National Theatre delays press night for His Dark Materials

National Theatre delays press night for His Dark Materials

The National Theatre has announced that the press performance for its two-part adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is to be delayed until 3 January 2004.

The originally scheduled press performance was Saturday 20 December.

Nicholas Hytner, director of the productions and of the NT said, "When I took this on, I thought it was unstageable. Now I know that we can do it – but we need more time to get this hugely ambitious production right. With hindsight I should have scheduled more time. We have had to cancel the first previews of both parts. I apologise unreservedly to the people we’ve had to turn away. We’re scheduling extra performances to accommodate those people."

The first two previews of Part I (on 4th, 5th December) were cancelled when insuperable technical difficulties were encountered during final rehearsals, and the first preview of Part II (Saturday 13 December) has been delayed until Monday 15 December. Apart from the three cancelled previews, all performances continue as scheduled.

The National is to schedule extra performances for people unable otherwise to get into the sold-out run.

Based on the novels by Philip Pullman, adapted by Nicholas Wright, the show now opens at the Olivier Theatre 3 Jan 2004 , following previews from 6 Dec 03, booking to 20 Mar 04.

The cast includes Timothy Dalton (Lord Asriel) , Patricia Hodge (Mrs Coulter) , Niamh Cusack (Serafina Pekkala); Dominic Cooper (Will); Anna Maxwell Martin (Lyra), Samuel Barnett, John Carlisle, Patrick Godfrey, Stephen Greif, Jamie Harding, Akbar Khurta, Inika Leigh Wright, Helena Lymbery, Tim McMullan, Iain Mitchell, Helen Murton, Cecilia Noble, Nick Sampson, Danny Sapani, Jason Thorpe, Russell Tovey, Ben Whishaw, Katie Wimpenny, Ben Wright, Richard Youman

His Dark Materials Part 1 & Part 2 is directed by Nicholas Hytner, designed by Giles Cadle, choreography by Aletta Collins, costumes by Jon Morrell

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.

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