The Lord of the Rings may now be premiering first in Canada, but there’s still plenty of British talent involved. London-based producer Kevin Wallace says that he and director Matthew Warchus (also British) are recruiting a “hybrid” company that features experienced classical actors as well as physical theatre performers and singers. The line-up for a final London workshop, starting this week, gives an indication of the kind of actors Wallace means. Multiple Olivier winner Alex Jennings plays wizard Gandalf with his former My Fair Lady co-star Malcolm Sinclair as his nemesis Saruman, parts played by Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee in Peter Jackson’s award-winning screen versions of JRR Tolkien’s trilogy. Casting is now under way for the musical’s premiere production, which opens in March 2006 in Toronto. However, if they’re unable to fill the 50-strong company from the local casting pool, the producers have an agreement with Canadian Equity that gives them a window during which they can hire British actors where necessary.