Next Stage Youth perform His Dark Materials Part 1 – Mission Theatre.

His Dark Materials Part One by Nicholas Wright – Next Stage Youth, Mission Theatre.



Based on the epic trilogy from Philp Pullman, Next Stage Youth have taken on the challenge of presenting the stage adaptation of these infamous stories.


Under the expert guidance of Ann Garner the young troupe control and revel in the wilds of Lyra’s world.  It is a fantasy world where all humans have daemons (a creature companion), who is their soul mate; if the link is severed both suffer terribly.


Lyra and Will are the central protagonists, (Will’s story is dealt with further in Part 2) Lyra is an extraordinary girl in many ways, as a result of her unknown prophecy she is pursued by witches and humans alike but her intelligence, resilience and courage allow her to evade the dangers and continue on her journey.


The assembled cast handle the weighty dialogue well and once through the early “setting up” scenes relax into an energetic, vibrant and captivating journey. This is a great team effort, led from the front by a wonderfully engaging Lyra (Jenny McGlynn) displaying a maturity of acting skill far beyond her years who, alongside a perfectly roguish Roger (Miles Aiken), make a convincing couple.  Lord Asriel (Philip Davies) who also appears as Iofur Rakinson is impressively controlled; as is a very well defined, Mrs. Coulter (Verity Ferris) reflecting the changes in her strong characterisation clearly as the story progresses.


The costumes are outstanding; the bear heads particularly effective, allowing Iorek Byrnison (Yugo Jacques) to work very well with such an expressive mask, his physical stature adding to the overall vision.  The original score by Bath musician Matt Finch complements the style and dynamics of the piece very well, giving the scenes an added lift.

This is a production that shows the extraordinary depth of talent in youth theatre in Bath, Part 2 has an entirely different cast and runs next week – there is no need for the future of the adult groups in the city to doubted, except that maybe some of these youngsters will find themselves treading the boards professionally and rightly so.


Petra Schofield


Performances of Part 1 run until Saturday. Part 2 runs 10 -14 July Mission Theatre.

Box Office: 01225 428600

Online: Bath Box Office: 01225 463362




About Petra

Petra is a freelance theatre professional - Artistic Director of Magic Penny Productions, Production Director for Music is Life Productions Ltd and a freelance theatre director / producer available for work across the South West. Petra writes and directs for the Merrimen Youth Company and in 2012 created Magic Penny Productions, a theatre company accessing the history curriculum through drama. The first project culminated in a series of workshops and a bespoke production for Peasedown St John primary school in June 2013 alongside a multi media exhibition showing research and history from across the entire community. Petra directed RENT! for BODS at The Mission Theatre, Bath and Pencoweth a brand new musical at The Rondo Theatre in September 2013 for Music is Life Productions. Recently commissioned to form a community Theatre Company and write a play based on A Midsummer Night's Dream for performance in June 2014 as part of The RSC Open Stages Project.
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