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 Post subject: Neverwhere (new radio version)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 17:56 
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We've talked about this a little before but not in its own thread (some in B&B some in the Dr Who thread and some in the generic book thread) but there is just under a week until this starts on Radio 4 (16th March)

Book Wikipedia page :

Generic BBC page :

Cast list has people that I'd happily listen to read a phone book

James McAvoy - Richard Mayhew
Natalie Dormer - Door
David Harewood - The Marquis de Carabas
Sophie Okonedo - Hunter
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Angel Islington
Anthony Head - Mr Croup
David Schofield - Mr Vandemar
Bernard Cribbins - Old Bailey
Romola Garai - Jessica
Christopher Lee - Earl of Earl's Court
Andrew Sachs - Tooley
George Harris - Abbot
Don Gilet - Fulingous, Ruislip, Blackfriar
Abdul Salis - Sable, Sump, Clarence, Homeless Man
Paul Chequer - Gary, Guard 2
Lucy Cohu - Lamia
Yasmin Paige - Anaesthesia, Tenant 2 – female, Match girl
Johnny Vegas - Lord Ratspeaker
Stephen Marcus - Varney, Homeless man, Letting agent, Guard 1
Karen Archer - Sylvia, Old Woman, Dream Hawker, Mother

And a blog post from Natalie Dormer ... Neverwhere

"Urmm – That's Sir Christopher Lee": Natalie Dormer on the making of Neverwhere

“Abso-bl***y-lutely!” I have checked. This was my immediate email response to my agent back in November when asked if I was interested in joining an ambitious, new radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s cult novel ‘Neverwhere’.

I love Neil Gaiman’s writing. ‘American Gods’, ‘Stardust’, ‘Neverwhere’. I went through this particular reading phase in my late teens/early 20s, around the same time that I was a committed Tori Amos acolyte. So to find out they were friends (“If you need me, me and Neil’ll be hanging out with the Dream King”) only enhanced Gaiman’s credibility as far as I was concerned at the time.

Fast-forward a few weeks after that email and after happily listening to Neil’s audio-book, I knew James and Benedict were attached but I wasn’t prepared for the table read: The preposterously talented bunch of people who arrived at that door (no pun intended – well, maybe just a little one). We weren’t aware of the full cast list before we arrived that day and although table reads are always a pleasant surprise – you bump into people you’ve not seen for ages, there are hugs, catching up, compliments on recent projects - this day the energy was very special. I stood at the tea table with Johnny Vegas asking him about his Desert Island Discs (I love my fair portion of BBC Radio 4 already, you see) and from the corner of my eye watched people walk in - their faces struck and then lit-up with excitement at the wonderful group in the room. For a RADIO piece?! It’s always a touching, humbling thing to witness
talented, successful actors getting excited or a tiny bit star-struck by the presence of a co-star on a job

I won’t list the cast (you know it) but, I have to say, very rarely do you see actors taking photos on their phones before a table read starts. I was sipping my coffee, trying to act casually about Sherlock, Dr Xavier, Giles, Estes (the list goes on) all being in the same room when Dracula walked in. I leaned into Dirk Maggs next to me. “Urmm – That’s Sir Christopher Lee.” Dirk replied with that reassuring, mischievous twinkle in his eye that I would become familiar with over the next week. A little tit-bit of information for you: the legendry Christopher Lee is a Latin scholar. He helped me with Door’s Latin (and, much to my excitement, kindly signed my re-mastered copy of “The Wicker Man”).

The joy and strength of radio is its power to flesh-out stories of epic scale without the million dollar special effects. The filmic soundscape Dirk has designed is very impressive. He created this incredibly free space for us, so the acting was much more physical than the way a radio piece is usually done. As an actor you go back to your fundamental tool – your imagination. And then, to be honest, we all just had a bit of a play (as well as the hard work, obviously!).

Dirk and Heather (- Larmour, Producer) were relaxed, supportive directors so we had A LOT of fun recording. James McAvoy is a devil for ad libbing and I’m an easy-target for corpsing. I also have a great video on my phone of the gorgeous Sophie Okonedo as Hunter, “fighting” with Abdul Salis. The two of them concentrating on the physicality, finding the vocal noises required and James is messing about trying to distract Abdul, which strangely adds to the energy. I spent most of my time with Sophie, David Harewood and James, but whomever I was with, be it the genius, dastardly double-act of Anthony Head
and David Schofield, a very pregnant and witty Romola Garai, or the absurdly talented Benedict Cumberbatch, I laughed every day until my sides ached and eyes watered.

Dirk, Heather (Larmour - Producer), their team and us motley crew of cast all contributed with love and respect for the original writing and its themes. I hope you enjoy listening to “Neverwhere” as much as we enjoyed making it.

It’s a little bit awesome... “the way rats are a little bit covered in fur”.

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