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SYFY WIRE The Dark Crystal

The Dark Crystal's next stop? London's Royal Opera House for a ballet performance in Thra

By Josh Weiss

Netflix may not be returning to Thra anytime soon, but there are other ways of accessing the sprawling fantasy universe of The Dark Crystal. London's Royal Opera House announced this month that it will host a ballet performance inspired by 1982 Jim Henson classic. Entitled The Dark Crystal: Odyssey, the family-friendly show is being choreographed and directed by Wayne McGregor (a famed choreographer known for his work on such projects as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).

While specific plot details are currently being held captive by the Skeksis, we do know that the ballet has the involvement of Jim Henson's Creature Shop, which is providing both props and puppets to the stage production. Brian and Wendy Froud, both of whom worked on the original film's iconic designs, also have a hand in the operation — along with composer Joel Cadbury, digital designers kontrastmoment, lighting designer Lucy Carter, dramaturg Uzma Hameed,  costume designer Philip Delamore, and face-and-body-artist Alex Box.

"The Royal Ballet are bouncing back after the most challenging year in our history, and I am thrilled to be sharing some of the exciting new work planned for our 2021/22 season," Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, said in a statement. "Our dedicated audiences have missed the thrill, passion and exhilaration of live ballet, as much as we have and we can’t wait to be back on stage for our first full Season in 18 months."

"After a turbulent year we are thrilled to announce a line-up of productions for everyone to enjoy in our first full season since 2019," added Opera Director Oliver Mears. "The opera company and all staff and artists in the building are itching to create and stage work and we are excited to welcome back international and British artists, and of course our magnificent Chorus and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Since first closing our doors a year ago, we have been proud to present a wealth of digital work to audiences around the globe, however, nothing can replace the live theatre so missed by us all in the last 12 months. We look forward to opening our doors in the autumn and presenting a truly remarkable new season of work."

No word yet on when the curtain will raise on this adaptation in the Opera House's 2021-22 schedule of programming — the first full season since 2019.

Known for its extensive use of practical puppetry, The Dark Crystal was a flop upon its initial release, but gained a massive cult following the decades since. Over the last 39 years, it's spawned comics, novels, video games, and several other pieces of media. Age of Resistance, a prequel series directed by Henson mega-fan Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Now You See Me) premiered on Netflix in 2019 and despite widespread acclaim, the show was canceled after a single season.

The Dark Crystal: Odyssey won't be the only fantasy epic to hit live theater. Earlier this week, George R.R. Martin revealed a Game of Thrones stage play that explores key moments of Westeros history.