Boy In Darkness: Blue Elephant Theatre

Boy in Darkness poster

Boy in Darkness
By Mervyn Peake
Adapted by Gareth Murphy
Blue Elephant Theatre In House Production
11th March – 4th April

A Boy wanders into darkness, a land of broken things….

Gareth Murphy intertwines storytelling and physical theatre in a bold new one-man stage interpretation of Mervyn Peake's novella 'Boy in Darkness'.

A gothic adventure from the teenage years of Titus Groan, hero of the celebrated Gormenghast trilogy, Boy in Darkness is underpinned by Peake's rich and powerful language as it details the Boy’s escape from the oppressive Castle and the danger he subsequently encounters.

The Blue Elephant continues to bring the work of one of the twentieth century's greatest writers to the stage with this original adaptation, following the world stage premieres of Mervyn Peake's plays The Cave and Noah's Ark.

"But it is extraordinary: a howl, an imperfect and painful philosophical struggle, part of a remarkable artist's testament. Honour to the little theatre."
Libby Purves, The Times on The Cave

The original impetus for adapting one of Mervyn Peake’s stories for stage was suggested by members of his family to Gareth Murphy, upon discovering that he was a storyteller, when he was performing in Noah’s Ark in 2011. Gareth has been working towards this production since then, performing a work-in-progress showing in May 2013 which garnered positive reviews of its potential as a full production:

“An evocative one-man performance that calls on the dynamism of a balletic performer...It is great work longing to be fully realised. “ Fringe Review

Gareth Murphy says “It’s been a challenging journey to get this far and it’s fantastic to finally be in the rehearsal room. It’s an incredible story and Peake’s language is hugely evocative so it’s very exciting to work with.”

Gareth is joined by Director John Walton, who brings a passion for combining intimate storytelling techniques with the boldness of physical theatre. Since training at the Ecole Philippe Gaullier, John's directing credits include Dr Brown Because (4 stars in The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The List and Time Out) and Winston on the Run (5 stars WhatsOnStage). John says "From the moment I read Peake's story, with its eerie mix of fantasy, fairy-tale and gothic horror, I knew I wanted to be involved in this project. The passion of Gareth and the Blue Elephant to bring the tale's strange beauty to life is incredible, and I'm very excited about being part of this in house production.”
Director: John Walton
Performer: Gareth Murphy
Designer: Martin Thomas
Lighting Designer: Fridthjofur Thorsteinsson
Sound Designer: Jon McLeod

Performed with kind permission of the Mervyn Peake Estate c/o Peters, Fraser & Dunlop Ltd

Dates: Wednesday 11 March – Saturday 4 April (Wednesdays to Saturdays only)
Time: 8pm
Tickets: £12.50 (£10.00 conc. & £8.50 Southwark residents)

Listings Information:

Venue: Blue Elephant Theatre, 59a Bethwin Rd, Camberwell, SE5 0XT (entrance on Thompson Ave)
Nearest tube: Oval (Northern Line)
Wheelchair accessible
Box Office: 020 7701 0100
Twitter: @BETCamberwell

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