Imagination can be magical as you let your mind leave the real world and jump into the unknown.
Seeing it played out on stage is going to another level and until Saturday, The National Theatre are doing just that, with their theatre improvisation of author Neil Gaiman’s book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, wowing audiences at The King’s Theatre in Glasgow.
It’s deep, it’s dark and yet it is strangely intoxicating as the tale unfolds and the characters start to get under your skin.
Fresh from a run in London’s West End, the production is spell-bounding as relationships are put to the test and emotions run high.
Dad (Trevor Fox) returns to his hometown for a funeral and his memory takes him back 40 years to when he was a boy and to the old farmhouse where he used to play by the pond.
As the plot untwists Boy (Keir Ogilvy) makes friends with Lettie Hempstock played by Millie Hikasa, who tells him, the pond is in fact an ocean, a place where everything is possible.
Old Mrs Hempstock (Finty Williams) oversees as the duo are whisked into a world of terror, a roller coaster of emotions and some very dark moments, all with the wide eyed innocence of youth trying to get to grips with their life.
And then in steps wicked Ursula (Jasmeen James), who upsets the fun by bringing in evil thoughts and actions which have serious repercussions on the Boy and Lettie’s families.
The Boy’s Sis (Laurie Ogden) and Lettie’s mum Ginnie Hempstock (Kemi-Bo Jacobs) are seemingly oblivious to the emotions which run deep for the boy.
The dark set and music add to the mood, with a dash of puppetry as the adventure unfurls and the audience are on the edge of their seat.
Directed by Katy Rudd and adapted by Joel Horwood, the play is suitable for children aged 12 upwards, with its magic enticing adults just as much.
It’s a tale of intrigue which will have you gripped to your seat.
For more information on ticket availability for the show, please visit: www.atgtickets.com.
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.
Photographs courtesy of The National Theatre