NEIL Gaiman’s urban fantasy, Neverwhere, is being performed by Newport Playgoers at the Dolman Theatre, running March 8-10.  

Neverwhere was originally a television series by Neil Gaiman, who then adapted the series into a novel in 1996.

Set in “London Below”, the story features around Richard Mayhew (played by Owen Richards) who, after helping the injured Lady Door, finds himself travelling the magical realm that co-exists with the “London Above”, in an attempt to find his way back home.

Both worlds are portrayed in a single set, with light and sound efficiently used to set the different scenes, and the grey, dark and eerie world, full of shadows housing the array of surreal, fantastic and sometimes unpredictable characters that Mayhew encounters.

The two assassins, Mr Croup (Adam Ramsden) and Mr Vandemar (Iolo Williams) provided some very dark comedy, as did Lord Rat Speaker (Tyron Davies Sullivan); Lady Door (Holly Davies) shone like a fairy princess, her white gown and golden hair defining her as the symbol of good against the dark world and odd characters inhabiting “London Below”. 

The scene of Mayhew’s “ordeal” and the physicality of his potential suicide on the edge of the platform was disturbing, representative of the unravelling of his mind and symbolic of the existentialist crisis being suffered.

If we view London “Above” and “Below” as being metaphorical of our society and our chosen path in life, then this play makes us question our own existence and path.

Julie Benson