Stars tipped for Hobbit fan party

TOM HUNT
Last updated 12:38 03/10/2012
Ian McKellen
POSSIBLE GUEST: Organisers of a pre-Hobbit premiere party are hoping some of the stars of the movie find the time to drop by.

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While the world waits for The Hobbit, a hardcore group of fans - and maybe even some movie stars - will party in Wellington two days before the premiere.

Erica Challis, founder of fan site www.theonering.net and Red Carpet Tours, said a similar party for the Lord of the Rings, Return of the King premiere in 2003, saw hundreds of fans and stars including Sir Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Sir Richard Taylor, John Noble turn up.

This year's pre-Hobbit premiere party is at the Amora Hotel Ballroom on November 26, two days before the trilogy's world premiere on Courtenay Place.

About 650 fans were expected at the $125-per-ticket event, which raises money for the ''cash-strapped'' One Ring site and Books in Homes, a charity providing free books to New Zealand children.

Stars of The Hobbit would be invited and while it was not clear who would attend ''they love to meet their fans'', Ms Challis said.

Director Sir Peter Jackson would be invited.

''A couple of days before the premiere, I'm sure he will be busy. He always wishes us well.

''If he could come it would be awesome.''

While the party's shape was still being sorted out, a band called The Shire Waytes, made up of Hobbit extras and Lord of the Rings fans, had been confirmed.

They played a variety of folk, Celtic, and medieval music on obscure instruments such as dulcimers and hurdy-gurdies.

''The instruments they play are exquisitely carved and some of them are very unusual,'' Ms Challis said.

''I'm a professional musician, and I've only seen some of them in books before now.''

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- The Dominion Post

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