Noteworthy creativity accompanies “Neverwhere” in its ambitious West Coast premiere at Sacred Fools. Robert Kauzlaric’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel about a parallel world beneath London isn’t flawless, but director Scott Leggett and his resourceful forces turn virtual handsprings to make it play.
Originally a 1996 BBC mini-series, “Neverwhere” echoes “Doctor Who,” Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil” and countless fantasy chronicles, not least “The Wizard of Oz.” When office drone Richard Mayhew (Michael Holmes) encounters unconscious Door (Paula Rhodes) on the street, his Good Samaritan impulses upend his life.
Indicatively named Door is the sole survivor of a slaughtered noble family from London Below, which functions concurrently with our world. After joining Door’s vengeance quest, Richard discovers he has ceased to exist in London Above. A labyrinthine allegory ensues.
Although designer Michael James Schneider’s set tends toward serviceable, it allows for many atmospheric effects, with Matt Richter’s prismatic lighting, Mark McClain Wilson’s ominous sound and Martin Morse’s eclectic costumes particularly evocative.