Following its world premiere at the National Theatre’s Dorfman Theatre in December, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, based on the bestselling novel by Neil Gaiman transfers to the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre, where it runs from 31 October 2020 to 6 February 2021, with a press night on 12 November.
Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel is ‘brought to thrilling life’ (The Times) in this modern myth, where the power of imagination and storytelling transports audiences on a spellbinding and spectacular adventure. It’s adapted by Joel Horwood and directed by Katy Rudd.
Commenting on the transfer, Gaiman said:
“It’s a terrifying thing to hand your book over to a creative team, but I was impressed by Katy Rudd and Joel Horwood. I watched over three years as they took the book apart and built it up again, and I knew it was working when I watched the actors run it through in a rehearsal space, and realised there were tears running down my face.
“Then, as I sat between two delighted, sobbing women at the press night, I got to see it in all its glory. There’s real magic in it, and it’s a good magic. The hardest thing about the National Theatre run was having to tell people who wanted to go that it was sold out, which is why I’m thrilled that a lot more people are going to laugh and cry and wonder and tremble and believe when The Ocean at the End of the Lane goes to the West End.”
Returning to his childhood home, a man finds himself standing beside the duck pond of the old Sussex farmhouse where he used to play. He’s transported to his 12th birthday, spring half term. When his dad was struggling to make ends meet and his friend Lettie claimed it wasn’t a pond, but an ocean…
Plunged into a magical world, the children’s survival depends on their ability to reckon with dark, ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them.
Director Katy Rudd said:
“Directing Neil Gaiman’s extraordinary story and working with Joel Horwood to bring it to the stage has been a huge privilege. We have been blown away by the response of audiences at the National Theatre and are excited that the show is now moving to the West End where more people will get the chance to experience the beauty and magic of The Ocean at the End of the Lane.”
The set designer is Fly Davis, with costume and puppet design by Samuel Wyer, movement direction by Steven Hoggett, composition by Jherek Bischoff, lighting design by Paule Constable, sound design by Ian Dickinson, magic and illusions direction and design by Jamie Harrison and puppetry direction by Finn Caldwell.
Casting for the West End transfer to be confirmed.
There are close to 15 million copies of Neil Gaiman’s novels in print and collections in print, which include Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, The Ocean at the End of the Lane (UK National Book Awards 2013 Book of the Year), Good Omens (co-written with Terry Pratchett), American Gods, Stardust, Fragile Things, The View from the Cheap Seats, Art Matters and the graphic novel series Sandman. His books for children include The Graveyard Book (Newbery and Carnegie medals for Prestigious Contribution to Children’s Literature), Coraline and Wolves in the Walls (co-created with Dave McKean). Coraline was adapted into a BAFTA-nominated film, a musical, and an opera at the Barbican. Television adaptations include Good Omens (Emmy nominated) and American Gods (Emmy nominated). Film adaptations include Stardust and How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Neil has also appeared in Arthur, The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory and Lucifer. In 2017 he became a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Refugees and is a Professor in the Arts at Bard College in New York.