I apologize in advance for any gushing that happens in this article; this is possibly my favorite book by certainly my favorite author and I couldn’t be more excited. That aside, if any of you have the misfortune of being acquainted with the book Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman, I implore you to head to your nearest bookshop and pick up a copy!
Set in London, or more specifically London Below – where the people who fall through the cracks end up, the stroy follows Richard Mayhew and the mysterious girl Door as they travel through the mythical, magical subterranean London, know as London Below. This brilliant world is filled with memorable characters and places that garner their identity from famous landmarks or tube stations. You will never visit London in the same way again after reading this book. Which is why I’m incredibly excited about a new radio play that will air sometime in the first four months of 2013. It will be available across the globe through BBC’s iPlayer. Sure a film is what every wants but just have a look at this cast of voice actors, a line up better than most films can boast:
James McAvoy – Richard Mayhew
The protagonist who gets thrust into this myth that’s existed beneath his feet his whole life without him knowing it. A perfect casting for an outsider thrown into a world he doesn’t understand, somewhat like in Wanted.
Natalie Dormer – Door
The mysterious young girl from London Below with the innate ability to ‘Open’ things, which is a lot more impressive when given some context. Her voice should be perfectly suited to the bright character.
David Harewood – Marquis De Carabas
A wonderfully complicated and cunning character who you never know where you stand with, the Marquis is one of Gaiman’s finest creations and Harewood will no doubt do him justice
Sophie Okonedo - Hunter
Again, this outstanding piece of casting is spot on. Both physically and audibly Okenedo would excel at the part and it truly is a shame we’re not going to see her leaping about as the lithe and agile Hunter. Still, I’m not complaining!
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Angel Islington
Whoever drew this cast together deserves a knighthood, because once again they’ve hit the nail right on the head. Cumberbatch’s got the perfect voice for the serene, if a little arrogant, Angel. With his experience voicing Smaug in the upcoming Hobbit trilogy, not doubt he’s got the skills to pull this off.
Anthony Stewart-Head – Croup
The deliciously sinister Messr Croup will be brought to life wherever you listen to this with Head’s snarl – probably not something you’d want considering Croup’s terrifyingly violent tendencies.
Bernard Cribbins – Old Bailey
Old Bailey is another of Gaiman’s superb characters and who better to bring him to your earbuds than yet another Doctor Who alum, Bernard Cribbins.
Christopher Lee – Earl of Earl’s Court
Who wouldn’t be excited to have Count Dooku/Saruman/Dracula involved in your production?! Certainly not Neil Gaiman, who is over the moon with the inclusion.
Lucy Cohu – Lamia
The velvet lady of the night, pseudo vampire creature would need to have a luxuriously seductive and deep voice – Cohu has that in spades.
Romola Garai – Jessica
A smallish role but Romola Garai has endeared herself to anyone who has watched The Hour and all must be looking forward to her part to play.
And the assembled cast…
I don’t know what else to say, my mind is blown. With a cast like that, I wish they’d decided to do a film or TV series but if it’s a radio play we’re getting, then this is the best early Christmas present I’ve ever had.