"The Hobbit" at The Theatre Royal - Bath, England (June 3rd 2000) review by: Mark Bosanquet-Bryant
Entitled "The Hobbit" it turned out to a very good stageplay of a great book by
JRR Tolkien. The Theatre Royal at Bath in Western England made a pleasurable venue
with much to visit before the play. At 7.30 up went the curtain and we were launched
into a very fast paced adaption of the story. Apprehensions that the play might not
live up to expectations or even lose what Tolkien had created soon faded. Although
fast paced it did adhere to the plot very well. The dialogue used was often straight
from the book which for a Tolkien fan like me made the play an absorbing experience.
The Stage was cleverly used to glide and effortlessly transform from Bag End to forests
like Mirkwood to Laketown and the Wood Elf prison. The escape of the Company down the
river was well executed with the barrels being tipped from high on the stage away from
the audience but quite realistic with sound effects. Finally the stage adapted to Erebor
and The Lonely Mountain.
Michael Geary was well cast as Bilbo with a good fumbling but
likeable character. Gandalf was perhaps not as wise and too much of a typical wizard.
At times he seemed like an angy wizard the crowd might take a dislike too. Gollum was
good with the right voice. The remaining actors were also well cast and played good parts.
The most amusing memory however has to be the bright and ear piercing thunder flashes.
During the interval it was obvious that quite a few people wanted to sit further back
where they felt to be at a safer distance. So for the second half the front rows of the
theatre were almost empty. I was sitting in the fourth row and my ears rang !
All in all
a good adaption which my wife also enjoyed. She might even read the book now. I now wait
in eager anticipation for 2001 and the start of The Lord of The Rings film trilogy.
Lastly, I do have a spare Souvenir Programme, leaflet and matching poster if anyone
Personal website: http://homepages.tesco.net/~markbb
'The Hobbit' by Vanessa Ford Productions: http://www.vfpltd.com