Lord of the Rings – the Musical as a world musical product or just a British export?
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractThe stage musical adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, began in Toronto, Canada in 2006 and then transferred to London ending its run there in 2008. It is due to embark on a new world tour in 2015. Matthew Warchus, British theatre director created an extravagant, three-act stage production which received its premiere at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre in March 2007. The production designed by Rob Howell, premiered in London in May 2007 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and ended its run after 492 performances in July 2008. The musical was the first stage adaptation of the literary epic and followed the hugely successful film trilogy. A new tour, is being designed to accommodate theatres around the globe, and will launch in New Zealand in 2015 and although the countries of the tour have not been announced, there is much interest amongst Tolkien fans for its come back. The new touring version is billed as retaining the unique, thrilling and spectacular theatrical magic of the original production. The music is by Academy Award winner A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire), Värttinä and Christopher Nightingale. The lyrics and libretto are by Shaun McKenna and Matthew Warchus. The Lord of the Rings – the Musical has lighting by Paul Pyant, special effects by Greg Meeh, sound by Simon Baker and magic illusions by Paul Kieve. This article reviews the work as commercial product, revival or just colonial export of British or Canadian scenic motifs and stagings. The production began in Canada and reviews wavered between praise and defamation, between a spectacular production of sets and a celebrated new musical score. The link beneath is for the reader to get a sense of the production style and values, if you haven’t seen the musical, yet.
CitationWhite, C. (2015) 'Lord of the Rings – the Musical as a world musical product or just a British export?', Scene, 3 (1):7