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The Ocean at the End of the Lane

based on the novel by Neil Gaiman
adapted by Joel Horwood
Recommended for 12+ yrs

3 December 2019 to 25 January 2020
Running Time: appox. 2 hours and 20 mins, inc. interval

5 star rating

Spellbinding.The National at its very best.

5 star rating

Mesmerising, theatrical magic.

Sunday Times
5 star rating

Entrancing, challenging, uplifting and wonderfully funny.

5 star rating

Imaginatively brilliant.

Mail on Sunday
5 star rating

Theatrical magic at its best.

Gay Times
5 star rating

Uses every theatrical trick. Add it to your bucket list.

SFX Magazine
4 star rating

Adrenaline-powered. Action-filled spectacle.

4 star rating

Sensational, scary and beautiful in equal parts.

Time Out
4 star rating

Imaginative and extravagant.

The Times
4 star rating

Spectacular. Bathes childhood in a spooky light.

The Observer
4 star rating

Tremendous. Brought to life with such imaginative relish.

4 star rating

A thrilling adaptation – eerily beautiful and properly scary.

Financial Times
4 star rating

Dazzling. Makes you marvel at what theatre can do.

The Stage
4 star rating

A terrifying and magical coming of age story.

The Arts Desk
4 star rating


Culture Whisper
4 star rating

Brims with wild imagination.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Returning to his childhood home, a man finds himself standing beside the duck pond of the old Sussex farmhouse where he used to play. He’s transported to his 12th birthday, spring half term. When his dad was struggling to make ends meet and his friend Lettie claimed it wasn’t a pond, but an ocean…

Plunged into a magical world, the children’s survival depends on their ability to reckon with dark, ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them.

Adapted by Joel Horwood and directed by Katy Rudd, this adventure will excite, unsettle and thrill those brave enough to face its hidden depths.


Recommended for 12yrs+

Tickets for families
Half-price tickets for under-18s on prices above £30

Please note: This production contains themes that some people may find distressing. It also contains strobe lighting. If you require further information, contact details are provided in our Help centre

Visual Story
This document has lots of info and pictures to help you prepare for your visit to The Ocean at the End of the Lane at the National Theatre.
Click here to download the visual story.


Talks and events
12-16: Movement and Storytelling in The Ocean at the End of the Lane Sat 7 December, 11am
Childhood Memories: Recall and Imagination Mon 16 Dec, 6pm
Neil Gaiman on The Ocean at the End of the Lane Wed 18 Dec, 5.45pm
Making the Show: The Ocean at the End of the Lane Tue 21 Jan, 2pm
Director Katy Rudd and Adapter Joel Horwood Fri 24 Jan, 6pm
Creating the Puppets for The Ocean at the End of the Lane Sat 25 Jan, 11.30am

The Ocean at the End of the Lane I Joel Horwood and Katy Rudd

More info

The Ocean at the End of the Lane I Introducing Ursula

Illustration by Samuel Wyer.

More info

The Ocean at the End of the Lane ticket prices and Access performances

Ticket prices

*£75, £65, £55, £36, £25, £20 

Half-price tickets for under-18s on £70/£50/£36 tickets

Access Performances

Audio-described performances, for blind and visually impaired people:
Fri 10 January, 7.30pm
Sat 11 January, 2pm preceded by a Touch Tour at 12.30pm

Captioned performances, for deaf or hard-of-hearing people:
Thu 2 January, 2pm
Mon 13 January, 7.30pm
Wed 22 January, 7.30pm

Sensory Adapted performance for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance, including technical changes to the production for those with sensory sensitivities.
Sat 18 January, 2pm


*Some of the best seats in the house are premium priced. They help to ensure we can continue to offer low price seats
for all our productions; the National Theatre is a charity and only 17% government-funded. This year nearly 30% of our tickets
are available for £20 or less.

Smart caption glasses

Smart caption glasses are a revolutionary new way for people with hearing loss to enjoy performances at the National Theatre. For the first time, service users can experience our productions, including this one, from any seat in any theatre.

Find out about smart caption glasses

People wearing Smart Caption Glasses at a performance in the theatre


Jade Croot
Sis / Ensemble
Jade Croot
Fred Davis
Fred Davis
Owain Gwynn
Policeman / Ensemble
Owain Gwynn
Ursula / Skarthach
Pippa Nixon
Carlyss Peer
Ginnie Hempstock
Carlyss Peer
Jeffrey Sangalang
Lodger / Ensemble
Jeffrey Sangalang
Marli Siu
Lettie Hempstock
Marli Siu
Old Mrs Hempstock
Josie Walker
Jess Williams
Policewoman / Ensemble
Jess Williams

Production team

Illustration by Nicolas Delort

Help Centre

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets