Theatre News

Watermill Theatre’s The Lord of the Rings to stage American premiere

Middle-earth is heading to Chicago!

Nuwan Hugh Perera as Sam and Louis Maskell as Frodo in a scene from The Lord of the Rings at the Watermill Theatre
Nuwan Hugh Perera and Louis Maskell in The Lord of the Rings, © Pamela Raith

The WhatsOnStage Award-winning production of The Lord of the Rings is set to make its US debut this summer.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s artistic director Edward Hall and executive director Kimberly Motes confirmed the news today that the Watermill Theatre’s new staging will debut at The Yard, running from 19 July to 1 September 2024.

The American production will be directed by Paul Hart, who created and helmed the piece here in the UK in 2023.

Hart commented: “We loved welcoming audiences from across the world to the Shire to experience our intimate yet epic production of The Lord of the Rings, and to introduce them to our corner of West Berkshire. Now we’re setting off on our own ‘there and back again’ journey to Chicago and we can’t wait to work with the brilliant team at Chicago Shakespeare Theater to recreate the wonder of Middle-earth for new audiences.”

Fredrica Drotos of Middle-earth Enterprises added: “Sharing the Watermill’s wonderful expression of The Lord of the Rings on stage with audiences across the globe beginning this summer in Chicago, with the US premiere of Paul Hart’s and Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s collaborative re-imagining, is a dream come true for all of us at Middle-earth Enterprises.”

The five-star show went on to win the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Regional Production earlier this year.

The Lord of the Rings – A Musical Tale is based on the novels by J R R Tolkien and features a book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna and Matthew Warchus and original music by A R Rahman, Finnish folk band Värttinä, and Christopher Nightingale.

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