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The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

The National Theatre's critically acclaimed adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is at Milton Keynes Theatre this week, direct from the West End.  It is quite simply an unmissable piece of theatre which is one of the best shows I've seen, combining incredible visual effects, dance, puppetry and movement to tell an incredible story.

Neil Gaiman's novel was the winner of the Book of the Year at the 2013 National Book Awards and has sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide, but anyone who has read it will find it hard to imagine how this story could be told on the theatre stage when it relies so much on the reader's imagination, but somehow it's been done, with a visually incredible show which really pushes the boundaries of what can be done live.  

Fans of Stranger Things, Harry Potter, Tolkein or even C. S. Lewis will love this mix of myth, fantasy and spookiness, and while there's plenty of magic and darkness in this tale, it's at its heart about the importance of friendship for children... and the importance of remembering what it's like to be a child for the parents. 

Returning to his childhood home, a man finds himself standing beside the pond of the old Sussex farmhouse where he used to play. He's transported to his 12th birthday when his remarkable friend Lettie claimed it wasn't a pond, but an ocean – a place where everything is possible... Plunged into a magical world, their survival depends on their ability to reckon with ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them.

Keir Ogilvy is outstanding in the lead role as 'The Boy' alongside the remarkable Millie Hikasa as Lettie.  The supporting cast includes strong performances from Charlie Brooks as Ursula, Finty Williams as Old Mrs Hempstock, Laurie Ogden as Sis and Trevor Fox as Dad.

Neil Gaiman described this show as unlike anything else you'll ever see at the theatre, and he's quite right!  It's best to go into this show without any knowledge of the story and just allow yourself to be transported into this incredible world where the usual conventions of theatre are turned on their head as Gaiman's magical world is realised.  The daring concept of squeezing an ocean into a bucket and the ingenious portrayal of mythical creatures like the Hunger Birds are brilliantly executed. 

This is a truly extraordinary, must-see show which has created a real buzz, with a younger than normal audience mixing the usual theatre goers with Gaiman fans and the 'Netflix generation'.

It captures the true magic of live theatre with imagination and emotion, providing a genuinely unforgettable experience.

 

Trailer Video

 

Photo Gallery 

Domonic Ramsden, Keir Oglivy (Boy), Aimee McGolderick and Millie Hikasa (Lettie) in The Ocean at the End of the Lane. c. Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

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