Since I'm a much bigger fan of Lord of the Rings than I am of Star Wars, I was really, really excited about tonight's show. And Charlie did not disappoint! From the Galadriel's opening lines to Aragorn's coronation ceremony, it was all there. Well, as much as he could fit into 70 minutes anyway. Which, surprisingly, is a lot. He even found time to fit in a breakfast cereal jingle, a Braveheart reference, and a Johnny Cash song.
In the show, Charlie takes the audience through the three films with nothing but himself and a microphone. No props, no video screen, no music. All the sound effects, voices, and yes, even the soundtrack, are done by Charlie. Any man who can recreate the battle of Helm's Deep alone on stage is brilliant in my book.
Charlie's impressions of Sam, Frodo, Gandalf, Gimli, and Treebeard were spot on. His take on Denethor brought the house down in laughter. But it was his rendition of Gollum that blew me away - it was perfect. And the famous lines were all there: "Let's hunt some orc"; "Looks like meat's back on the menu boys"'; and of course, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
I've always loved how certain books and films can touch readers so personally that it inspires art of their own. I remember back when Lord of the Rings was still in theatres, there were the "Very Secret Diaries" that I found rather amusing. Only someone who enjoys the films immensely can so lovingly poke fun at them. It's the same with Charlie's show. There are moments of satire, but it's all done good-naturedly by a self-professed "geek".
I highly, highly recommend seeing the show if Charlie's performing in your area. The only caveat I would add is that it does take an intimate knowledge of the films to really enjoy the show. My husband, who has seen the films a handful of times but still finds them somewhat confusing, was feeling a bit lost through the show. He later said that without a frame of reference, it was kind of just watching a guy making sound effects and running around the stage. Although he felt Charlie was an incredibly talented performer, my husband couldn't really get the full humour of the show.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to dig out my Lord of the Rings Blu-Ray set...