Pullman at the Oxford Playhouse!Date: 30 April 2009
Last night’s audience for His Dark Materials at Oxford Playhouse received a rare treat last night when Philip Pullman, the author of the award-winning trilogy which has been adapted for the stage by Nicholas Wright, made a surprise cameo appearance.
Pullman, an Oxford resident, took to the stage for ten minutes in the non-speaking role of an Oxford scholar. The audience’s only clue to the amateur performer’s true identity was when another character complimented him on his novels.
Could Pullman’s time in the limelight be more than a one-off? After his turn last night, he said: “It was enormous fun. I really enjoyed the whole experience. Even though I didn’t have a huge part, I was rehearsed within an inch of my life. When they asked me to take part, I realised I had a burning ambition to be on the stage.”
The Birmingham Rep and West Yorkshire Playhouse co-production marks the regional premiere for the two-part stage version of His Dark Materials, which had its world premiere at the National Theatre in January 2004. The production, directed by Rep artistic director Rachel Kavanaugh, first opened last month in Birmingham. It’s in Oxford this week as part of a regional tour which continues to Bromley, Northampton, Edinburgh, Leeds and Leicester.
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