Interactive Tolkien inspired Live Action Role Play for Festival in the Shire
“The Road goes ever on and on,
But where does it lead?
Prof. J.R.R. Tolkien, through the magnificent Bilbo Baggins, originally asked this question and it has since inspired thousands of people across the world to answer it.
His world of Orcs, Goblins, Hobbits and Elves has inspired people from every kind of background to create fiction in its image and, in this field; nothing is as direct as the hobby of Live Action Role Play. Every year people put on costumes, gird themselves with armour and weapons or the accoutrements of a scholar or healer, and travel out to the countryside to recreate worlds which have sprung from the broad and glistening landscape of Middle Earth. This has lead to many scenarios including raging battles that can range from between ten people up to thousands. The pound of hundreds of feet sweeping into the shield wall, the singing and dancing of the survivors in the tavern, the race to save hostages, finding the clue that lets you make sense of the riddle or the right words at the right time to stop bloodshed and seal a pact. This is not the story of the famous; these are the smaller tales of the people who lived in Bree, or braved Mirkwood for their own reasons. Tolkien painted a bright landscape where there is room for a thousand stories under the bright curtain of the Valor. It has inspired heroes and villains, warriors and healers.
So this year at Festival in the Shire, we are giving you the chance to let the spirit of Middle Earth inspire you.
Travelling amongst the fine people of the Shire will be folk who have taken it upon themselves to portray heroes and villains, to have scuffles for your amusement, to involve you in intrigue or the finer aspects of pole arm or blade.
Heroes unsung and villains to whom Morgath is still Lord will entice you to join a world of magic and mayhem. You can participate by creating characters through whom you can have adventures, clash in the battles of history, dance with the Elves, sing with the Children of Man, run amok with the Orcs and Wild Men (slavery is optional)!
However, the environment is safe; the tools of this world are only props, the costume is taken off at the end of the day, the villains laughingly friendly outside of their roles.
The stories you take home however, are real: the sudden sprint for safety, the tense negotiations, the desperate rearguard actions or insanely brave charges, the friends made after it’s all over. A resplendent moment in which you were someone else, somewhere else, either a hero or villain, in victory or defeat.
For the Festival in the Shire, this corner of Middle Earth will be brought to you by Andy Rimmer, a man with decades of experience who is running a private Lord of the Rings event in Spring next year and Gideon Lawrence, the creative mind behind Wyvernstales LARP (www.wyvernstales.co.uk) and LiveAction UK (www.larpuk.co.uk) and will also include a host of volunteers.
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