The cast has been revealed for BBC Radio 4’s annual adaptation of works by author Neil Gaiman, with the latest project – an hour-and-a-half production of Gaiman’s 2017 work Norse Mythology – set to star actors including Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer, Merlin’s Colin Morgan and legendary thesp Derek Jacobi.
The new adaptation of Gaiman’s book (which retold Norse myths) is said to invite listeners into “a world of gods and monsters, fiery endings and new beginnings, tricks and trust,” and also stars Diana Rigg, Nonso Anozie and In the Flesh’s Luke Newberry in a large ensemble cast.
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“What is so marvellous about the gods is how human they are, there is no infallibility,” said Gaiman, who also cameos in the audio drama as The Radio.
“They are the gods of a cold place and they are always on guard against characters who are even colder – the frost giants. They’re very ‘us’, they’re incredibly human and it is that humanity that makes them fascinating.”
“It’s great fun when you step into realms of fantasy, and radio is the perfect place for fantasy because you don’t need the million dollar CGI effects,” said Game of Thrones star Dormer, who plays Freya in the drama.
“The listeners’ imaginations do everything, so I really do think that radio is incredibly well suited to it – especially this time of year.
“Christmas time is the storytelling time of year, families together, gathered around the fire as our teller has us in this. The Gaiman productions always get an incredible cast, it’s a pleasure to be a part of it.”
“I love playing fantasy roles,” added Jacobi. “I played the Master in Doctor Who at one time – that was a revelation, that was extraordinary.
“I had dear friends, whom I didn’t know were Doctor Who ‘nuts’ who when I announced that was going to play the Master got quite hysterical, and said ‘you actually get to say ‘I am the Master’? And I said yes!”
A full synopsis for the one-off drama, which airs on Boxing Day, is below:
Meet the trickster god Loki and his astonishing children – the giant wolf Fenrir, Jormungundr the snake that encircles the world, and Hel, the little girl who grows up to be Queen of the dead. And Odin the all-father, who sacrificed his eye to see the future, Freya the understandably angry, most beautiful of the gods and always being gambled for by unwanted suitors. The stories take us to the very end of the world, Ragnarok.
Intriguingly, this drama reunites several cast mates from HBO series Game of Thrones (including Rigg, Dormer and Anozie) as well as some actors who’ve appeared in previous Radio 4 adaptations of Gaiman’s work.
Dormer played Door in the star-studded 2013 audio version of Gaiman’s book Neverwhere, while Morgan portrayed Newt Pulsifer in Good Omens, an adaptaion of the book written by Gaiman with Terry Pratchett that is currently being made into a TV series starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen.
A full list of the cast and the characters they play can be found below:
Diana Rigg – Teller
Derek Jacobi – Odin
Colin Morgan – Loki
Natalie Dormer – Freya
Nathaniel Martello-White – Thor
Rhashan Stone – Fenrir
Nonso Anozie – Thrym
Luke Newberry – Balder
Eviee Lavery – Magnus
Grace Doherty – Young Hel
Lucy Doyle – Sif
Don Gilet – Hod
Tayla Kovacevic-Ebong – Tyr
Alexandra Constantinidi – Hel
Lewis Bray – Ivaldisson
Michael Bertenshaw – Brokk
Cameron Percival – Eitri
Saffron Coomber – Angrboda
Neil Gaiman – The Radio
The drama is adapted by Lucy Catherine for Radio 4.
Previous adaptations of Gaiman’s work for the station have included the aforementioned Neverwhere and Good Omens, as well as How the Marquis Got His Coat Back, Stardust and Anansi Boys.
Neil Gaiman’s Norse mythology airs on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 26th December from 3.00-4.30pm