Lord of the Rings show returns to Buxton Fringe

Steve Orme

Waiting for Gandalf, a one-man show about Kevin Brook, a fan of The Lord of the Rings, is returning to Buxton Fringe.

In the play, Kevin camps overnight in the hope of getting Ian McKellen to sign the new movie companion to The Two Towers. But the real reasons for his devotion—underneath his cheery exterior—involve disturbing revelations from his unhappy past.

The audience is taken on a journey during which Kevin slowly gives away clues about his life: a job where he's treated as a social reject; a failed relationship with a girl he didn't understand; parents who treated his older brother as a favourite; and the teacher he idolised who introduced him to Tolkein.

Chris Neville-Smith has been a regular visitor to Buxton Fringe since 2013. He came across the script for Waiting for Gandalf at a writers’ group at Live Theatre where both he and the play’s author Adrian Marks were members.

Neville-Smith said, “when I originally took this play to Buxton three years ago, I had no idea how far it would go. It was originally planned as a one-off run to keep my hand in after a Buxton debut the previous year, but the feedback I got from the run persuaded me to keep it going and gave me the confidence to take this to the tougher challenge of Brighton. I felt it was only fitting to finish this fringe run where it began.”

Waiting for Gandalf will be performed at the United Reformed Church Blue Room on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 July at 8.30PM. Entry is free. There will be a collection for Mankind, a charity that supports people in situations like Kevin’s.