The evening started with live music from Jarvis Cocker, supported by a 7-piece orchestra, as he played the songs composed for each of the four stories
There was then a short conversation with Neil, Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth (who directed the series) and Jarvis Cocker.
Neil explained that he had sent Jane and Iain a list of the the 40 or so short stories which were available and they had chosen four, not necessarily the four he would have expected..
|Neil |Gaiman, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard|
Then we got to watch the films. The series consists of 4 of Neil's short stories; Foreign Parts, Feeders and Eaters, Closing Time, and Looking For The Girl, and for the screening they were all shown as one smooth whole, although I think they are being shown as separate episodes when it airs on TV.
And they are very good indeed - the films capture the dark , unsettling nature of the stories, both in content and in the style in which they are shot, and the music perfectly complements them.
I was a little wary, a adaptations of books and stories so often fall short, and fail to do justice to their source material, but these don't.
All of the tales were set in London, but a darker, more mysterious and inexplicable London than the one you normally see.
It left me wondering, as I walked back from the Southbank, what exactly might be going on, just out of sight, and what it is that you half-see, from the corner of your eye, at such times...