The Ocean at the End of the Lane opened at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff last night to a sold out audience and it was a stunning example of what perfect theatre looks like.
The play, masterfully created by Joel Horwood and directed by Katy Rudd, incorporates dance and puppetry into a rich dialogue with captivating music. It first debuted in 2019 based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Good Omens). This is the first time it has ever been to Cardiff and it received a standing ovation from the audience.
The story is set between 1983 and now with a runtime of two hours and 30 minutes including an interval. It is a beautiful story about the past and memories with mysterious elements and magic. The ending is a beautiful full circle moment that leaves you feeling reflective and emotional.
The cast includes EastEnders actress Charlie Brooks who plays the main antagonist Ursula and her performance was brilliant throughout with great humour and clever moments that blow the audience away. Keir Ogilvy and Trevor Fox also put in notable performances where we could really relate to their character and feel the anxiety and emotion that they were portraying.
The entire cast put in phenomenal performances and you can see them here.
The production was memorable making this play theatre at its very best. The staging (by Fly Davis) was simple but interactive with moving props and stage hands being involved in the runtime to make it look seamless. This all combined to keep the audience invested and captivated with modern dance and expert puppetry all accompanied by a wonderful soundtrack composed by Jherek Bischoff,
It is suitable for all ages from 12 and above as both young and old will be entranced by the magic storytelling which includes fairytales and family dynamics with evil spirits lurking on the edge. The play is unique and like noting you will have ever seen before despite being inspired by other pieces of science-fiction.
Some elements were truly breathtaking with scenes that gave you goosebumps, it was very clever as it intertwined aspects of all types of theatre with it also being able to turn on a dime by switching from funny moments to emotional ones.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a special play with loveable characters who take you on a journey of self discovery that you can relate to. It is a story that leaves you emotional and encourages to take a view from the inside.
If you haven’t been to see it then I would encourage everyone to do so because it is worth every second. It is at the Wales Millennium Centre with matinee and evening performances until Saturday 3rd June with tickets from £15
To get tickets or view more information, visit the WMC’s website.