‘A real pinch-me moment’: Leicester actor Daniel Cornish returns to his roots at Curve on a National Theatre tour

Practice makes perfect: Domonic Ramsden, Ronnie Lee, Daniel Cornish, Paolo Guidi in rehearsals for The Ocean at the End of the Lane. ⒸCameron Slater

Talented Leicester actor Daniel Cornish is set to return to Curve for the National Theatre’s critically acclaimed production of The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Daniel is no stranger to Curve. In 2012 he starred in the production of ‘The King and I’ and regularly performed in several of the theatre’s productions before training at the Guildford School of Acting.

He said: “I think it’s safe to say Curve has a special place in my heart and being able to perform on that stage again, as an adult, with the National Theatre, is a real pinch-me moment.”

Daniel has performed in productions such as A Certain Term at White Bea; The Good Scout for Above the Stag; The Little Prince at Vienna’s English Theatre; and Maggie and Ted at the Garrick Theatre.

“I am super excited to be back in Leicester for two weeks and to be able to see my family and friends, but most importantly it means I get to stay at my nan’s,” said Daniel.

Adapted by Joel Horwood and directed by Katy Rudd, the imagination of Neil Gaiman, the best-selling author of Coraline and The Sandman, is brought to the stage and explores his magical world of fantasy and thrills.

The show follows a man as he returns to his childhood home, where he finds himself standing beside the pond of the old Sussex farmhouse where he used to play. 

The audience is then transported to his 12th birthday where his remarkable friend Lettie claimed it wasn’t a pond, but an ocean – a place where everything is possible…

Plunged into an extraordinary world, their survival depends on their ability to reckon with ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them.

Daniel said: “Expect to see the best of storytelling on stage, with puppetry, movement, illusions and much more. Expect to laugh, expect to cry, and expect to leave uplifted by a truly heart-warming story” 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane first premiered in the Dorfman Theatre in 2019, followed by a hugely successful and celebrated six-month stint at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s West End in 2021.

Daniel said: “The success of the show so far speaks volumes about what a gem of a story this is..

In the production, Daniel plays the role of ‘Alternate Boy’ which is shared with the “wonderful” Keir Ogilvy who plays ‘Boy’.

He said: “We have been able to discover this character together. We’ve been able to bring our own experiences and opinions into the space and offered the opportunity to bounce off each other’s energy.”

He adds that playing the role of a character that has a genuine intrigue for life, a desire to learn and a wild imagination “has been lovely to access as we often lose that child-like intrigue, and drive to play as we grow up.”

Daniel is joined on tour by EastEnders star and I’m a Celebrity 2012 winner, Charlie Brooks (Ursula), Jasmeen James (understudy) Trevor Fox (Dad), Emma-Jane Goodwin (understudy), Paolo Guidi (ensemble), Millie Hikasa (Lettie Hempstock), Lewis Howard (understudy), Kemi-Bo Jacobs (Ginnie Hempstock), Ronnie Lee (ensemble), Aimee McGoldrick (ensemble), Laurie Ogden (Sis), Keir Ogilvy (Boy), Domonic Ramsden (ensemble), Joe Rawlinson-Hunt (understudy), Risha Silvera (understudy) and Finty Williams (Old Mrs Hempstock).

The current production is the National Theatre’s largest tour since before the Covid-19 pandemic. The adaptation is set to travel around 29 major towns and cities across the UK and Ireland.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is at Leicester’s Curve Theatre from January 31 until February 11, for tickets see https://www.curveonline.co.uk/whats-on/shows/the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane/