One of the few blessings right now is the plethora of online content to keep us occupied while many of us are stuck at home. Aside from the usually streaming entertainment options, ordinary folks and celebrities alike are doing livestreams both to entertain and raise money for essential services and charities.
Lord of the Rings and Star Wars actor Andy Serkis will be doing just that in order to raise money for NHS Charities Together and Best Beginnings. NHS Charities Together is a collection of over 250 charitable organizations that support the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. Best Beginnings is another UK-based charity and works to reduce inequalities in child health.
In order to raise money for the two organizations, Serkis will be reading the entirety of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit via livestream and plans to do so of the course of 12 hours. The actor voiced the character Gollum in both the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, so clearly he has a fondness for Tolkien’s work. Serkis announced the event on a somewhat cryptic video Sunday, but the cat was pretty much out of the bag once he panned over to a Gollum statue in the room, saying that the character would somehow be involved.
His description of the event, which has been dubbed a “Hobbitathon,” is as follows:
From an unexpected party to the last stage, join Bilbo and me on this tale of high adventure. Together we’ll face the might of the trolls, journey to the magical Rivendell, encounter the giant spiders in the labyrinths of Mirkwood, and the evil goblins living among the roots of the Misty Mountains, until we meet the dragon Smaug, and see the Battle of the Five Armies.
Serkis won’t be doing just a straight reading, but plans to inject a bit of fun and nods to the other characters that have embodied the characters. “I’m not going to be doing impersonations of the great voices like Ian McKellen’s and Martin Freeman’s in our film but I will probably nod to them in some way.” He also assures there may be a few stumbles, trip-ups, and moments when the cat jumps in, but that’s happens when you do something live, right?
Donations can be made here, and Serkis promises a “special surprise later in our journey” if the goal of £100,000 is reached.
The livestream will happen May 8th, and will start at 10am GMT/5am EST/ 2am PST. The link will be shared shortly before the event starts.