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The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage - Bridge Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

BRYONY Lavery’s new stage adaptation of Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage is the second production in the Bridge Theatre’s new season. Directed by Nicholas Hytner, it runs from July 23 (previews from July 11) to October 10, 2020.

La Belle Sauvage takes place twelve years before Pullman’s epic His Dark Materials trilogy.

Two young people and their dæmons, with everything at stake, find themselves at the centre of a terrifying manhunt. In their care is a tiny child called Lyra Belacqua, and in that child lies the fate of the future. And as the waters rise around them, powerful adversaries conspire for mastery of Dust: salvation to some, the source of infinite corruption to others.

La Belle Sauvage was published in 2017 and was followed last month by The Secret Commonwealth. His Dark Materials, which had a ground-breaking production sixteen years ago by Hytner at the National Theatre, is currently being broadcast on BBC1. Philip Pullman was knighted this year for his services to literature.

For the stage, Bryony Lavery’s work includes the internationally critically acclaimed Frozen as well as Stockholm, Kursk, Dirt and Beautiful Burnout. Last year, her adaptation of David Walliams’ The Midnight Gang was presented at Chichester Festival Theatre where her previous adaptations, The Hundred and One Dalmatians and A Christmas Carol, were also seen.

Nicholas Hytner co-founded the London Theatre Company with Nick Starr. He was Director of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015, where the productions he directed included The History Boys, Hamlet, One Man, Two Guvnors and Othello. His films include The Madness of George III, The Lady in the Van and The History Boys. His book, Balancing Acts, is published by Jonathan Cape.

For The Bridge, Hytner has directed Young Marx, Julius Caesar, Allelujah!, Alys, Always, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Two Ladies.

The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage is designed by Bob Crowley, with video designs by Luke Halls, lighting design by Bruno Poet, puppetry by Barnaby Dixon and music by Grant Olding. The associate directors are Emily Burns and James Cousins who is also movement director. Casting will be announced at a later date.

Caryl Churchill’s play A Number opens the new season (February 14 to March 14, 2020). Meanwhile, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe continues at the Bridge Theatre until February 2, 2020.