Neil Gaiman admits the latest adaptation of his story made him cry 6 months ago

Neil Gaiman admits the latest adaptation of his story made him cry

The stage play comes to Dublin later this month.

Neil Gaiman is no stranger to having his work adapted. Over the years, between TV and movies, his stories for The Sandman, American Gods, Stardust, Coraline, Good Omens, Stardust, Coraline and more besides have been brought to the screen. We're not sure how many of these adaptations actually moved him to tears, though.


But that was exactly what happened with the stage adaptation of his novel The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, which comes to Dublin at the end of March. The book was first released in 2013 and went on to win Book of the Year at the National Book Awards that year.

The story centres on an unnamed man who returns to his hometown for a funeral and slowly begins to remember events that took place four decades earlier, which results in a mind-bending trip through memory that tackles the boundaries between childhood and adulthood.

Ahead of the debut of the stage adaptation of his story, we chatted with Gaiman about his first reaction to seeing his story being brought to life. On his impression of the play, he told us:


"We're making peoples' [imagination] do a lot of the heavy lifting. And I didn't know if that was going to work. I hoped it would, but I knew we weren't going to be doing something with amazing video screens that moved you around. We were going to do something that, if it worked, it was going to get into your heart and squeeze.

"And the first time I saw a complete run-through of the play, I was in the National Theatre in some rehearsal space backstage, with all of the lights on. The entirety of the audience was me and the director, they're running it through from beginning to end, some in costumes, some not. And it was about 15 minutes from the end, and I realised there were tears running down my cheek. I needed to get rid of them and deal with the fact that I was apparently crying while watching, so I was casually flicking them away.

"But that was the moment that I knew it worked. Up until that point, I was like 'I hope this works, I think this thing is going to work, it's moving in the right direction'. And then I saw it, and I was like 'This makes you feel huge things', and then watching the reviews, and even more exciting, watching the audience's reactions, seeing how people talk about it in interviews and social media and things.

"It has just made me so happy, because that thing that I felt then, it is happening to them now, only its bigger, only there is some spectacle, because you'll see 15-foot high puppet creatures from other dimensions, a sort of casual magic. It is amazing."


The Ocean At The End Of The Lane will be performed at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre from Tuesday 28 March to Saturday 1 April. You can get tickets right here.