Newbury's The Watermill Theatre has announced the cast for its upcoming production of The Lord of the Rings. Presented in association with Kevin Wallace for KWL and Middle Earth Enterprises, the new production is of the 2006 stage musical. Adapted from the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, the musical will begin July 25 and run through October 15.
The immersive staging, taking place across Watermill's auditorium and gardens, will be directed by Paul Hart with design by Simon Kenny. Set on Bilbo Baggins' eleventy-first birthday when Bilbo gives Frodo a gold ring, the musical follows Frodo on the daunting and perilous task of journeying across Middle Earth to save them all from the Dark Lord Sauron. Audiences will join an ensemble cast and large-scale puppets on the story about the power of friendship and the common good.
The company for The Lord of the Rings will include Folarin Akinmade as Gimli, Matthew Bugg as Gollum, Reece Causton in the ensemble, Kelly Coughlin in the ensemble, Geraint Downing as Merry, Peter Dukes as Boromir, Amelia Gabriel as Pippin, Tom Giles as Elrond/Saruman, Charlotte Grayson as Rosie, Nuwan Hugh Perera as Sam, Bridget Lappin in the ensemble as dance captain, Georgia Louise as Galadriel, Elliot Mackenzie in the ensemble, Peter Marinker as Gandalf, Louis Maskell as Frodo, Aoife O’Dea as Arwen, John O’Mahony as Bilbo, Yazdan Qafouri as Legolas, Sioned Saunders in the ensemble as the onstage music director, and Aaron Sidwell as Aragorn.
The September 22 performance, the day of Bilbo Baggins’ fictional birthday, will kick off first with a celebration in the gardens before the show.
The musical adaptation features a book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna and Matthew Warchus. Music is by A.R. Rahman (Bombay Dreams, Slumdog Millionaire), Värttinä, and Tony winner and Grammy nominee Christopher Nightingale (Matilda the Musical).
The Lord of the Rings originally made its premiere in 2006 at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre. Conceived as a three-and-a-half-hour-long production, the three-act work was mounted with a cast of 65 actors. It subsequently transferred to the West End transfer the following year, and then closed in 2008 as one of the biggest commercial failures in West End history at the time. A revival was announced in 2015 for a world tour which ultimately never materialized.