WITHIN hours of the closing performance of his debut musical Tolkien, composer Joseph Purdue has set his sights firmly on reproducing his show for the biggest stage of all - the West End. 

23-year-old Joseph'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. 

Almost 200 people witnessed the production's debut across two nights at Basingstoke's Queen Mary College on the Central Studio stage.

Joseph said: "The response it has got since the performances has been incredible - friends of mine who prefer football over theatre came to support and enjoyed it.

"Not everyone knows about Tolkien's life and I wanted to steer away from doing what most do and create a musical based on a film or something already written.

"Many people say that once you have read a book, the film never lives up to it so I was keen to keep away from that but I have always been fascinated with the books of Lord of the Rings and the films. 

"Tolkien is a popular subject matter and his story is full of love and war and unlikely friendships."

Throughout Joseph's two hour musical, Tolkien's maturity and traumas are shown; his upbringing with Father Francis, his involvement within the semi-secret Tea Club and Barrovian Society, the First World War, his friendship with fellow fantasy writer C.S Lewis and finally the origins of the Lord of the Rings.

Each period of Tolkien's life is delicately woven by the likes of Lewis Greenslade's J.R.R Tolkien, Alexa Terry's Edith Bratt and G.B Smith being portrayed by Graham Foote.

The blend of vocals captured the cinematic approach to Joseph's production.

And in truth Tolkien feels ready-made for stages bigger than QMC - a nod to Joseph's seismic compositions and towering passages of haunting vocals.

However, Joseph believes there is still work to be done.

"Of course I want to take this to the West End and there has been interest from companies looking to develop it but I still need to work on its script.

"Musically it's almost on point but I will have to rework the script to take it to the next level.

"But Tolkien's is a story which will live on and I hope we can be part of that legacy."

For more information about Joseph visit joepurdue.com.