His Dark Materials Parts 1&2 - National Theatre Dec 2004
Opened 8 Dec 2004
Written: based on the novels by Philip Pullman, adapted by Nicholas Wright
Directed: Nicholas Hytner with Matt Wilde
Cast: David Harewod (Lord Asriel) , Lesley Manville (Mrs Coulter) , Michael Legge (Will), Elaine Symons (Lyra ), John Carlisle (Lord Boreal), Adjoa Andoh (Serafina Pekkala),
Synopsis: Philip Pullman's three cult novels have been adapted for the stage into two big plays. HIS DARK MATERIALS takes us on a journey through worlds familiar and unknown. For Lyra and Will, its two central characters, it's a coming of age and a transforming spiritual experience. Their quest demands a savage struggle against the most dangerous of enemies. They encounter fantastical creatures in parallel worlds - rebellious angels, soul-eating spectres, child-cathing Gobblers and the armoured bears and witch-clans of the Arctic. Finally, before reaching, perhaps, the republic of heaven, they must visit the land of the dead.
What the critics had to say.....
LYN GARDNER for THE GUARDIAN says, "Back for the second year with an almost entirely new cast, Nicholas Hytner's production based on Philip Pullman's novels is always great spectacle, and sometimes very good theatre..along the way there are plenty of marvels - many in puppet form - including daemons, angels, armoured bears and dragonfly-riding Gallivespians." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "I enjoyed almost every minute, hooked by the narrative, delighted by the acting, and marvelling at the sheer skill and panache of the production." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "enjoyable....Nicholas Wright has sharpened a narrative that last year confused me. " JEREMY AUSTIN for THE STAGE says, "This is an almost faultless piece of theatre. The casting is exquisite."
Production photo by Catherine Ashmore