Twenty-two years after it became the most popular play to be performed in Williamson Park, The Hobbit will be presented again by The Dukes this summer.
Around 21,000 people saw the outdoor version of Tolkien’s classic story in 1994 and The Dukes is hoping it will see similar success this year.
“We’ve wanted to produce The Hobbit in the park again for some time but have been unable to get the rights due to the film being made,” said Dukes artistic director, Joe Sumsion.
And ironically, The Dukes has a link with that blockbuster film as one of its stars – Andy Serkis who played Gollum – appeared in the theatre’s very first venture outdoors in 1987.
Joe said: “One of the strongest elements in the book is its charm and I don’t think that was captured by the recent films which some people thought were CGI-ed to death.
“We can offer a much more intimate experience where the audience can get really close to all these fascinating characters and creatures.”
Taking on the challenge of adapting the story for The Dukes this summer is Kevin Dyer who has written several of the theatre’s past park shows including the 25th anniversary production of Merlin And The Legend Of King Arthur in 2011. Over the next few months, The Dukes will be keeping Guardian readers informed of all the preparations for the park show.
The Hobbit opens on July 5 and runs until August 13. For tickets, ring 01524 598500. Book before May 31 and save £2 per ticket.