His Dark Materials I and II

This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows

Plays from 4 December 2003 to 27 March 2004, returned 20 November 2004 to 2 April 2005

Olivier Theatre (National Theatre) South Bank, London

Based on the novels by Philip Pullman adapted by Nicholas Wright. His Dark Materials is directed by Nicholas Hytner. This production returns following a sell-out run from December 2003 to March 2004.

This riveting story unfolds over the course of two plays. See Part I and Part II on separate dates, or enjoy both on the same day in a dazzling double bill.

There are as many worlds as there are possibilities. I toss a coin. It comes down heads. But in another world, it comes down tails. Every time that a choice is made, or a chance is missed, or a fork in a road is taken. a world is born for each of the other things that might have happened. And there, they do.

His Dark Materials takes us on a thrilling 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 great quest demands a savage struggle against the most dangerous of enemies. They encounter fantastical creatures in parallel worlds - rebellious angels, soul-eating spectres, child-catching 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.

It's an epic production both in its narrative scope and its staging, involving artists from new technologies as well as old. Nicholas Wright adapts Philip Pullman's three cult novels into two big plays for a cast of more than 30. His Dark Materials is one of the National's most ambitious projects, and aims to create an experience as meaningful for 12 year olds as for adults.