I’ve yet to blog about this, but I am an enormous fan of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. I love the array of ideas that the author packs into his work, and his conception of religion as an organized ‘cult’ of faith strikes particular a chord with me. It’s refreshing to read a fantasy novel that tackles such meaty issues, particularly one that doesn’t talk down to its audience in any way. On top of that, I’m just a sucker for a good story – and sprawling fantasy doesn’t come much better than this.
It is an epic trilogy, so full of rich imagery and grand vistas that interpretations by other forms of media – film in particular – seem natural. I was excited to hear then, that the National Theatre was producing a massive and expensive staging of the books in its vast Olivier Theatre. Unfortunately, through a combination of procrastination and laziness, I didn’t get around to seeing either the original, or its revival a year later. I’ve always regretted this, so when I heard that the Playbox, a youth theatre in the West Midlands, was taking on the project, I was intrigued and resolved to see it.
I’ve decided that it deserves a proper review, so you can read my thoughts here.