty low brow and very occasionally you think, ‘I might have a go at something a bit more testing’.

“I think in times like this you want something that reminds you of better times and gives you encouragement for times that might come along that will be better as well. One just has to muddle on through”.

A scene from Jesus Christ Superstar starring Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm (©Tristram Kenton)

The lyricist and author said he will be spending the long weekend walking his dog, watching “quite a lot a of television, and trying to catch up with a few books and things”.

He added: “It’s funny, I have found that having nothing in the diary, you don’t quite do as much as you think you would. I think there is something about being under pressure and deadlines that makes you do more work.”

The version of rock musical Jesus Chris Superstar being shown is the 2012 UK arena production starring Tim Minchin, Ben Forster, Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm and Chris Moyles.

Talking about the legacy of the production, Sir Tim said: “We wrote it half a century ago… We were very much writing an overall piece, which seemed to work. We didn’t know it would work until it actually came out.

“Obviously, we were comparative new boys in the recording studio. We were amazed by the almost overnight success it had in America.

“It’s hard to say. I thought Andrew’s score was brilliant and I enjoyed telling the story from Judas’ point of view. That was 50 years ago and that’s still true.”

The First Night Of Evita – the Adelphi Theatre
Lord Lloyd-Webber, left, and Sir Tim Rice have produced some of the best loved theatre productions on the West End and Broadway (Ian West/PA)

Sir Tim and Lord Lloyd-Webber’s partnership has seen them earn the coveted Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (EGOT) status, meaning they are among a select few to win all four prestigious awards.

On their partnership, he said: “I just think we were two young guys who turned out to have a lot of good fortune. I don’t think there was any thread we were trying to get across in general. But I think the shows we wrote each had messages in there, some of which we intended and some of which we didn’t.

“There have been so many interpretations of Evita, Superstar and Joseph over the years. With Evita we were accused tenuously of being too nice to Eva (Peron) and also too nasty, which made me think we might have got it about right.

“Sometimes I look back on a song and think, ‘Well, maybe I wouldn’t have said it quite that way now’. But by and large I am quite happy with what we did. I would have kept 90% of it.

“The changes, I think, would have been because I thought certain rhymes or certain phrases weren’t quite good enough. I think the overall telling of the story is the most important thing. All we were trying to do was tell good stories in ways that would make people think about the stories”.

Each musical being shown is available for free from 7pm on the day of release for 48 hours, and further shows will be announced.

Fans who wish to make a charitable donation will find a variety of suggested organisations listed on the full-length YouTube channel videos, including Acting for Others, Broadway Cares and Actors Benevolent Fund.

Jesus Christ Superstar will be shown tonight at 7pm on