Neil Gaiman’s magical world to enchant Lowry at Christmas

A SPECTACULAR dark fairytale, based on a novel by cult author Neil Gaiman, becomes a festive highlight at The Lowry, Salford Quays.

The National Theater’s acclaimed production of The Ocean at the End of the Lane will be a staple of the Christmas program.

Currently coming to the end of a hugely successful run in London’s West End, the production combines some spectacular effects with magical storytelling.

Ocean at the end of the runway (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Ocean at the end of the runway (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

The story revolves around a man who returns to his childhood home, where he finds himself next to the pond of the old Sussex farm where he used to play. He is transported to his 12th birthday when his remarkable friend Lettie claimed that it was not a pond, but an ocean – a place where anything is possible…

Immersed in a magical world, their survival depends on their ability to reckon with ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them.

Writer Neil Gaiman said, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane is about memory, magic, family. It’s about who you were and who you are.

The ocean at the end of the lane (Photo: Mauel Harlan)

The ocean at the end of the lane (Photo: Mauel Harlan)

“It’s not like anything else I’ve ever been involved in. It’s not like anything else you’ll ever see in the theater. The Ocean at the End of the Lane has its own theatrical magic.

“That’s why happy people tell you that they cried looking at it, that’s why it becomes a dream-like experience in the memory, it gets bigger the further you follow it inside. Like a duck pond containing an ocean containing the universe…”

Director Katy Rudd said: “When Neil Gaiman gave the National Theater its blessing to stage his novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane, we knew that this book was treasured around the world by the legions of Neil Gaiman’s fans.

The ocean at the end of the runway (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

The ocean at the end of the runway (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

“The writer, Joel Horwood and I wanted to stay true to the novel while creating a big, bold, visual show with more than just a little bit of magic.

“Thanks to our amazing creative team, we’ve found ways to fit an ocean into a bucket and bring huge mythical creatures like the Hunger Birds to life on stage…but at its core, Ocean is a human story about a family and growing up a young boy, experiencing real emotion and real pain, and finding a way to get through it with the help of his friends.

“We hope we’ve created something that is both in-depth and visually exciting that will appeal not only to mainstream theater audiences, but also younger people of the ‘Netflix generation’ who may not have been to the theater before.”

Ocean is the latest National Theater production to head to The Lowry for Christmas, following War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.

The cast will be announced in due course.

Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Lowry, December 12 to January 8. Details from www.thelowry.com

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