LONDON — Saruman, that grizzled old necromancer, is caught in a spotlight, sounding a battle cry to his army of orcs: “I have trained you and equipped you! I know your hearts beat with a single purpose!” The orcs scuttle purposefully as the martial score swells and Saruman brandishes his staff (very old-school, price unknown) while rising up, borne aloft on a nifty piece of stage technology (very new-school, price at least $1-million). The music fades, Saruman (also known as Brian Protheroe) thunks down to stage level, and the assistant choreographer comes out to have a word with her orcs. In an instant, their body language changes from rampaging chimpanzee to off-duty actor: shoulders slumped, legs splayed, chins on spears. The stage they’re on, at the historic Theatre Royal Drury Lane, is framed by creeping branches that reach out into the auditorium, partly obscuring a couple of the boxes. [More]