One Man Lord of the Rings
Baffling speeded-up Middle Earth affair
This article is from 2009.
The trend for cutting down and speeding up plays/films/text kicked off with the Reduced Shakespeare Company, and Charlie Ross is a veteran of the subgenre, having brought his One Man Star Wars to the Fringe in previous years. Dressed in a sturdy boiler suit he takes on the entire Tolkien trilogy in 60 minutes, manically throwing himself about the stage, adding a few knowing gags along the way.
Essentially critic-proof, One Man Lord of The Rings will probably sell out its entire run, however, to a casual fan it is bewildering, repetitive and dull in places. There’s nothing wrong with in-jokes, but good comedy should transcend its origins and offer something for everyone; Ross assumes a core knowledge of the source material beyond a passing interest.
To be fair, the title is pretty explicit in describing of content (if you don’t love LotR, what are you doing here?), there’s an inventive use of physical comedy and much of Ross’ aping succinctly captures the characters from the films. For Rings obsessives this is a five-star show (some sections of the audience were laughing, cheering and clapping wildly) but for the passing admirer, it’s frankly baffling.
Udderbelly’s Pasture, 08445 458 252, until 16 Aug, 8.35pm, £12.50–£14.50 (£10–£13).