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Last on

Mon 31 Dec 2012 11:00 BBC Radio 4

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 04 August 2012

Actor Billy Boyd, who played a hobbit in the films of The Lord Of The Rings, narrates the story of the first ever stage production of J.R.R.Tolkien's The Hobbit, at New College School in Oxford in 1967. It was written by Humphrey Carpenter, with music by composer, Paul Drayton, then Director of Music at the school. We hear from the boys who performed it, who were choristers at the time and who are now renowned in the musical world: Choral conductor Simon Halsey, Martin Pickard Head of Music at Opera North, artist's agent Stephen Lumsden and composer Howard Goodall- who watched his older brother Ashley, now a marketing professional, perform. They talk about their memories and about Tolkien's presence in the audience on the last night.
The present-day Chamber choir at New College School sing some of the original songs, and we also play a never before broadcast recording of the production as it happened in 1967.
Producer: Sara Conkey.

  • George Halliday as Bilbo Baggins

    George Halliday as Bilbo Baggins

    George Halliday as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, performed at New College School in 1967.

  • Martin Pickard as Gandalf

    Martin Pickard as Gandalf

    Martin Pickard, Head of Music at Opera North, as Gandalf in The Hobbit, performed at New College School in 1967.

  • The cast of The Hobbit

    The cast of The Hobbit

    The cast of The Hobbit at New College School, 1967.

  • Bilbo, the dwarves and Gandalf

    Bilbo, the dwarves and Gandalf

    Bilbo, the dwarves and Gandalf in The Hobbit, New College School, 1967.

  • Paul Drayton and Martin Pickard

    Paul Drayton and Martin Pickard

    Composer Paul Drayton and Head of Music at Opera North, and Martin Pickard who played Gandalf.

  • 'The Hobbit' Programme

    'The Hobbit' Programme

    A programme of The Hobbit, signed by Tolkien, owned by Ashley Goodall.

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