May. 23rd, 2007

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I thought trying to put on Lord of The Rings in 3 hours was a little ambitious, and the fact that it was a musical made me suspicious, but I actually rather enjoyed last night's visit to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

The first half, in particular, from Bilbo's party to Lothlorien, was generally good. Then, they excised Rohan completely and missed out nearly the whole of the Two Towers, which turned the second half into almost complete nonsense from a plot point of view.

The battles were largely disappointing, and I found the hobbits' padded butt cracks rather disturbing, while Legolas' exaggerated arm movements whenever he spoke were utterly ridiculous and the presentation of the Ents (men on stilts wearing brown coats and hats) left a great deal to be desired.

However, Urukhai on pogo sticks, the gorgeously over the top Lothlorien circus number, and the fantastic merging of lighting and moving parts of the stage more than made up for its shortcomings. A tremendous amount of atmosphere was created with very clever special effects. Most of the cast performed with energy and reasonable emotive skill, and Boromir won the Sexiest Cast Member Award for his lovely hair and accent.

Overall, though, it just made me want to watch the films again.

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