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Charity number: 1077161

Company number: 3724349

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Boy in Darkness


Wednesday 11 March 2015 - Saturday 4 April 2015
Post-show discussion:
Wednesday 25 March

A Boy wanders into darkness, a land of broken things…
There he meets a goat, a hyena and a lamb with diabolical schemes…

The Boy escapes the oppressive Castle of his birthright on his fourteenth birthday. As he ventures into the unknown, his rebellion leads him on a descent to ancient alchemy and present danger. He must call on his wits to escape - or be trapped forever.

Storytelling and physical theatre intertwine in a bold, new stage interpretation of Mervyn Peake's novella 'Boy in Darkness', performed as a solo show by Gareth Murphy. Capturing a chilling adventure in the teenaged years of Titus Groan, hero of the celebrated Gormenghast trilogy, Boy in Darkness is a gothic fairytale underpinned by Peake's rich and powerful language.

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.

Please note that seating for this production is a mixture of sitting on cushions on the floor and on chairs.

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


"A physical theatre gem" ★★★★

The Stage

"Physical theatre and storytelling at its finest"

Charlotte Everett: London Tour Guide, Journo, Adventurer.

"Physical eloquence and bold storytelling do justice to Peake’s fantasy realm"

A Younger Theatre

"Murphy is a consummate professional not letting up for a second during his seventy minute performance"

The Flaneur

"The performance nothing less than a tour de force from Gareth Murphy"

Bargain Theatre Land

"the elegance and economy of movement [was] almost hypnotic to watch"

There Ought to be Clowns

"As complete a production as is probably possible" ★★★★

Remote Goat

"Gareth Murphy holds a captivated audience's attention...single handedly for just over an hour"

Southwark News

Mervyn Peake
Adapted and Performed by
Gareth Murphy
John Walton
Martin Thomas
Lighting Designer
Fridthjofur Thorsteinsson
Sound and Music
Jon McLeod
Voice Coach
Barbara Houseman
Movement Director
Svetlana Biba


"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'

Supported by

  • Arts Council England
  • The Golsoncott Foundation