Listen to English - Are you a Hobbit?


Are you less than 170cm tall? Do you have hairy feet and toes? You do? Then there may be a job for you.

Let me explain. You have probably heard of the writer JRR Tolkien. He wrote the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and a number of other books. His books have been translated from English into many other languages. Perhaps you have read some of them. Or perhaps you have seen the Lord of the Rings films, or played Lord of the Rings computer games.

Over four years ago, theatre producer Kevin Wallace decided to turn Lord of the Rings into a musicala theatre show with music. In March this year the show opened in Toronto in Canada. By that time it had cost about $25million, which makes it one of the most expensive theatre shows ever. Unfortunately the show was not a great success in Canada. Next year the show will open in London. The theatre in London wants to find 20 people to act the parts of Hobbits. But if you are interested you will need to hurry. The auditions are next week.

Incidentally, when JRR Tolkien was a child, he lived less than 2 kilometers from where I live now. Some people say that places near here gave him the idea for some of the places in his books. I find this difficult to believe. I am afraid also that I consider that Tolkien's books are rather tedious. He often writes in long and complicated sentences. The characterisation in his books is poor ("Characterisation" means the way he describes and develops his characters). His books are about fantasy worlds; but in my view they are less interesting than the real world in which we all live.

You may not agree with me. JRR Tolkien has a huge number of fans across the world. If, despite my poor opinion of them, you still wish to buy his books, you can do so from