If abundant advertising, a multi-million pound budget and accidents involving actors have made you even more curious about the spectacular new staging of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy (See News, 31 May 2007), here is a first glimpse of what to expect when the epic opens at the West End's Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 19 June 2007 (previews from 9 May).

Below you can scroll through the new London production shots of what is, at £12.5 million, the most expensive musical to appear on any West End stage. The cast of hobbits, wizards and monsters pictured includes Laura Michelle Kelly as Galadriel, Malcolm Storry as Gandalf, Michael Therriault as Gollum, Peter Howe as Sam, and James Loye as Hobbit hero Frodo Baggins.

Directed by Matthew Warchus with an all-immersive set designed by Rob Howell that swallows the 2,200-seat auditorium, The Lord of the Rings features music by AR Rahman (Bombay Dreams) and Finnish folk group Värttinä with Christopher Nightingale. The book and lyrics are by Warchus and Shaun McKenna.

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