Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Charles Ross, One Man Lord Of The Rings, April 12, 20

Charles Ross in One Man Lord Of The Rings
  • Kate Herbert
  • From: Herald Sun
  • April 12, 2011 4:33PM

Charles Ross in One Man Lord Of The Rings at the Victorian Arts Centre until April 10, 2011

IT IS nothing short of miraculous to witness Charles Ross recreate the entire Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.
Peter Jackson had CGI, a huge cast and mega-bucks for the movies. Ross is alone on an empty stage, dressed in black and assisted only by a headset microphone and evocative lighting.

The gods of theatre grant my wish to see an actor transform before my eyes, people an empty stage with dozens of characters, create a soundscape with his voice, enthral his audience and transport us to other places and times with nothing but his exceptional skill and our imaginations.

Ross careers at breakneck speed through Tolkien’s narrative, recreating The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King in an hour. 

As Ross says in his chatty, humble interludes, it helps to know the films. With consummate skill, Ross tells the stories through action and dialogue, injecting occasional sardonic asides about inconsistencies in the movies.

His dramatic structure and pacing are impeccable and Ross’s physical and vocal virtuosity are thrilling. 

With instantaneous, subtle shifts of posture and vocal tone, he conjures Tolkien’s mythical personae, each Middle-earth locale, the music and visual effects. We see whining Frodo, fawning Gollum, puppyish Sam, elegant Gandalf and evil Sauron. Legolas’ silky blond hair becomes a comical obsession and the mutant orks are gruesomely real.

The result is hilarious, astonishing and atmospheric, and his metamorphosis is inspired. 

Star rating: *****

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