Hobbit true to book but no subtlety
The Hobbit @ Theatre Royal, Norwich.
The Hobbit @ Theatre Royal, Norwich
By SARAH HARDY
Attempting to stage one of the world's best- loved children's novels was never going to be an easy task – and it's doubtful whether this production of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit fully succeeds.
It is such a powerful tale, being possibly the first true fantasy adventure of modern times, which manages to combine great characters with a coherent storyline.
It's the sort of book that inspires and encourages your own imagination as you follow Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit (played by Michael Geary), and the dwarves to the land of the Lonely Mountain in search of hidden treasures. You feel part of their expedition as they encounter all manner of dangers on their way, especially their ultimate challenge – Smaug the dragon.
Obviously condensing an enormous plot with many different threads is difficult. This show speeds along with little attention to detail.
- 1 Parked cars prevent buses from serving north Norfolk village
- 2 'Significant construction' on A47 to begin in 2023
- 3 Blaze sees 20 passengers evacuated from city bus
- 4 Flames grip barn in north Norfolk
- 5 First-time publicans transform their local and are already winning awards
- 6 Buses damaged in city centre collision
- 7 Fewer than half of village's homes occupied by full-time residents
- 8 Norwich's 'hidden' church added to at risk list
- 9 West Norfolk beach named the best in the east
- 10 Rapid growth of farm shop proves value of business diversity
Sure, it stays true to the original but we feel nothing for the characters and none of Tolkien's subtleties survive.
My companion, a 30-something Tolkien aficionado, dipped out at half-time muttering about monotony, yet a small boy on the next row was on the edge of his seat throughout.
The all-male cast work hard and the set is adaptable but the much-trumpeted special effects were of little note.
Undoubtedly The Hobbit, basically a classic tale of good overcoming evil written by Tolkien for his four children, has lasting appeal but, as ever, you'd be better off reading the book.