Review: Lord Of The Rings

Posted by Matt Bourne on 05:05 with No comments
Lord Of The Rings

Lord of the Rings a very intresting proposition to take to the stage.  The story for those who haven't read the book or seen the Peter Jackson film's is about a young Hobbit, Frodo Baggins and his journey to destroy the 'One Ring' to stop darkness taking over the land of Middle Earth.  This is quite possibly a near impossible task to translate to the stage.  The story is very long so here it is condensed into 3 hours with a couple of breaks.  If you are not aware of the story though you could be in trouble (As the group of ladies behind me were) as you will end up completely baffled by about half way through the first half.

Due to the amount of story they need to get in the staory moves along at a brisque sometimes confusing pace as certain elements of the story are merged into one, or in some cases not there at all (Riders of Rohan).  You kind of get the feel that you are at times watching a very eloborate Pantomime, with all the audience interaction (One lady a few seats over from where I was sitting may never be the same after her up close and personal 'interaction' with one of the Orcs!) .  The music is incidental in this production (Although at one point I thought that Clannad might be appearing live on stage with the style of the music) as it's all about the staging.  My what an amazing spectacle this is!  Dissapearing Hobbits, Gollum crawling down the Safety curtain, the Balrog, Shelob the Spider I could go on.  The lighting effects, moving stage are supremely awesome.  You will not see anything like this anywhere else in the West End  currently for sure.

Finally, the cast.  Apparantly all hobbits are from the West Country... Boromir is Braveheart in disguise and Gandalf is just plain angry all the time.  The problem with all this seems to be is that they have spent all their time on the staging of this production they kind of forgot the key characters.  Gladriel (Laura Michelle Kelly) is awesome though.  Such a powerful voice which really saves the musical side of this production.  This may not please the Tolkien fans and certainly won't keep musical theatre fans happy.  It is an amazing experience that you should see to just enjoy some escape into the troubled  world of Middle Earth.

Matt Bourne