Hobbits set for stage
March 15, 2004
As if winning 11 Oscars was not enough, fantasy epic Lord of the Rings is to cement its stranglehold on popular culture by being turned into a lavish stage musical.
Producers are planning to turn the book series into the most expensive musical ever seen in London.
The $20 million production will see dozens of actors portray hobbits, elves, wizards and orcs in complex battle scenes.
“I have been in theatre for 25 years and I know the power of theatre in telling epic stories,” said co-producer Kevin Wallace, a former collaborator of successful stage composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
“I believe we will be able to make a version of The Lord of the Rings that will be a brilliant piece,” he said.
The show, to open next year, would last a mammoth 3 1/2 hours, he said. “If Shakespeare can put all England on stage in Henry IV, I am confident that we can put on the whole of Middle Earth and tell the story of the entire trilogy over that time,” he said.
The three books in the series, chronicling the struggle between good and evil in Middle Earth, were written by British author J.R.R. Tolkien and published in 1954-55. They have proved enduringly popular ever since.
New Zealand director Peter Jackson adapted the books for a trio of vastly successful films, the last of which, The Return of the King, won all 11 Oscars for which it was nominated.