Rehearsals began this month for the hotly anticipated The Lord of the Rings musical, scheduled to open in Toronto in March 2006.
But fans expecting a reversioning of Peter Jackson's film trilogy may be disappointed. The show will feature no Hollywood stars, limited 'special effects' and the epic battle scenes will, by necessity, be considerably diminished.
The production, while firmly grounded in Tolkien's masterpiece, will ally physical theatre with a range of musical traditions including Finnish and Indian influences, to deliver a unique retelling of Tolkien's fantasy.
According to Wallace, there will be "non-stop music", with action sequences "like mini-symphonies", plus circus-style acrobatics and speeches delivered in a range of "tongues" - including Elvish.
"Only in the theatre are we actually plunged into the events as they happen," explained director Matthew Warchus. "The environment surrounds us. We participate. We are in Middle Earth."
"No matter how bad they seem, they can't be any better, and they can't be any worse, because that's the way things f@cking are, and you better get used to it Nancy. Quit yer bitching." - Pvt. Church
"Giant robots are only as powerful as the whiny, bishonen pilot controling it." -The Semi-Great Enigma