His Dark Materials takes the audience on a journey through worlds familiar and odd. 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.

Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials novels comprises Northern Lights (winner of the Carnegie Medal, Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book awards), The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass (WHSmith Children’s Book of the Year and both Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year and Whitbread Book of the Year – the first children’s book to win the main prize in the award’s history).

Nicholas Wright’s version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters played at the Lyttelton; his Olivier award-winning play Vincent in Brixton, which opened at the Cottesloe, returned to the West End for a second engagement after receiving a Tony nomination on Broadway and tours the UK this autumn. His other original plays include Cressida, Mrs Klein and The Desert Air; his many adaptations include Wedekind’s Lulu, Pirandello’s Naked and Six Characters in Search of an Author, and Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman.

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