National Theatre spectacular for The Lowry at Christmas


A scene from the London production
A scene from the London production

The hit National Theatre production of The Ocean at the End of the Lane will tour the UK later this year, with two major north-west dates, at The Lowry in Salford (December 12-January 8, 2023) and the Liverpool Empire (May 2-6, 2023). Lowry tickets went on sale to Lowry members on May 10, and go on general sale today (10am). The show is suitable for ages 12 and over.

The stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel is a five-star, rave-reviewed theatrical spectacular of myth and friendship that takes audiences on an epic journey to a "childhood once forgotten", and the "darkness that lurks at the edge of it". The London reviews were ecstatic, to say the least.

Returning to his childhood home, a man finds himself standing beside the pond of the old Sussex farmhouse where he used to play. He is transported back to his 12th birthday, when his remarkable friend Lettie claimed it wasn't a pond but an ocean; somewhere anything is possible...

The 40-week tour is the largest mounted by the National Theatre since before the pandemic, and follows a six-month run at the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End, which opened in November 2021, following the production's world premiere at the South Bank in late 2019.

Writer Neil Gaiman said: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane is about memory, magic and family. It’s about who you were and who you are. It’s not like anything else I’ve ever been involved in. It’s not like anything else you’ll ever see at the theatre.”

Director Katy Rudd said: “When Neil Gaiman gave the National Theatre his blessing to stage his novel we knew the book was treasured across the world by his legions of fans. Writer Joel Horwood and I wanted to be faithful to the novel and at the same time create a big, bold, visual show with more than a little bit of magic.

"Thanks to our amazing creative team we found ways to fit an ocean into a bucket, and bring huge mythical creatures to life on stage.

"But at its heart, Ocean is a human story about a family and a young boy growing up, experiencing real emotion and real pain, and finding a way to get through it with the help of his friends. We hope we have created something that is both profound and visually exciting, that will appeal to regular theatre audiences and also to younger people of the Netflix generation.”

Neil Gaiman is best known for his graphic novels, including The Sandman series (of which a major new Netflix series is scheduled for this year).

The Ocean at the End of the Lane was the winner of the Book of the Year prize at the 2013 National Book Awards, and has sold more than 1.5 million copies.

.