Skip to main content

2nd December 2022

The Lowry claims its canal is an ocean

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, the National Theatre play based on the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, has its Regional Premiere at The Lowry
The Lowry claims its canal is an ocean
Photo: National Theatre

Greater Manchester and Chester have hosted quite a few premieres this year, such as the European Premiere of Mrs. Doubtfire (which nobody was allowed to review), the world premiere of The Book Thief, the World Premiere of The Time Traveller’s Wife, and the European premiere of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

Now, The Lowry is set to host two huge premieres over the holidays. The Quays Theatre is hosting the World Premiere of Claus – The Musical, whilst the regional premiere of the National Theatre’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane will be playing at the Lyric Theatre.

Based on the best-selling Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, the play had its world premiere at the National Theatre in 2019, before transferring to the West End in 2021. Now, it is set to tour the UK, beginning with a month-long stint at The Lowry.

“This thrilling adventure of fantasy, myth and friendship, is a five-star spectacular which blends magic with memory in a tour-de-force of storytelling that takes audiences on an epic journey to a childhood once forgotten and the darkness that lurks at the very edge of it.

“Returning to his childhood home, a man finds himself standing beside the pond of the old Sussex farmhouse where he used to play. He’s transported to his 12th birthday when his remarkable friend Lettie claimed it wasn’t a pond, but an ocean – a place where everything is possible…

“Plunged into a magical world, their survival depends on their ability to reckon with ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them.”

Earlier this year, my old work, Studio Lambert North, sent me to London to drop off a drive. I wanted to see a show, but it was a Tuesday, a day with very few matinees. One of the few options was The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which was set to close the following week. I was not in the mood to watch a play so decided against it – then, to my delight, it was announced that the play was coming to Manchester!

So, come along to the canal at the end of the Lowry for a magical escape.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane runs at The Lowry (Lyric Theatre) from December 12 2022 to January 8 2023 and tours the UK until the end of September.

Jay Darcy

Jay Darcy

Theatre Editor. Instagram & Twitter: @jaydarcy7. Email: [email protected].

More Coverage

The Mongol Khan review: Spectacle over substance

The Mongol Khan is a bodacious production with beautiful design and break-taking choreography but the slim story and lack of substance are baffling, bemusing and bewildering

Roald Dahl’s The Witches: “Wonderfully nostalgic but also fresh and original”

The National Theatre’s stage musical adaptation of The Witches is fun for all the family, or even childless millennials and zoomers who grew up with the book and/or the film

UMMTS’s Bonnie & Clyde review: “The society has outdone themselves.”

Bonnie & Clyde takes over Manchester’s SU, with UMMTS putting on a production to be proud of. With thrilling and enchanting choreography and an engaged audience, this adaption is worth seeing

Hamilton review: This is unlike any show you will have seen before

If you have a chance to see Hamilton, do not throw away your shot