REVIEW: Charles Ross is ONE MAN LORD OF THE RINGS

Speedily, spectacularly, and side-splittingly funny!

By Kim Edwards

I’ve sat here with a blank screen for some time now when poised to write this review. I have one significant problem.

How to even begin to express how ridiculously and riotously fun this show is!

One Man Lord of the Rings

Forget stretching The Hobbit into three epic movies: actor-comedian Charles Ross has compacted the entire Lord of the Rings movie trilogy into 70 minutes for your unmitigated viewing pleasure. That’s right, one actor to play them all – all the significant characters (so obviously not Arwen), that unforgettable score (with some hilarious new lyrics), every clashing sword and roaring troll sound effect, and Tolkien’s sprawling oliphauntine plot – jam-packed into just over an hour of the best belly-laughs I’ve had in a long time.

The show, directed by TJ Dawe,  is unashamedly for the fans. You won’t believe the phenomenal pace and energy with which Ross tears through these famous films, and the uninitiated would be completely lost in moments as he springs and flings himself from character to character and twists and turns in and out of scenes.

I’ve had a few modest viewings of the trilogy myself, but was delighted at how vividly the films came back to me as a man in black coveralls with no set or props conjured up Middle Earth and its inhabitants with some impeccable impersonations and inspired physical comedy (I’ve mentioned this is all done by one man, right?)

My particular favourites include Ross’ Hugo Weaving and Christopher Lee, (although then there were the Gollum and Frodo portrayals…) while the fight with the Balrog, the fly-bys of the Nazgul, and the death of Denethor were outrageously funny and clever (and then there was the fall of Boromir, the march of Ents, the reveal of Eowyn…) Not only did we enjoy the clever characterisations and witty scene segues, but Ross integrates plenty of in-jokes and comic critique to round out his reinterpretation of the classic films.

One Man Lord of the Rings is a tour de force like no other (save perhaps the previous show One Man Star Wars whereupon the pun is intended) – the energy, ingenuity and mimicry is as masterful as a born-again wizard, as hilarious as a drunken hobbit, and as brilliant as the glowing elvish engraved on a ring of power. It’s all done by one man you know, and there are only two more performances in Melbourne: tomorrow night (Friday July 5) and Saturday night (July 6), 7:30pm at the Arts Centre Playhouse.

Have I managed at all to convey the amount of fun I had watching this? No? Then you’d better don your mithril vest, grab your elven sword and go see for yourself…

Bookings: Artscentremelbourne.com.au, Ticketmaster outlets or Ph: 1300182183

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