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29 June - 1 July 2023


London, 1940. At the height of the Blitz, a boy and his grandfather take refuge in a small air-raid shelter. And in this hole in the ground begins a story. A tale of one small person’s courage and perseverance as he embarks upon an unexpected journey which brings him face to face with unimaginable dangers: man-eating trolls, giant spiders, warlike goblins and the terrible dragon, Smaug. But it is a tale, too, of comradeship, adventure and heroism. As the old man’s story unfolds, the world of rubble and bombed-out houses becomes the magical land of Middle Earth, as seen through the eyes of Bilbo Baggins, an unassuming hobbit. Dragged from his comfortable existence by the wizard, Gandalf, Bilbo accompanies Thorin Oakenshield and his company of dwarves as they journey to reclaim their treasure and their homeland.

This new adaptation of Tolkien’s much-loved story brings to life the extraordinary world of Middle Earth against the backdrop of World War II. Tolkien’s own songs inspire the rich musical score, and it is fitting that this world premiere should take place on the 50th anniversary of Tolkien’s death in the city where he lived, taught and wrote.