Previews for Second Part of His Dark Materials Begin Nov. 30

By James Inverne
30 Nov 2004

Michelle Dockery and Adjoa Andoh (front) in His Dark Materials
Michelle Dockery and Adjoa Andoh (front) in His Dark Materials
Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Building on the current fascination with fantasy epics (the musical version of Lord of the Rings is expected in London in 2005), the National Theatre’s version of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials has been brought back for the Christmas season. Part 1 is already in previews; Part 2 begins previews Nov. 30. Both parts open Dec. 8.

Philip Pullman’s stories, adapted by Nicholas Wright, cover many universes and call for angels, armored bears and witches. Locations range from the narrow streets of Oxford to the vast Arctic wastes. Nicholas Hytner directs.

The cast, with changes from last year’s line-up, includes David Harewood (a one-time NT Othello) as the remote Lord Asriel, Lesley Manville as the seductive Mrs. Coulter, Elaine Symons as the young heroine Lyra and Michael Legge as her protector Will. Also in the cast are Adjoa Andoh, Mark Buchner, John Carlisle, Michelle Dockery, Vanessa Earl, Jamie Harding, Darren Hart, Don Gallagher, Ian Gelder, Leo Kay, David Killick, Pascal Langdale, Samantha Lawson, Elliot Levey, Emma Manton, Iain Mitchell, Victoria Moseley, Helen Murton, Chike Okonkwo, Harry Peacock, Alan Perrin. Alistair Petrie, Dodger Phillips, Samuel Roukin, Nick Sampson and Rachel Sanders.

Set designs are by Giles Cradle, with costumes by Jon Morrell, puppets by Michael Curry, lighting by Paule Constable, choreography by Aletta Collins and music by Jonathan Dove.

Nicholas Wright is an NT regular. His version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters played the Lyttleton in 2003, and his Tony-nominated play Vincent In Brixton also recently returned to London from New York.

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