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  • Marika Page

Dive into a World of Wonder: A Review of the Stage Adaptation of 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane'


Photography: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

There is something to be said about a story by Neil Gaiman, the author of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It is always very distinctly him. Ominous, foreboding, full of childhood wonder and adventure. This is exactly how the Lyceum felt on the opening night of The Ocean at the End of the Lane Tuesday 9th May.


Photography: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

Based on Gaiman’s 2013 novel of the same name, this stage adaptation, straight from the West End, is an enthralling theatrical experience from start to finish. We begin with a man (Trevor Fox) returning home for a funeral when he stumbles upon a neighbour Old Mrs. Hempstock (played wonderfully by Finty Williams). As he recalls his memories he has of the old woman, the story transforms into his childhood where we follow Boy (starring Keir Ogilvy with perfect childlike wonder) and his meeting with Lettie Hempstock (scene stealing Millie Hikasa) at her duck pond (or her ‘ocean’ as she likes to call it) and her mysterious knowledge of another world with other beings (Ursula played by Charlie Brooks) who threaten to come into their own and wreak havoc. It is a story about coming to terms with grief, understanding feelings, friendship, family and memories and it will stick with you long after the curtain comes down. Like Coraline, Gaiman’s famous story in which the ordinary becomes twisted with magic and the unknown to create an unsettling new normal; The Ocean at the End of the Lane makes the audience afraid of the dark and anxious for what is coming next.


Photography: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

The staging, lighting, special effects, and music were the highlight of this theatrical production. There were many tricks on stage that produced audible gasps from the audience which truly shows how remarkable this show is. With a wonderful supporting ensemble who breathe magical movement to the main cast, this production is a nonstop feast for the senses.


Photography: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

Due to thematic elements such as death, suicide, domestic violence, loss and grief, the show is advised for ages 12 and up. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is at the Lyceum until Saturday 20th of May. On Thursday 18th of May, the 7:45pm show is both audio described and signed. Tickets can be booked through the Box Office in person, over the phone on 0114 249 6000, or at sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.


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