A BASINGSTOKE composer hailed the completion of a dream, after his show Tolkien debuted on London’s West End.
Joseph Purdue, a former Bishop Challoner School and Queen Mary’s College student, celebrated as nearly 250 audience members watched his newest musical hit The Arts Theatre, in London.
The 23-year-old’s creation Tolkien explores the life of perhaps the 20th century’s most significant fantasy writers J.R.R. Tolkien – fabled author of novels The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
It had been a dream for Joseph, who now hopes the production will return to the West End at some point next year.
“It went terrifically. It was almost sold-out and from those who did come there was a great response about the show,” Joseph told The Gazette.
“All the actors were incredible and despite only rehearsing for five days before the show, all on their scripts and the sound was amazing, as were the costumes.”
He added: “There was a great buzz and our director, who is currently working on School of Rock in London, has said he will hopefully get some funding together to put in place a two-week workshop so we can work on the script a bit more, with the view to getting it a one-month run in London. It’s a dream really.”
The debut was applauded by reviewers at West End Wilma, who labelled the performance “captivating” and that “every song is a showstopper and lends itself to the artists’ most emotional performances.”
“Taking it to London was amazing, and it was a big relief.
“We managed to bring 70 people from Basingstoke, which meant that 170 of our audience came from directly from London,” said Joseph.
“For most of them they had never heard about the show, so hearing them leave with this great feeling, it’s good to know that a show you have written can affect people positively that you have never met.
“It’s very satisfying.”
A cast recording can now be purchased of the songs within ‘Tolkien’ by visiting josephpurdue.com/news.