Stepping into the mythical world of Middle Earth has gotten a whole lot easier thanks to Regina’s Globe Theatre.
The theatre company is tackling the Hobbit over the holiday season and has transformed the theatre in the round into the home of hobbits, elves and dwarfs for the play.
Colin Doyle has taken on the role of Bilbo Baggins a character made famous by Tolkien in his 1937 book and then brought to the big screen more recently by director Peter Jackson.
Doyle said playing such a beloved character that is so well known in literature and film was a bit daunting at first.
“People have these ideas about who (he is) and I was nervous about that,” Doyle said but added a friend helped him through that.
“He reminded me and it’s kind of simple – it’s what I bring to it. Currently, I’m in my own life thinking about the different fears as we get older and getting out of your comfort zone and that’s certainly what (director) Courtenay (Dobbie) and the script really, really wanted to highlight for me in my journey so playing that has been so much fun.”
In a strange twist of fate, Doyle has also met Martin Freeman, who brought Bilbo to life on the big screen. Their run in came before either actor played the role, but Doyle said he brings some aspects of Freeman’s Bilbo to his version.
“When I look at actors, and actors that are my favourite, I think about what it is that I like that they bring? Martin Freeman is definitely one of them in the sense that, I would like to think, he and myself, bring an innocence, a naivety, a sense of humour while still going after the truth of things,” Doyle said.
Many of the other cast members – with the exception of Doyle – play other characters and bring together a mix of experienced theatre actors and some who are doing their very first professional plays.
They’ve spent the last two weeks perfecting and getting things ready and have done few shows for test audiences before Thursday’s big debut.
And for the Tolkien fans out there – Doyle doesn’t want you to worry. The reaction to Smaug, one of Tolkien’s most known characters has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The story goes that when (the dragon) came out you just hear a couple people in the back go ‘yessssssss’ and that’s the response that you want,” he laughed.
Tickets are still available for the show which runs until Dec. 27.