The much anticipated sixth series of the cult hit TV Game of Thrones premieres on April 24, but Preston will host a historical fantasy world premiere of its own two weeks before that when a spectacular tribute takes to the Charter Theatre stage.
Cardinal Newman College Performing Arts students’ affectionate parody Game of Gnomes hits the city on April 6-7 in the form of a full-length ‘mirthical’ musical. Audiences do not need to have seen the TV series to enjoy the fun.
Director Pete Hartley, said: “Fans of the series with perhaps get a handful of extra laughs but the vast majority of the humour is evident to all.”
Set way back in pre-history when there was but one single continent – Pangea – the musical tells of how Gnomes ruled the beautiful garden and parklands at its heart, but Elves and Goblins also wanted the throne.
Thus begins this gigantic struggle of tiny folk and the action contains the plot twists, and devious character types of the television counterpart. What the TV series doesn’t have is 12 musical numbers – cover versions of songs from the Sixties right up to the present day.
Another unique feature is the appearance of Kobolds – strange creatures from German mythology that can manifest themselves as human, animal or fire.
This species is brought to life by the College’s elite Dance Academy.
At the heart of this miniature epic is Queen Leaf Blower, whose grip on the Ironstone throne is being undermined by King Rubble and his army of Goblins. In desperate need of help to protect the fence round her kingdom, Leaf turns to her childhood sweetheart Lord Ron Seal, because she knows he will do exactly what it says on the tin.
And he does, but like any good value fence protector, he goes that little bit further.
In addition, there’s the manipulative love of the Lady Dahlia for the Lord Ed Shears. They are getting on just fine until a third party creeps out of the bushes.
Meanwhile, the inflammatory Lucifron, king of the Kobolds, and his fiery wife Luma kindle their own ambitions to rule the world.
It all gets very complicated in a very straightforward way.
Vibrant music, unique choreography and tongue-in-cheek storytelling will convey the audience through the arches, branches, roots and caves of this love-child of Tolkein and Hammerstein with a deep acknowledgement to George R R Martin who wrote A Song of Ice and Fire on which Game of Thrones is based.
Director Pete Hartley, who also scripted the play, said: “I haven’t yet read the original novels but after sitting through four box sets of the TV series, I had a pretty good idea of what our tribute should feature.
“I couldn’t cram everything that I wanted into the two hours of the musical, but hopefully fans of the series and the uninitiated alike, will have a great night out.
“ The cast and company are terrific and I really hope the people of Lancashire take the chance to share in this totally unique bundle of joy.
“There are certain aspects of the televised episodes that we certainly can’t include, so concerned parents can be reassured that our musical is suitable for older children as well as all ages beyond.”
• Tickets £10 or less from the Guild Hall box office or website.
Also see a picture special in the Education pages of tomorrow’s Evening Post.