The Ruby in the Smoke

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The Ruby in the Smoke
Ruby in the Smoke.jpg
First edition
Author Philip Pullman
Illustrator Fred Booth
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Sally Lockhart series
Genre Mystery, Young adult novel
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 200 pp
ISBN 0-19-271543-7
OCLC 59171883
Followed by The Shadow in the North

The Ruby in the Smoke (1985) is a novel by the English author Philip Pullman. It was also adapted for television in 2006. It is the first of the Sally Lockhart Quartet. It is followed by The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well and The Tin Princess. The book was also adapted for the stage at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2016.[1]

TV adaptation[edit]

A TV Film adaptation written by Adrian Hodges and starring Billie Piper was produced by the BBC. It aired on BBC One on 27 December 2006[2] and on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery! as The Sally Lockhart Mysteries: The Ruby in the Smoke on 4 February 2007.[3] The UK broadcast attracted 7.07 million viewers.[4] It is notable as marking the TV debut of actor Matt Smith, who would later take over the role of The Doctor in Piper's former series, Doctor Who.

All four Sally Lockhart books were expected to be adapted for television; however, as of January 2015 no information has arisen regarding an adaptation of The Tiger in the Well.


Actor Role
Billie Piper Sally Lockhart
Julie Walters Mrs Holland
JJ Feild Frederick Garland
Matt Smith Jim Taylor
Hayley Atwell Rosa Garland .
Chloe Walker Adelaide
David Harewood Matthew and Nicholas Bedwell
Robert Glenister Samuel Selby
Elliot Cowan Henrick Van Eeden
Miles Anderson Major Marchbanks

Stage adaptation[edit]

In the Summer 2016, a stage adaptation written and directed by Madeleine Perham was performed at The Pleasance during the Edinburgh Fringe [5] after receiving Pullman's blessing.[6] Running for the month of August in the King Dome venue, the performance was hailed as a critical success, with the Scotsman stating that the show was 'a compelling tale, and full of surprises, moral ambiguities and people who are other than they seem'.[7] Jane Berg from Three Weeks awarded the show five stars, stating that the show 'was one of the most enjoyable hours I’ve spent at this festival'. [8] Broadway Baby, the local reviews website, stated that the show 'delighted in its Victorian setting' and was an 'excellent piece of storytelling', going on to award The Ruby in the Smoke four stars.[9]

The show was created by new theatre company Reprint Productions, with a cast of six who multi-roled the numerous characters in the show - Rebecca Lenihan, Sydney Austin, Tris Hobson, Martin Coates, Hamish Forbes and Madeleine Golding (who also served as producer and co-founder of Reprint).[10]


External links[edit]