Neverwhere launch: “It was amazing to see Benedict Cumberbatch and James McAvoy star-struck”

The star-strewn read-through for Radio 4's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's fantasy drama was "astonishing", says Natalie Dormer

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The Radio 4 adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy Neverwhere boasts a cast most Hollywood blockbusters would be proud of. Rising stars like James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch opposite film legends such as Christopher Lee, and yet more of Britain’s brightest acting talent including Homeland’s David Harewood and Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer.

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So perhaps it’s no surprise that even some of the biggest names among them were a little star-struck when they first sat down for a read-through of the script.

“When I walked into the table read and a few of the other actors were there it was absolutely astonishing,” said Dormer, speaking at the launch of Neverwhere. “We were astounded. You saw the cast looking around and it’s amazing to see the likes of Benedict [Cumberbatch] and James [McAvoy] a little bit star-struck by Christopher Lee at the table.”

Adding to the excitement was the fact that the initial read-through was the only time the entire cast would be gathered together in one place.

“We were all so excited,” said Dormer. “It’s a gift to have been able to sit down like that because it wasn’t recorded chronologically speaking – it never can be, due to people’s availability and so on – so to sit down with that cast and read with them was fantastic.”

Neverwhere is a six-part adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy drama about the inhabitants of magical subterranean realm London Below. It begins with an hour-long episode at 2:30pm on Saturday 16 March on Radio 4 and continues with five 30-minute instalments at 6pm across the week from Monday 18 March on Radio 4 Extra.

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Visit the official Neverwhere site for clips, a guide to the characters and more