A lavish $12 million (GBP8 million) stage musical adaptation of hit film and novel The Lord Of The Rings is to premier in London in 2005.

The production will be the biggest-budget musical ever to be staged in the British capital - and if successful, it will be taken around the world.

Financial backer, American svengali Saul Zaentz, explains, "I want it to be a landmark. When you put a piece literature with such a worldwide profile on the stage you need to make something utterly extraordinary."

The production, which has already spent a year and a half in development, is being directed by Matthew Warchus, who is currently overseeing the Madness musical OUR HOUSE.

28/05/2003 20:10