I am so pleased i saw this show before it closed. It was truly spectacular, beautifuly designed and the music is powerful and moving. What more could one ask for in a show? - Geoff
22 Jul 08
Last weekend I went back to London (from the Netherlands) to atch, no experience the show for the second time. The first time, which was 1 year ago, the show felt overwheliming. Briljant theatre as long as you forget about the book and the film and see the "musical" as a separate entity. This time, however, I was better prepared. Since the release of the cast album I discovered just how briljant the songs are (OK, I must admit, I am a Varttina Fan). So this time it all fitted together even better. Yes, some of the cast members could have been better. Some of the leads changed copared with the first show that I saw, but did not (negatively) changed the experience. There is just 1 week left! If you can find an opportuntiy go! - Sjoerd
16 Jul 08
Fantasic second time ive seen it .amazing go see before it closes with an open mind and you will be stunned so sad its going - Richard Howard
25 Apr 08
I loved it. I would say something in Elvish, but I'm sadly rusty. Must find that book again..
either way I loved it, so very sad it's moving away. - Rosie-May
20 Apr 08
Some of these people who are commenting know nothing about musical theatre, the songs were NOT "Musically" at all, in fact i would not call the show a musical at all ... this show is completely different from the films; it shouldn't be compared to them at all to be honest, i say this as a die hard fan of lotr, books films and musical. I have seen many musicals, West End and regional and this has topped all of them. The music is amazing, and written in such a different way and style than most musicals are, each song captures the culture of the characters singing it, the hobbits have folksy, outdoorsy type songs whereas the elves are very cultural, ancient and complicated in their music. Highlights were Aragorn and Arwen's duet which is absolutely heartbreaking, Gollum (he was amazing in the entire thing, Michael Therriault stole the show. In fact on the way out he was all the audience were talking about), Lothlórien and the finale (Gollum's death/The ring's destruction on the cracks of doom), the finale in particular brought tears to my eyes it was so beautifully and cleverly staged... true there was some bad acting in the show but it didn't spoil it, the hobbits were truly delightful and charming characters in particular. One quip i had was the cutting of Rohan and the exclusion of Theoden, Eómer, Eówyn and Faramir but i can understand why it was done. I give this show 5 stars and i'd love to go and see it again. - Lisa
23 Mar 08
Closing at last and not a minute before time...Good riddance......and what next? More TV instigated trash...Oliver. - Coral
15 Mar 08
I've seen the show a few times as it keeps drawing me in and I'm anxious to learn the words to the songs (the english ones). I think the musical is a complete spectacle! If you don't want to go for the show, go for the set, it's amazing! The hobbits and orcs interaction with the audience really works. I agree that Gandalf, is extremely poor. I've also seen the show with both James Lowe as Frodo and his understudy (James Byng). I first saw it with James Lowe, and didn't really think much of his acting, his facial expressions were poor. However, his understudy really blew me away as Frodo, and that is exactly how I imagined him to be! So well done to James Byng! It's an amazing show, and I'm due to see it again soon (with James Byng in) - Amy
10 Feb 08
I saw this in preview on 23rd May 2007 and as predicted (see review below) the 'old white men' massacred it. Well, on my second visit last night I admired it even more. Quality staging, design and performances rarely come together to produce something as thrilling as this. Go and make your own mind up. - Gareth James
02 Feb 08
On my trip to London last week I caught another performance of this show. I know it will never play Broadway, due to size and daily running costs, but I must say, I totally enjoyed my second visit and was impressed with the book and the staging. Sometimes seeing a show more then once can be a negative experience. Not with time. - Gerard
28 Jan 08
loved every minute we were left speechless... Fast moving and a wonder on the eye..I was not a real fan of the books or films but to to the show because a friend wanted to go...Its the first show since i saw Billy Elliot that when it was over I wanted to go back in and watch it all over again .... OUTSTANDING FANTSATIC .... GO SE - Richard Howard
25 Jan 08
I loved it. - Rosy
24 Jan 08
An excellnt fast paced show with superb effects and a score that makes you want to buy the CD straight away. If you go to see it though you will need to like action, less singing and a good open mind. - Scott Willis
24 Jan 08
It was curiously enjoyable - like watching Rolls-Royces crash into each other. One had to marvel at the stage trickery (Shelob was a standout) but the acting was awful. Frodo in particular gave one of the worst performances I've ever seen on the stage - supposedly, it was the understudy that night but I could have given a more nuanced reading of the script. And the elves did this strange thing with their arms that made them look like they were doing exercises to cure themselves of arthritis. Oh, and joy, there's a big West End musical number which is all in Elvish. Not boring, and almost camp when its bad. - Paul Latham
18 Jan 08
MICHAEL COVENEY - HOW WRONG CAN YOU BE? LOL! - Theatre goer!
16 Jan 08
Excellent staging, superb lighting and effects, fanstastic, spine-tingling score, the fighting choreography was awesome, the set was amazing, the acting was spot on, in a simple term: FANTASTIC! Go and see it!!!! - Allie
05 Jan 08
Having been a lifelong fantasy fan and fairly regular theatre goer I was excited (if not slightly nervous) about seeing LOTR the musical. Those fears were well founded. As far as the costumes and set design went it was spectacular. It was a pity that it was so badly cast (the least authoritative Gandolf ever seen), and full of strange digressions, the weird jujitsu hand movements made by the elves (which have hopefully been removed by now as myself and the rest of the dress circle were giggling at these by the 2nd half). Thoroughly disappointing. - Jen Bishop
20 Dec 07
To the person below who said sitting in front-row-stalls is the place to be, I can't agree. I too bought a £20 day ticket (front row) but the rather major draw back is you can't see a thing once the stage sections start going up on their hydrolics, which they frequently do. THIS is why the first couple of rows are cheap, they are severely restricted view. Also, I'm afraid I felt like the 'incredible' end of act one was robbed from me, since the dragon looked like some old bin bags on sticks, which it was really. Too close too close!
I moved a few rows back for the second half and the experience was much better.
Theatrically it is a feast for the eyes and a famine for the heart. Clearly all the effort has gone into problem solving, from how to condense the story, to how to stage the thing, but very little has been thought about character and the emotional heart of the piece - it doesn't have one. I couldn't care less. I left not feeling heartened or overwhelmed or anything much. It's proof that all the money and special effects and a 50 strong cast mean diddly squat if the story doesn't grab. - Jonathan
28 Nov 07
Saw this Thursday matinee, 15 November. 5 stars for staging but only 3 for plot. The most amazing staging I have ever seen in the West End. Totally mind blowing. It is well worth a visit just to see this sheer spectacle. You wont have seen anything like it in the West End before. I haven't, and I have being West End theatre going for many many years. See it while you can. It is an incredible theatrical experience. - David
15 Nov 07
This show is excellent. A fantastic, jaw-dropping spectacle which will leave you goggling and in awe at the whole production.
It has amazing scenery (a mind-boggling rotating stage) and costumes (the Black Riders and Gollum are incredible!), brilliant special effects and choreography, great actors and some lovely songs which come together to produce this wonderful show.
All the cast were very good, Gollum (Micheal Theriault) was particularly notable, (fantastic movements!). I went on an evening when the understudy for Frodo was on (James Byng) and he was really great. Only downside for me was the fact that Malcolm Storry (Gandalf) seemed to speak very fast at times and it was hard to keep up with the fast pace of the story.
Apart from that tiny hiccup, the show is well worth seeing. You will get to see something spectacular that you will not see anywhere else in the world (and perhaps ever again, given the cost of the thing!). I cannot rate it highly enough - go see it!! - Ellie
08 Nov 07
Well where to start - there has been so much talk about this show I wasn't sure whether to put up a review or not! If its spectable you are after then I would give this 5 stars. You can see where the money has been spent and the climax to Act 1 was one of best I have witnessed - I was in Row E of the stalls I just hope the same sensation was felt all over the theatre. Now onto the music and performers. The music is light to say the least and is immensely annoying when sung in elvish. The performers appear to be almost bored with their characters - except Merry (or Pippin I forget which) who was so over the turn it was painful. Whoever thought of trying to tackle such a story in a 3 hour musical revue must be mad as it just doesn't work. HOWEVER, the applause at the end was intense so who am I to disagree with 1500 other theatre goers. So there we go 5 stars for staging, 1 star for music/acting. I would say give it a try you never know you may just love it! Ho hum off to write the next musical blockbuster War and Peace! - Steve
24 Oct 07
I have almost no idea how to rate Lord of the Rings. As a spectacle it is frequently astonishing with some astounding visual and sound effects. Somehow Tolkein's epic has been condensed into three hours but the story is far more comprehensible than Peter Jackson's bloated, repetitive, overblown and over-rated films. But you can't escape the negatives: the show is not really a musical, more a play with occasional songs in a variety of styles; some of the performances are below average, including a desperately poor Gandalf from RSC stalwart Malcolm Storry who looks like he would rather be anywhere than Middle Earth; and ultimately it is impossible to forget that the whole thing is based on a preposterous and pretentious pseudo mythology. For all that, every theatregoer should see this once (and soon because ticket sales appear to be poor) if only to see how spectacular theatre can be. - David Baxter
04 Oct 07
I have to say that I loved the production of Lord of the Rings. the show as a whole was amazing - the sets and the moving stage (although unfortunately there was a slight hitch the night I went). The music is v good and sounds amazing but is a tad forgettable, except "Now and for always" which is v touching performed by Sam and Frodo.
I loved that the hobbits interacted with the audience before the start and gave us a pre-show which blended seamlessley into the opening which I had not known they would do. The orcs are a little disturbing but their acrobatics are brilliant - and the guys on stilts - whoah!
Sadly, I am forced to agree with some of the previous comments about dubious acting.
However, I can say with great pleasure that Frodo was excellent as was Laura Michelle Kelly as Galadriel.
The constant arm waving of the elves to indicate magic was a little annoying though!
On the whole I can say that the show is amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Go see it! - Felicja
13 Sep 07
I did have my reservations as I sat down to watch LOTR at the Theatre Royal but I have to say my doubts were soon put aside. This show is a delight to watch. The staging is outstanding with every scene adding to the magic and mystery of Middle Earth. Although the songs are not instantly memorable they served the story and were executed well. The cast were all amazing. I loved this show and plan a return visit next week. Put your doubts aside and go and see LOTR. - Stuart McConnachie
21 Aug 07
Firstly i was very pleased to get tickets for the front row at £20 by going to the box office on the day. And i must say front row is the place to be for this show. The scenery and stage production is spectacular and the roots that scale the theatres walls make an impression from the minute you enter. I knew that action occured before the show began and was delighted and surprised by the amusing banter between the hobbits and the audience, i friend was at one point requested to look after Pippin's tater's lol. I think one of the high points in the show was also the Bagrog. Siting in front row, paper, wind and dry ice was blown into our faces, which was surprising and hilarious to be in the middle of, although it meant i had no idea what was going on onstage. The sets were altogether unscrutable. From Lady Galdriels lair to the revolving stage, i was dazzled by it all.
Thhe thing that brought down the show for me was the acting. Gandalf and Aaragorn amongst quite a few others were very disappointing and laughable at points the acting was so bad, though i must give praise to Lady Galdriel and the 4 main hobbits whose acting was superb.
I have to give a paragraph of praise however, especially to James Loye (who played Frodo). He was everything the character was meant to be, and my eyes were always drawn to him whenever he was onstage (not only because even as a hobbit he's very pretty to look at hehe). The scene between him and Sam during 'Now and for Always' was particularly moving and the end which nearly brought me to tears (i didnt want Frodo to leave lol). But James Loye really did steal the show for me, his voice made me sit up when he sang and you could feel the pain the burden of the ring gave him. I confess he has stolen my heart lol.
Frodo and Sam manage to embodie the friendship which this story is all about but Aaragorn and Arwen's love was not very convincing, and the constant arm moving of the elves was extremley annoying also.
The production musically has very good instrumental music, but not very memorable songs, although Cat and the Moon was fun, Lothlorien spectacular and Now and For Always moving, the rest of the songs were quite forgettable.
Altogether i loved it, though it would have hit 5 stars had the acting of certain actors not let it down so much. - Veronica
18 Aug 07
Oh my Lord! First, those who have given 5 stars to this production -- obviously family members of the cast, or maybe they've eaten a few of the magic mushrooms. Even after paying full price.... sadly I can only comment on the first act -- I left (quickly) at the interval (along with others, I observed). I read the book and enjoyed the movie, but this show has a VERY short shelf life (so if you are intend upon seeing it, go quickly, it won't be around long). Acting(?) wooden; music boring and dreadful; set interesting. Save your money (wish I had) -- there's many other really good shows running (i.e. Wicked if you want musical fantasy). Terry - Terry
26 Jul 07
Well I had my doubts, but after seeing the show last night I can report they have pulled it off, BIG time. It is in turn charming, witty, scary, moving and quite simply stunning. Of course it can't be the novel - but it captures the essence of it successfully. Michael Therriault gives us, in his wonderfull performance as Gollum - the role he created in Toronto, all the necessay menacing servility with the acrobatic nimbleness the part demands. Laura Michelle Kelly, playing Galadriel, sings her somewhat surprisingly good numbers beautifully and with great clarity as did also Rosalie Craig playing Arwen. Infact it is fair to say that this three hour show was far clearer than the nine hour ocular and oral punishment Peter Jackson served up for the big screen. Go with an open mind and heart, and remember even Shakespeare had fairies leaping about in the woods, then I am sure this stupendous production of one of the great sagas ever written will win you over. - rds
22 Jul 07
Let's begin by stating that Mr Coveney is wrong .. and it is about time that critics with big opinions .. and small eyes.. stopped trashing theatre productions that attempt to explore the theatrical and the spectacular...If you don't want to engage in theatre and spectacle Coveneny.. you should have made sure that there was a clause in your contract... I CAN ONLY DO SERIOUS THEATRE (stroke) DRAMA... AND NO PEOPLE ON WIRES!!
As I left the theatre last night I was saddened to over hear three bearded.. (and I'm sorry if that is a cliche...) members of the audience .. tut tutting to themselves about how Tolkien would be turning in his grave..... as an audinece member into design.. theatre and imaginative staging.... If I was Tolkien .. I would be well impressed..with this very theatrical realisation... I also can't help thinking how much more exciting it was to see this dire rambling trilogy reduced to an almost healthy 3 hours...!!
I will be Back!!! - AndyP
08 Jul 07
How anyone could sit through this production more than once is beyond me. Yes, there are some spectacular moments (Gollums apearance in Act 2, the incredible end of Act 1) and one or two great performances, but overall this production is an interminable bore. Not only does the stage revolve constantly, but circling lighting effects are projected on to the stage throughout which began to give me a headache by the second act. The actor playing Gandalf is beyond hammy, lacking the gravitas needed for the role. The music is risible and utterly forgettable and the production lacks pace or any emotional energy. This is a great example of the fact that you can throw a lot of money at something but without a good script and strong performances you have a production that is all fur coat and no knickers! - Richard
04 Jul 07
River-bogtrot meets EuroPop. An artistic and professional disgrace for the "creatives", with a highly talented cast completely wasted. Despite the absurd cost, the show looks cheap with tatty panto sets and effects. Why was this not given a decent burial when it crashed and burned in Canada? NO STARS ! - Joesmith
29 Jun 07
On 23 June 2007, I went to see a performance of the new "Lord of the Rings" musical at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London.
Being a huge fan of the book and films and adoring musicals, I was keen to see what this show could accomplish.
Sadly I was somewhat disappointed.
Conceptually it is an amazing piece of theatre and stage craft, with a spectacular set and great use of acrobatics and wire-work. Unfortunately the music and book do not equal the visual aspect. To get the show down to 3 hours a great deal of the story has been cut or altered. This was obviously necessary but is still grating. As far as the music is concerned I did like some of the 'Elvish' songs but the rest of the music, expecially the 'Hobbit' numbers, I simply found annoying.
It is hard for the actors when people are now so familiar with the casting from the film but, despite a few annoying voices, they were good and special credit to Laura Michelle Kelly as Galadriel who sang some very difficult songs beautifully.
I'm glad I saw it once but this is not a show I would rush to see a second time. Visual perfection and a great spectacle but lacking in other areas. - Nicola Armitt
28 Jun 07
as soon as you walk into the theatre and you see the wood comming out of the stage you feel an immediate atmosphere that is normally only created when there is something going on, on the stage. seeing the hobbits pre show and having a hobbit crawl over my head to get to the stage i knew there would be more surprises in store. The stage was amazing it really created the effect of following the fellowship on their journey up and down. To think that anyone could say that this show is not worth seeing is remarkable. to bring the lord of the rings to the stage may have been risky but i believe that it was done surprisingly well. the stars of the show has to be for me Gollum,Laura Michelle Kelly and pipin for the sheer comic value. If i had to give a reason for people to go to this show would be just to see the night riders and the orcs as they are done so well without the use of fancy film special effects.People have complained that it is too long and then you get people who complain that there is parts missing it seems you can't win. However if you were a true lord of the rings fan you would appreciate the effort that has been made and would enjoy it as anything to do with the lord of the rings is to be celebrated. I truly enjoyed my night and sat in my seat in awe of how they have done all they did on a stage. Go and see it! - Lisa
27 Jun 07
I went on the first public night and had only initially read the Times review so was excited to see this monster of a new Musical. The set and the hobits prior to the show going up did not dissappoint. The fire flies were wonderful. If only the rest of the evening had been the same. The effects are great - well you can buy a lot of technical wizardry for £12.5m, but however much money you have you cannot cover up poor material and dire performances. Gandulph is dull, Frodo ok, Laura Michelle Kelly glorious looking but has little or nothing worthy of her talents. The end of the first act is dramatic and wonderful theatre, but oh the music - dull, tedious and more dull. The scene in the pub/bar was great and very well produced. The second act, apart from a marvellous physical performance by Gollam is worse. I wanted to stand up and scream "does no one realise...this is like the Emporers new cloths". It then started to annoy me, thinking that they had lavashed £12.5m on this nonesense betting that people will come and see it who loved the books and films even though it is poor at its best. The night before we'd been at Side By Side - just 3 hugely talented performers, a simple set and great material, with sadly a small but appreciative audience. Is this what British theatre is coming to, when hype, money etc., are more important than content? I do not want to see anyone lose their jobs or their money, but this should NEVER have even got to these shores, it should have stayed in Toronto where it most surely belongs. Do not waste your time and money on sitting through this utter drivel unless you are a die hard fan and have nowhere to shelter from the rain. BJH - BJH
27 Jun 07
It is a complete waste of time!!! - Ben
24 Jun 07
Lord of the Rings is not only an astonishing piece of groundbreaking theatre, it is also an enthralling musical journey through a now well known Middle Earth. From when you enter the theatre you are drawn into an epic in every sense of the word. A forest encroaches beyond the proscenium arch into our world and while you take in the beauty of the set, Hobbits appear and are soon gambolling around the audience chatting, chasing fireflies and each other and sharing their apples with people settling into their seats. In bringing the show through the fourth wall Matthew Warchus allows us to appreciate the Hobbits of the Shire and their peaceful existence and the joy of their opening dance number. Contrast this with Orc’s marauding through the aisles eliciting screams of terror from a captivated audience and it is evident that an emotional bond has been developed by using face to face (or fang) theatre. The show is filled with magic through the use of mirrors, misdirection and mist yet even with the illusionists craft these effects never swamp the show. It is the consummate craft of the actors that engages the audience and the heart never beats stronger than when an absolutely glorious and golden Galadriel (Laura Michelle Kelly) descends on ribbons, voice soaring through the souls of every theatregoer; when Sam (Peter Howe) and Frodo (James Loye) battle the Ring, Gollum (Michael Therriault), Shelob and each other, their friendship wins over every time and Arwen (Rosalie Craig) and Aragorn’s (Jerome Pradon) ballads inspire memories of ageless love. This show is heart full and heart felt and the performances benefit vastly from the extended rehearsal and preview period that has created a strong fellowship of seventy actors, dancers, acrobats and musicians obviously bound by their love of the story they are telling. I have seen this show a few times now and several key understudies have already been tested in Stevie Tate-Bauer (Galadriel) and Robbie Scotcher (Aragorn) and both gave outstanding performances, demonstrating the strength and depth the production team has incorporated into this finest of West End companyies and ensuring that audience after audience will be delighted whatever happens. To get to this point Matthew Warchus and his team of creatives have had to think outside a whole box factory of boxes. In adapting what is an epic book and film within the confines of the stage he has hurdled the boundaries of what could be achieved in a theatre; he will undoubtedly inspire a whole new generation of theatre goers (and hopefully creatives) and has achieved a genre defining production epic in every sense. “Unleash your imagination” is the posters advice, to which I will add “Embrace your inner child” and almost in the words of the new King of Men “Praise Matthew with great praise!” and stick those mealy mouthed, one star reviews where the sun doesn’t shine – Mordor. - Geoff Ambler
22 Jun 07
I have never managed to read the books and I found the first two films boring (I gave up on the third one). I was very surprised to find the three hour condensation on stage just as boring. Yes, it is spectacular, but the story and some of the staging makes little sense and furthermore, with a few exceptions characters are uninteresting. The cast are variable and, in many cases, wasted. Jerome Pradon sang (I think) one song and Laura Michelle Kelly, two. LMK does not even make an appearance until act 2. Really, she could have played Arwen as well as Galadriel. This is not meant as a criticism of Rosalie Craig, who was excellent, rather that they do not appear together unitl the finale. Much has been made of the size of the cast, but many of them have too little to do. Unlike many, I thought the music quite pleasant, though unmemorable. However, considering it is being sold as a musical, there are very few songs! I must confess that I spent some of the time in the more boring parts of the show wondering how long it will be before one of the cast has a serious accident (I know that there has already been one). LMK walking across the revolve on elevated shoes as the floor level continued to change is an accident just waiting to happen. - George
21 Jun 07
I did not think I would enjoy this show especially after seeing the first half. There were some spectacular effects right from the start and the Balrog does end the first half very well. The Ringwraiths I thought were superby done. This show though only turns in to a musical in Act 2 when the wonderful Laura Michelle Kelly appears in a visually stunning piece of theatre and when Gollum descends down the stage I have to say you could not see how it was done. Yes there are boring bits especially in act one but do not give up as act two more than compensates especially the spider. One word of advice though if you go sit in the grand circle where you will get a much better view of the revolving stage. Where we sat in the middle of the stalls it was not that impressive. Finally we went with some ardent Lord of the Rings fans who did not like the films but they enjoyed this. Now that is a good sign. - ivor.
20 Jun 07
I would have loved to have given this more than 3 stars, but the negatives weigh down the positives with this show.
It truly is an evening of spectacle, effects, design and illusions but it does not have much heart or a feeling of having 'entered in' any type of journey or experience with the actors.
My initial reaction to the news that the book trilogy was to be put on stage as a musical in one evening, was that it couldn't be done with justice. After seeing the production I stand by that opinion but do feel that they have done the best possible with such time and scope constraints.
Some of the acting is appalling but may well be the direction as opposed to the actors own choices. The portrayal of Gollum is worthy of many awards and I hope that his performance is indeed recognized in this way, he was amazing. Laura Michelle Kelly as Galadriel was enchanting and exquisite. I am not a huge fan of hers but she was pure class on that stage. I was not impressed with Frodo, seemed far too cold and detached and couldn't really hold his tune. Loved the comedy from the other Hobbits and thought the role of Sam was handled brilliantly.
I would encourage people to see the show, but cannot rave about it - unfortunately. - theatregirl
20 Jun 07
It was with some trepidation I sat in the centre of the Dress Circle on Saturday Night. I knew there was a three hour running time, and I had heard quite a lot of negative things about the show, so Lemon Bonbons in hand (they're not like they used to be - too hard), I settled in for what I knew was going to be a long night.....
In the hospitality industry there is an expression "Total Meal Experience" i.e. it's not just about the food, but also the decor, ambience, design, staff, facilities etc. The Lord of the Rings is a "Total Theatrical Experience". I adored the Hobbits on stage, which immediately broke down any stuffy barriers, the Orcs in the audience (the screams all over the theatre were so funny. The end of the first half (won't spoil that one). These touches drew everyone into the production and you felt it was all around you. The special effects are great fun, costumes and set design and I hope will be award winners. But it does fall down on very basic things, a very shallow script, with some classic one liners that made me laugh out loud. The music is forgettable, it would have been more effective with only the Hobbit and Galadriel's songs, and kept some underscoring. Gandolf was a masterclass in hammy acting, and why were there so many dodgy regional accents?
However I loved it, I laughed at the wrong things, picked holes in the plot and found the music bland. But you can't have it all, and everything else is wonderful, a really delightful show, that I hope and pray doesn't get mauled by the critics, and plays for a long time and keeps the Fantastic Hobbits in worthwhile employment, I reckon they could cause havoc if unleashed on the streets of Covent Garden. - Alassin_Sane
20 Jun 07
I saw the show when it was in Toronto, Canada!! It was amazing. I heard some of the actors are the same which is really cool. I was so fortunate to see it, I WAS SITTING IN THE 9TH ROW CENTER!! I guess it wasn't a huge hit in Canada but I really enjoyed it. I'm waiting for a soundtrack to come out. I saw it last summer and some of the song are STILL stuck in my head! I love it!!! - Danielle
19 Jun 07
A great night! The lady Galadriel and I are now on 1st name terms!!!!
Thank you Whats on Stage... I shall be booking for more of these events in the future... - Giles
19 Jun 07
The show was absolute class im a huge fan of the LOTR novels yet I knew that the stage version was going to move away from Tolkiens 'words.' With this set in mind i entered the stage with a fresh slate and ready to take in what the show had to offer - and WOW i was not dissapointed. Im a huge musical theatre fan and go at least twice a month and ive never experienced such a stunning, entertaing and involving piece of theatre. The cast was great including the fab Laura Michelle Kelly , the songs including Lothlorien and tell me a story were very moving and the Stage made me breathless. overall the show is there to cateer to 'new' tolkien fans as well as the older ones like myself :) and i believe the show is introducing a new style of fan, which is a possitive. I have now seen the show 3 times and it fails to bore me - all i hope is that the show gets a long and deserved run as well as the release of an OLC CD. I know that the critics will dissmiss the show and headlines will follow such as "bored of the rings" or "dont make it a 'hobbit' to see this show" yet with classics such as Phantom and Les Mis feeling the 'wraith' of the critics pens by word fo mouth LOTR may stand a chance to last in the west end for a good decade :) - Daryl Col
19 Jun 07
The problem with this epic piece is the admitted understanding people must have of the book the films before even considering the play. In two words it can be summed up "Utter Rubbish" the Music is poor and does not fit in. Not worth the money guys but geeks of the movies will go and see it am sure its just a big disappointment when you get there it is also quite slow so be prepared for 3 hours worth of very expensive sleeping time. However, i will give them one thing Galadriel has a great voice and her song is very impressive but thats 5 mins out of 3 hours so goodluck to those who dare to bear this burden that is Lord of the Rings - Ashley Brown
17 Jun 07
10 off us attended ages ranged from 18 throught to 59 all thought this to be an awesome piece of theatre. If a show as spectacular and bold does not become a box office hit it will be a great shame. The critics may not love this show but what do they know - they did not like Les Mis. This is superb epic theate on a scale not seen before.Great entertainment! - Chris
15 Jun 07
I really wanted to love this, especially as the 20 minutes before curtain up, where there was a theatrical preamble involving hobbits and fireflies, was rather enchanting and a great way to warm up the arriving throng. However despite some great effects and not bad performances, I found myself irritated almost every time the show stopped for a song. I think it would have been far more enjoyable if presented only as a drama with perhaps some accompanying incidental music. It certainly does not seem to be a show crying out to be a musical, which is a shame because some of the songs themselves would probably be pleasant enough listening on a soundtrack album, but they hold back advancing the story. The kids I took along to see it enjoyed it a lot and particularly liked the way the break between Acts 2 and 3 was handled. The end of Act 1 put me in mind of what Cirque du Soleil do at the end of the first half of Alegria, but I rather liked that element of "feelaround" that it evoked. - Dominic
09 Jun 07
Lord of the Rings has been very much a part of my life - I lived in a house we named "Lothlorien" - so perhaps I am prejudiced, but I enjoyed the show very much.
I think the lights up moment with the Orcs failed miserably - I didn't see anyone leaving through fear, just what looked like boredom or a necessary toilet break! It might work better if the lights were left off.
I thought the show well choreographed and the music enjoyable, although no-one is going to come out singing any of the songs. I'm not sure how wide an appeal it will have, but wish it well. - Jean Anderson
08 Jun 07
Oh Lordy... - Tom
08 Jun 07
The is just one word to describe this show: BORING !!!! - Mick
07 Jun 07
Excellent staging, but no heart. I didn't care if the entire cast was eaten by orcs. Sadly a missed opportunity. Mind you, end of Act 1 is probably one of the best stagings I've seen in theatre. Shame Acts 2 and 3 followed. - Graham
04 Jun 07
Disappointing. The best bit was the Hobbits before the curtain went up.
Technically the show is very good – the dressing outside the proscenium is very effective and the stage itself works well. The Hobbit wardrobe and make-up is especially effective and you can easily believe they are small compared to the rest of the cast. The special effects, which I had been worried about beforehand, were also good, for instance the way Shelob is portrayed and the balrog effect.
It is stretching a point to call the show a musical - where the music works it is part of and supports the narrative and the generally folky feel is very appropriate. However, many of the songs sung by Galadriel were out of place - the character was not present in the context of the plot so to have her come on and sing was totally incongruous.
The fight sequences were very stylised and over-choreographed to the point of turning into dances. Maybe this is personal preference but they just didn’t work for me at all.
The worst part, however, is the script. Obviously a six volume book (which took 13 hours on radio and three long films) cannot be faithfully reproduced in a three hour stage show and some of the exclusions worked very well, such as the complete omission of Rohan. However, there were gaping holes in the plot where things needed explanation or events just didn’t flow (e.g. Gandalf is imprisoned in Isengard but then appears without explanation in Rivendell). Also there are too many extraneous references to things that are not in the show – that’s OK in books but it makes a stage show too loose. If the script was rewritten to remove these and make it coherent in itself it would make for a much tighter show.
My other complaint is as someone who knows the story. Denethor is reduced to an un-named bit-part whose total role could be summarised as “hurray the king’s returned.” This really is a grave distortion of the narrative and the stories of Gondor and the Rangers have been totally trivialised despite their importance to the overall saga.
30 May 07
Good show, great theatre. Not a musical (which seems to confuse some) and it shouldn't be marketed as such). Its not difficult to follow what's happening although, understandably, there are times when just too much is happening. - Paul H
29 May 07
If you read the reviews below you will see that this show has a great deal to recommend it. Ok, so it also has a few lame bits. The staging is 90% brilliant where 'brilliant' = the best I've ever seen on the West End stage. The choreography is just superb as is the dancing. Have a couple of drinks first and you'll love every minute - even the few bad minutes will make you laugh. Forget the book and the film and enjoy the spectacle. - Chris
26 May 07
A bloated and over-cooked production. Too many cast - the creative team just can't cope. The big effects are not a patch on others seen from London to Vegas. The revolve is very clever, but after about 20mins it's quite tiresome. The battle scenes are just some strange black figures bashing some stange black figures. Music is totally forgettable, and you can virtually never tell who is singing and speaking. It's really not worth it! - SJ
24 May 07
I went to see this on the 18th May and it was dire. It ran for nearly 3 hours. Most of the performance evolved around Fellowship of the Ring with the further two books crammed into the final hour. The musical numbers were the worst I had ever heard on the West End. The acting was wooden, obviously so much money had been spent on this production that it was a total waste. The whole show was like spending a wet Sunday afternoon with a depressed friend, it was so awful. Avoid at all costs! - Mark
24 May 07
For a show with so many previews to go, this is in remarkably good shape. Given that it's unstageable, you have to admire both the ambition and the achievement. It's spectacular in an efffective, simple sense like Lion King. The combination of staging, choreography, design, lighting and stage effects it really is impeccable. On the Wicked scale, where Wicked is 2, this is an 8! The performances are almost all very good with Laura Michelle Kelly a stand-out Gladriel. Fans of the film will enjoy it more than fans of the book, but the latter will be pleased that even though it's filleted, they haven't taken liberties. Fans of musicals should go expecting a story with music rather than a musical as such. Matthew Warchus proved with Our House that he knew how to stage something big; here the proof is conclusive. Give it a go before the 'dead white men' massacre it, as they surely will! - Gareth James
23 May 07
Why did they have to make a musical out of this? A play might have done but there's really no need for the sings to be crowbarred into this show. Then again with trite lines such as 'We will praise you with much praising' perhaps even this is hoping for too much. The songs were completely forgettable, assisted by the 'big' numbers where you couldn't tell what they were singing as it all blended in together.
The stage as you walk into the theatre is impressive but like the bouncing orc the novelty value quickly disappeared.
The riverdancing hobbits provided what was probably an unintended comic respite from an otherwise boring start to the show. And the incomprehensible sign language of the elves provided something else to focus on instead of the dialogue.
Agreeing with earlier comments on this page the Balrog scene was sadly lacking in the essential items of a bridge and fire effects. From the balcony the effect is that of dusty wind not fire.
The mount doom scene is a opportunity missed, a well designed scene showing the fall of Gollum is spoiled by the appearance of an elf floating in the middle of a volcano.
22 May 07
THE worst show I've ever seen. It's absolutely terrible.
Lord of the Rings simply shouldn't be dramatised as it lacks all of the elements that make theatre great - contrary to all the people who love the films. There simply is'nt any dramatic tension, the narrative is poor and rambling... Just bad!
The characterisation is at best one dimensional - sadly the only humananity in the play is displayed by Gollum.
The script is awful, the acting is worse than terrible, the music is predictably gaelic inspired pap with elements of "My heart will go on" and "Donald Where's your trousers". The singers all attempted, rather badly, to imitate irish folk music singers with the cracked vocals and the gruff male voices.
I was shocked how rubbish the set was and most of the special effects were messy and detracted from the action - expecially the Balrog scene which could have done with even simple details like a visible bridge and a bti of fire. The last scene in mount doom almost hit the mark though. The battle scenes were terrible and the music, set, dance and costume ideas for the orc battle scene were shamelssly stolen from the infinitely better "Lion King". But, nothing prepares you for the frankly ridiculous ents (men on stilts) whose attack on isengard was reduced to a flag-waving majorettes parade.
What the heck were the signing elves as well???
AND on top of all that, the microphones were on the blink and the set failed at one point and took 15 mins to reset, making a 3 hour dirge into a 3.5 hour outing from hell.
Don't go unless your so deluded that you think Lord of the Rings is the greatest work in the English language, when you'll probably be halucinating the film version, instead of actually watching what's going on on stage!
Bad Bad Bad!
Should have been a play, lose the music and songs, crisp up the special effects in the big scenes, tighten up the narrative, lose the ents and rework the script (like get someone who's actually read a book and been to the theatre to write it) and you might just have a passable theatre-going experience.
21 May 07
How can a show with SO much money get things SO wrong!?!? Ok, so it's good to look at, but in between the set moving, nothing much happens. Some cardboard character gets killed, some other one has a ring, someone else waves a big stick around. All the great characters from the movies do absolutely nothing for 3 hours! Then again, the really boring bits in the movie (mainly anything to do with elves) seems rather good int his mess of a show. The music is awful. The one dance routine is actually quite good, but leaves you wanting more of the same. I came out of the theatre wishing they'd paid the book writer more of the (reported £25 million) and not spent so much on the set! A very disappointing evening of theatre, but a great evening of watching sets move (so, rather like Phantom really!) - Steve
18 May 07
I think you can divide theatre-goers into two septate groups. Those who like the acting, stories, and character building - and those who get high on stage designs, sets, pyrotechnics and lighting.
For the latter group (that includes me), you'll be having multiple orgasms throughout this show. I've never seen such spectacular staging in all my life. It just oozed awesomenesses from start to finish. A £1million, 40-ton rotating stage that lifts and falls in 17 different sections. 50 actors, 19 musicians, 60 crew working behind the scenes for every performance. 504 costumes and 256 costume changes each show, and that's just for starters. Fearsome Orks running riot through the audience sending women screaming up the isles, a visit from shlob the giant spider, and Balrog - the £100,000 fire-spewing demon - all make this a totally amazing night out for lovers of 'spectacular' theatre.
However, it does have its faults. Right from the start I didn't want to be critical because we're told that producer Kevin Wallace has invested all his life savings in this show. But I have a feeling we'll have to say some prayers for the poor guy in the coming weeks. The morning after press night in June will be crucial.
You can't avoid the fact that the musical element of the show is utterly lame. Please God why did they bother having 'songs' at all? The original Lord of the Rings Soundtrack was an award winning classical masterpiece, but they've abandoned that in favour of typical 'musical style' songs which were forgettable, out of place, and totally unnecessary. So, a stage spectacular? Yes, most definitely. But a musical? No, not even close.
There's still time for change, though. It's got a few weeks yet before it gets picked over by the press. But I fear that unless they inject some powerful orchestration in place of the feeble songs - all the good bits (and there are plenty) will be overlooked, and it won't get the praise it deserves. Also, I truly hope they'll get the design crew to beef-up Shlob the spider a bit more. The spider itself look great but having it spit party-popper streamers for poison wasn't very effective. - James
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