Dates are now confirmed for Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage at the Bridge Theatre. Directed by Nicholas Hytner in Bryony Lavery’s new stage adaptation which takes place 12 years before Pullman’s epic His Dark Materials trilogy, performances are from 2 December 2021 to 19 February 2022 with opening night on 14 December.
Designs are by Bob Crowley with puppetry by Barnaby Dixon, lighting design by Jon Clark, sound by Paul Arditti, video designs are by Luke Halls and Zakk Hein and music by Grant Olding. The associate directors are Emily Burns and James Cousins who is also movement director. Kate Waters is fight director. Casting will be announced at a later date.
Two young people and their dæmons, with everything at stake, find themselves at the centre of a terrifying manhunt. In their care is a tiny child called Lyra Belacqua, and in that child lies the fate of the future. And as the waters rise around them, powerful adversaries conspire for mastery of Dust: salvation to some, the source of infinite corruption to others.
La Belle Sauvage was published in 2017 and was followed by The Secret Commonwealth in 2019. His Dark Materials, a ground-breaking production 16 years ago directed by Hytner at the National Theatre, was also adapted for broadcast on BBC1 in 2019 with the second series in 2020. Pullman was knighted in 2019 for his services to literature.
For the stage Bryony Lavery’s work includes the internationally critically acclaimed Frozen as well as Stockholm, Kursk, Dirt and Beautiful Burnout. Last year her adaptation of David Walliams’ The Midnight Gang was presented at Chichester Festival Theatre where her previous adaptations The Hundred and One Dalmatians and A Christmas Carol were also seen. The London premiere of her play, Last Easter, opens at the Orange Tree Theatre on 7 July 2021.
For the Bridge Theatre Nicholas Hytner has directed Young Marx, Julius Caesar, Allelujah!, Alys, Always, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Ladies, Beat the Devil, The Shrine, Bed Among the Lentils, A Christmas Carol and Bach & Sons. Previously he was Director of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015.