The Lord of the Rings

Matthew Warchus (Director)

Mark Haddon

"Some will prefer the slick grandiosity of Peter Jackson's films; others will sneer at the very idea of singing hobbits. It's their loss. Warchus and his team have a created a brave, stirring, epic piece of popular theatre that, without slavishly adhering to J.R.R. Tolkien's novels, embraces their spirit. The show has charm, wit, and jaw-dropping theatrical brio; crucially, it also has real emotional heft."

Sam Marlowe, The Times Online



I love the 'Lord of the Rings' film trilogy. Whilst it takes a bit of motivation to sit through one of the epics, I think they are a brilliant piece of cinematography. So, when it was announced a stage interpretation of the Tolkien was to open last year, I was surprised. The biggest question it raised in my mind was 'How have they made a two and a half hour musical out of something that was only just covered in nine hours of film?". Also, one had to wonder about how 'Lord of the Rings' and 'musical' really went together.

This opinion stayed with myself and Sam for a good long while until Sam's curiosity was finally swayed by some positive reviews from friends. I was very impressed by what I saw. The show was indeed two and half hours long and amazingly, the story was told in that time. Of course, they didn't cover the entire book - far from it in fact. However, the musical took a different tact to the film and covered a few areas that the films didn't touch on. I'm not referring to entire sections of the book, more little quotes or references to people. But none-the-less, having read the book, I did notice them.

Whilst it was a musical, the stage version was not continual singing and dancing. The concept worked very well, and especially where the hobbits were concerned, it helped add all the more to their quirky natures. The actors playing the hobbits were brilliant and often held more true to their literary counterparts than when they were portrayed in the film. Gandalf was a little over-acted, but the brilliant portrayals of Gollum and Galadriel more than made up for it. Also not be forgotten are the effects used throughout the performance. There is some wonderful wire work by Gollum, and watch out for Shelob!



Reviewed on 01/02/2008 by Angela


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