Producers Kevin Wallace and Saul Zaentz, in association with David & Ed Mirvish and Michael Cohl, announced June 28 that the $27 million Canadian world premiere staging of the show inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novels will close Sept. 3 at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre.
The closing comes earlier than expected for what was billed as an open-ended run, but the work will resurface with the same production and creative team in May 2007 in London, England. Since the current cast is comprised of Canadians and Brits (and they spent months preparing for their highly-physical roles), some of the same actors and actresses are expected to be in the English run.
On June 26, the world premiere production won seven Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the top prizes in Toronto theatre.
The staging, directed by its co-writer Matthew Warchus, began performances on Feb. 4, 2006. By its closing performance it will have played 230 performances in 31 weeks.
According to the producers, "The production generated an unprecedented amount of coverage from international media, highlighting Toronto's creative communities. By Sept. 3, more than 420,000 people will have attended the show, some coming from as far away as Asia, South America and throughout Europe. It is estimated that by its closing date, The Lord of the Rings will have generated an economic impact of more than $640 million to Toronto and the province of Ontario." "We hugely appreciate the role the city of Toronto and the province of Ontario have played in bringing The Lord of the Rings to the stage," lead producer Kevin Wallace said in a statement. "We are very proud of our extraordinary company of actors, musicians, resident staff and technicians at The Princess of Wales Theatre. It is their dedication and talent that brings J.R.R. Tolkien's unique world to life in this epic theatrical event. Toronto will always be the originating city of The Lord of the Rings and we celebrate the fact that the production on stage at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane from May 2007 would not have been possible without the tremendous work accomplished in Toronto."
David Mirvish added, "When we first heard of Kevin Wallace's mammoth undertaking of bringing the entire story of The Lord of the Rings to the stage in one production, we were intrigued. Finding out more about the production, listening to the score, speaking with the creative team and hearing their plans of building Middle-Earth on stage, we were convinced to join the fellowship in bringing this production to life. We are delighted we did. We believe we have helped to create a one-of-a-kind theatrical event, the likes of which will probably never be seen again. For over a year now, our offices, theatres and rehearsals halls have been abuzz with activity and excitement."
He added, "The Lord of the Rings is a production that I believe will become part of theatrical history. It has already reached legendary status in its run in Toronto, a reputation that will only grow with its second production in London and with subsequent productions around the world in later years. And we will be proud to say we were there in Toronto when it all began."
For more information, visit www.lotr.com.