An “Original Lord of the Rings Parody”
This musical, Scottish parody of Tolkein’s work is a crowd-pleaser and will provide a unique experience for your Fringe.
The performance is narrated by Galadrielle, played by the excellent Billie Cleeve and this is whom we are greeted with initially. Her voice is well-suited for the role, giving all voice-overs a run for their money, and setting the scene for comical, mocking play ahead. The show follows a very quick summary of the Lord of the Rings by Tolkein, and will bring delight to fans but those who are unfamiliar with the books/movies will be able to follow easily.
After a brief introduction from Cleeve, we descend into Hobbiton in “Riddle Earth” where we have an all-singing, dancing and happy number from the Hobbits. Whilst the singing isn’t all perfect, the enthusiasm and acting from the cast can not be faulted one bit, the silly faces pulled and the way they interact and work with each other brings the show together. We then meet ‘Gundalf’, played by Kieran Holburn whose mocking portrayal of the wizard is perfect and will resonate with anyone who is familiar with Tolkein.
In keeping with the original story, Gundalf seeks out Froyo (Frodo) whom he asks to help him in destroying the Ring to destroy evil Sauron. Llewi Bailey as Froyo is a super sarcastic parody of the hobbit and is soon joined by Sam, portrayed hysterically by the blundering and gushing Fraser Nickolls, whose illustration on the character will have you in stitches. The biggest star of this show, however, has to be Martina Vondrova who plays the Ring. Vondrova is a natural comic, her facial expressions and twitchy mannerisms personified the object of the Ring in a way that I could never have envisioned - I didn’t realise just how perfectly a person could play and mock an inanimate object.
The rest of the play obviously follows the journey made to Mordor to destroy the Ring and contains more musical numbers, and a particularly hilarious Legolas and sassy trio of eagles. Special mention must also go to the Witch Queen, Emmy Cooper-Young whose Scottish impersonation of the hag and musical number was well done and received very well by the audience.
One Musical to Rule them All hasn’t got as many musical numbers as I would have expected and I’d have welcomed more music from the band and cast as, despite the singing being a little bit questionable, the lyrics were really quite funny and the dancing fit perfectly with the tone of the show – highlighting the extreme silliness and melodrama of some characters. Some of the quips and jokes didn’t quite reach their audience but overall, this musical, Scottish parody of Tolkein’s work is a crowd-pleaser and will provide a unique experience for your Fringe.