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ocean at the end of the lane artwork

all about theatre 5 star review

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is the National theatre's adaptation of the novel by Neil German. After success in the west end the show is now embarking on its first ever UK tour commencing at The Lowry in Salford.

ocean at the end of the lane production shot Millie Hikasa (Lettie) and Keir Ogilvy (Boy)

Gaiman's book has been adapted for the stage by Joel Horwood and tells the story of a young boy who life gets unexpectedly turned upside down when he meets Lettie (Millie Hikasa) a girl with magical powers who makes him question his own reality. Whilst out with Lettie the boy (he doesn't have a name he's just referred to as the boy) comes into contact with a monstrous entity called a flee, the entity wants to enter our world and during a fight with the boy (Keir Ogilvy) and Lettie it wounds the boys hand. Some how the flee is able to travel through the wound on the boys hand and enter into our world. When the entity emerges it takes the form of a beautiful woman called Ursula (Charlie Brooks) who becomes the boy's family's new lodger and she then tries to seduce the boy's Widow father. The boy with his new friend Lottie tries to send the flea back to where it came from. The story is multi-layered and we also learn about the relationship between the boy and his father and about the complicated effects of childhood trauma and grief.

ocean at the end of the lane production shot Charlie Brooks (Ursula) and Keir Ogilvy (Boy)

When we first walked into the theatre's auditorium and saw the stage surrounded in what looked like a forest of trees it felt really creepy and spooky and set the scene for the play perfectly. The set was designed by fly Davis and was relatively simple but effective in combination with the props, lighting, illusions, puppetry and music this really get you immersed in to the stories supernatural world. The show features many illusion all expertly done by Jamie Harrison (Harry Potter & The Cursed Child and Bedknobs and Broomsticks) and will leave you scratching you head thinking how on earth did they do that. The use of lighting in this play was brilliant Paul Constable the lighting design did an excellent job with all the lighting effects which were used. The puppets used in this show ranged from giant monsters to beautiful rod puppet versions of Lettie and the boy. All the puppets in the show were designed by Samuel Weir and he has done an excellent job, the puppets were stunning and were controlled beautifully by the amazing puppeteers.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this production was Jherek Bischoft's score, it was beautifully haunting at times and strong and powerful at others, it really help set the atmosphere of each scene.

ocean at the end of the lane production shot Millie Hikasa (Lettie) and Keir Ogilvy (Boy) with their puppets

The entire cast of this show were excellent, I loved Millie Hikasa's Bold and Brave portrayal of Lettie and Keir Oglivery gave a superb and believable performance as the boy. Charlie Brook's Ursula was delightfully wicked and Trevor Fox play the struggling widowed single father perfectly.

This play as well as its supernatural and spooky elements has a lot of heart and it is a really lovely piece of theatre, I think it's probably one of the best pieces of theatre I've seen. So grab yourself a ticket you wont be disappointed.

Ocean At The End Of The Lane is returning to the Lowry from the 4th - 7th October 2023, link to tickets below.

For more information on the tour and to see where it will be touring to check out the link below.

*Our tickets for this show were kindly gifted in exchange for an honest review


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