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Lord of the Rings Musical opens at Watermill Theatre, Berkshire

A new version of The Lord of the Rings Musical has opened this week at the Watermill Theatre, near Newbury in Berkshire, UK. This reworked version of the 2006 stage musical will run from July to October.

This new musical production of The Lord of the Rings takes place at the Watermill Theatre, with production set across both the auditorium and gardens. The Theatre promises that audiences will be immersed in the magical landscape of Tolkien, joining an ensemble cast and large-scale puppets on an epic journey celebrating the power of friendship and common goodness to conquer unimaginable evil.

The new production is a reduced and reworked version of the previous Musical, which closed in 2007 and was branded one the biggest West End “flops” ever. The new team clearly hope things will be better for them in Berkshire, and team behind the new production at the Watermill Theatre include: Artistic Director Paul Hart; Executive Director Claire Murray; with book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna and Matthew Warchus; and music by A.R. Rahman (Bombay Dreams, Slumdog Millionaire), Värttinä and Tony Award winner and Grammy nominated Christopher Nightingale (Matilda the Musical).

The Lord of the Rings is one of the most epic stories ever written, and our production will hopefully bring audiences closer to the heart of this story than ever before – both figuratively and literally in our intimate 200 seat theatre.  What’s central to this production is that we’re telling it through the perspective of the Hobbits and hopefully audiences will experience our depiction of Middle-earth with the same awe and wonderment.” – Paul Hart, Artistic Director

With the design of the show spilling out from the theatre across our gardens, audiences will be welcomed into the Shire for dinner and drinks in our Restaurant or Garden Café on the lawn, before joining in the celebrations for Bilbo’s birthday which marks the start of the show.” – Claire Murray, Executive Director

As part of the production, the theatre hopes to find a partner as part of their plans to give audience members wildflower seeds to take home and create their own little corner of Middle-earth. Designed to highlight the importance of caring for our environment and protecting nature and wildlife for future generations, the seed packets will be handed to audiences as they leave the show.

The Lord of the Rings is produced under licence from Middle-earth Enterpises, and will be at the Watermill Theatre from Tuesday 25 July until Sunday 15 October 2023.

About the Author: Shaun Gunner
Shaun is the Chair of The Tolkien Society. First elected in 2013, Shaun has overseen the Society's expansion from 600 to 3,500 members. Shaun regularly speaks about adaptations of Tolkien's works and the future of Tolkien scholarship whilst passionately believing the Society needs to reach out to new audiences. In his spare time he can be found playing video games and Lego, or on Twitter. He chaired another charity, Mankind, and is a local councillor.