THE LORD OF THE RINGS, the first major stage adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkiens classic trilogy, will receive its British and European Premiere when it opens in London this Summer. THE LORD OF THE RINGS will open in the West End at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Tuesday 19 June, following previews from 9 May. This follows the 70th anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien starting to write the trilogy and the 50th anniversary of the publication of the complete trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
Malcolm Storry, best known for his many seasons at the RSC and who recently starred in The Royal Hunt of the Sun at the National Theatre, will play Gandalf. James Loye will recreate the role of Frodo Baggins, which he played in Toronto last year. Laura Michelle Kelly, who won an Olivier Award for originating the title role in Mary Poppins in London, will play Galadriel. Michael Therriault will play Gollum, the role he originated in Toronto, winning the Dora Award for Best Actor. Peter Howe will recreate his role as Sam, for which he received a Dora Award nomination. Jerome Pradon, who has starred in many West End musicals including Les Misérables and Martin Guerre, will play Aragorn. Brian Protheroe, who will play Saruman has successfully managed to combine both acting and music careers, having released a number of pop records in the 1970s and having starred in many West End productions including Leave Him to Heaven and Pump Boys and Dinettes. Richard Henders, who has recently starred in Caroline or Change at the National Theatre and received an Olivier Award nomination for the Donmars production of Pacific Overtures, will play Merry. Owen Sharpe will recreate the role of Pippin, which he played in Toronto last year. Michael Rouse, recently seen starring in The Boyfriend at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre, will play Legolas. Sévan Stephan, who created the role of Big Jule in the production of Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre, will play Gimli. Steven Miller, recently seen in Fiddler on the Roof at the Sheffield Crucible, will play Boromir. Rosalie Craig, seen in the recent BBC productions of My Family and other Animals and Casanova, will play Arwen.
Andrew Jarvis will play Elrond, Terence Frisch Bilbo, Tim Morgan Théoden and Kirsty Malpass Rosie. The cast of fifty also includes Alexandra Bonnet, Greg Bradley, James Byng, Darren Carnall, Lee Clayden, Jennie Dale, Claire Doyle, Stephen Emery, Ben Evans, Josh Feldshuh, Alma Ferovic, Wayne Fitzsimmons, Chris Gage, David Grant, Shaun Henson, Michael Hobbs, Christopher D. Hunt, Luke Johnson, Corrie Mac, Stuart Neal, Scott Owen, Tim Parker, Richard Roe, Andrew Rothwell, Adam Salter, Robbie Scotcher, Nick Searle, Stevie Tate-Bauer, Jon Tsouras, Gavin Wilkinson, Glenn Wilkinson, Sam Wilmot and Kirk Zammit.
The production has book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna & Matthew Warchus and music by A.R. Rahman & Värttinä with Christopher Nightingale. The show will be directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Peter Darling and set and costume design by Rob Howell.
The show will have lighting by Paul Pyant, sound design by Simon Baker for Autograph, moving image direction by The Gray Circle, literary consultancy by Laurie Battle, special effects design by Gregory Meeh, illusions and magic effects by Paul Kieve, circus skills by Alex Frith and musical direction by Richard Brown.
Director Matthew Warchus says of the production, We have not attempted to pull the novel towards the standard conventions of Musical Theatre, but rather to expand those conventions so that they will accommodate Tolkiens material. As a result, we will be presenting a hybrid of Text, Physical Theatre, Music and Spectacle never previously seen on this scale. To read the novel is to experience the events of Middle-earth in the minds eye; only in the theatre are we actually plunged into the events as they happen. The environment surrounds us. We participate. We are in Middle-earth.
The Kevin Wallace Limited production of THE LORD OF THE RINGS will be presented in London by Kevin Wallace and Saul Zaentz.
Performance times at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for THE LORD OF THE RINGS, which runs at 3 hours including interval, will be Mondays at 7.00pm and Tuesdays-Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.00pm. Tickets, priced from £15.00 – £60.00, are available from the Theatre Royal Drury Lane Box Office on 0870 890 6002.
Full rehearsals begin on Monday 5 February.