One Musical To Rule Them All

Aug 5 2018 | By More

★★★★☆   Hilarious parody

Greenside @ Nicolson Square (V 209): Fri 3 – Sat 11 Aug 2018
Review by Sarah Moyes

Take a trip to Riddle Earth with Foyo and company as One Musical to Rule Them All, Sam Eastop’s hilarious and silly Lord of the Rings parody returns to the Fringe.

This year, it’s new Edinburgh theatre company Broadsword Theatre who are taking the reins of the show originated in 2016 for Napier University Drama Society.

Anthony Smyth and Calum Rosie. Pic: Alex Cook

Anthony Smyth and Calum Rosie. Pic: Alex Cook.

The story, much like the classic Tolkien books, follows the lives of the wizards and hobbits in the newly named Riddle Earth as Gundalf recruits Foyo and Sam for his latest quest. The show also overlaps with a fictional performance from a local school which has the audience in stitches when one of the children representing the solar system and her teacher end up on stage during the wrong show.

We first meet the Hobbits in an all-singing, all-dancing, cheesy musical number about how Riddle Earth is the safest place to be. Not only does it mimic the Hobbits home in The Shire, but it also rips into the musical theatre genre that sees shows burst into song for no real reason. As the song comes to an end, Fraser Nickolls appears as Gundalf mocking the wizard greatly as he comes to pick some hobbits to carry out his new mission.

It’s up to Calum Rosie as the reluctant Foyo and Anthony Smyth as over-excited Sam to head to Mordor. The casting is perfect here, and both actors bounce of each other in this hilarious over exaggerated interpretation of two the famous hobbits.

It’s their mission to destroy the One Ring played by a silent but expressive Martina Vondrova, who spends the show dressed in black with a gold hula hoop prancing around the stage and going mainly unnoticed by the majority of the cast.


Along the journey, the trio encounter lots of different characters that will be familiar to those who know the books or films. Melissa Ross plays a very Scottish Witch Queen, who likes to use words like ‘bams’, a word you definitely wouldn’t have heard Tolkien use. And Aragum played by Stewart Tweddie is an insecure Boy Scout wearing Ranger of the North.

The Fellowship. Pic Broadsword Theatre

Anthony Smyth, Fraser Nickolls and Calum Rosie (rear) with Stewart Tweddie and Sasha Aronson (Arwem). Pic: Alex Cook.

The one thing that is lacking a little here is the number of songs. Given that it is billed as a musical, you would expect more music – especially when the songs that are included are done so brilliantly.

If you’re not a Lord of the Rings fan then some of the jokes are going to be a bit lost – however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t sit back and enjoy this fun and hilarious Lord of the Rings spoof as a stand-alone show.

Running time: One hour
Greenside @ Nicolson Square – Emerald Theatre (Venue 209), 25 Nicolson Square, EH8 9BX
Friday 3 – Saturday 11 August 2018
Daily: 7.35pm.
Tickets and details:
Facebook – @broadswordtheatre
Twitter – @broadswordstage.


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