I was completely hooked by The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It is storytelling at its best.
It’s great that the Regent has managed to secure this West End show. The set, lights, choreography, music, puppetry and stage craft are second to none.
The lead character is a 12 year-old boy (Keir Ogilvy) trying to navigate the loss of his mother, school, the grief of his father, the suicide of their lodger and everyday life. He befriends a girl Lettie (Millie Hikasa) who lives on a nearby farm, and life improves. However darker forces are at work, and nothing is as it seems. The staging and acting bring this production to life and the suspense ensured that we literally jumped out of our seats at times.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane contains a fantastic fiction element because its character’s flaws and strengths are so real and relatable, human and sad.There are light moments, the children swimming in the duck pond (their ocean). The family farm is generational with the games and laughter, their hope .
Be prepared, it’s an uncomfortable ride into Gaiman’s darkness, and one you will never forget. Bischoff’s music together with Paule Constable’s lighting and Ian Dickinson’s sound design add to the drama and tension plus Jamie Harrison’s magic and illusions which will leave you amazed.
Keir Ogilvy impresses. He taps into a knowing innocence and desire to find the truth in pain. Trevor Fox as Dad has some nightmarish moments and poignant scenes and he handles both remarkably well.
Laurie Ogden perfectly highlights her character’s need to be loved or noticed in the midst of loss. And Charlie Brooks’ Ursula fills that gap with a sense of evil and she does this with ice cold glee.
Flinty Williams, Millie Hikasa and Kemi-Bo Jacobs are a great trio of women who are determined to kick Ursula into touch and restore stability to this family who have been through so much already. Their chemistry makes everything so real.
Highly recommended, the show runs from Tuesday Sept 12th until Saturday September 16th