Nicholas Hytner’s Ambitious Dark Materials Revealed in London, Jan. 3

News   Nicholas Hytner’s Ambitious Dark Materials Revealed in London, Jan. 3 The National Theatre has quite a history of multi-play epics, not least last year’s Tom Stoppard trilogy The Coast Of Utopia. Artistic director Nicholas Hytner adds his two-plays worth on Jan. 3 when His Dark Materials faces the press.
Dominic Cooper in His Dark Materials
Dominic Cooper in His Dark Materials Photo by Ivan Kyncl

Although the two shows don’t perhaps aspire to the same exhaustive lengths as recent Royal Shakespeare Company marathons like This England (the eight Shakespeare Wars Of The Roses plays) or Tantalus (ten Trojan War plays), it’s still pretty formidable. Philip Pullman’s stories, three books 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.

And His Dark Materials is rumored to be the next “Lord of the Rings” – at least in so far as New Line Cinema has commissioned a screen adaptation from Tom Stoppard as a possible follow-up to their wildly successful Tolkien movies. Hytner will be hoping for a small measure of that success for his Pullman plays.

The cast includes Dominic Cooper, Niamh Cusack, Timothy Dalton, Patricia Hodge and Anna Maxwell Martin in the leads, alongside Samuel Barnett, John Carlisle, Patrick Godfrey, Stephen Greif, Jamie Harding, Akbar Khurta, Inika Leigh Wright, Helen Lymbery, Tim McMullan, Helen Murton, Cecilia Noble, Nick Sampson, Danny Sapani, Jason Thorpe, Russell Tovey, Ben Whishaw, Katie Wimpenny, Ben Wright and Richard Youman. Set designs are by Giles Cradle, with costumes by Jon Morrell, puppets by Michael Currym, 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.

For more information visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk(http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/), or call (0)20 7452 3000.

The Golden Monkey, Patricia Hodge, Timothy Dalton and Stelamaria in <i>His Dark Materials</i>
The Golden Monkey, Patricia Hodge, Timothy Dalton and Stelamaria in His Dark Materials Photo by Ivan Kyncl