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Company Skylark's stage play of "The Hobbit"

"In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit." With these words JRR Tolkien began a saga that would encapture the minds and hearts of many generations of people. The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings have been among the most popular books of the century and have inspired artists, songwriters, poets and now film-makers to turn Tolkien's fantastical middle earth into reality.

For a long time Tolkien's world remained in the minds of the readers, the way Tolkien prefered it. However it was bound to be brought to life sooner or later. Many Tolkien inspired paintings, sketches, songs, poems and even audio tapes have since been produced each adding their own little bit to Middle Earth. Although until now Tolkien's world has not been brought to life by an audio/visual production. (Ok so there was the animated LOTR but that didn't complete the whole story).

Company Skylark's stage play of "The Hobbit" is a wonderfully enchanting experience that sweeps you away. When I first learnt that it was on I almost jumped for joy (being such a fan of the tale). When I went to see it, the place was packed and it was soon standing room only!. I grabbed my seat right in the centre and settled back to watch and I was not disappointed. Initially I thought that puppets couldn't possibly portray this world but I was pleasently surprised with what I saw. Each of the puppets are beautifully detailed and there are over 75 in the play. The actual pre-production of this took over 7 years. After watching for a little while the puppets seem to stop being puppets and become actual Hobbits and Dwarves, Orks and Dragons.

The story unfolds over two parts which takes the viewer into this wonderful world to follow these travelers. The climax with Smaug is awesome with children in the theatre being scared stiff by the huge puppet (I'd say 6 metres high and at least 15 wide).

Overall this is well worth going to see, Tolkien fan or not. It is about to reopen in Australia before going to New Zealand and then in 2001 it will be on Broadway. I hope you take yourselves along to see it and have the time of your life.

Reservoir Dog

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