A war with God, the fall of angels, windows to parallel worlds, terrifying spectres and armies of armoured bears, Philip Pullman's spectacular and award-winning trilogy, known collectively as His Dark Materials, offers a singular challenge for any theatrical company.

For the Theatre Royal Bath Young People's Theatre with an amateur cast aged between ten and 18 the two-part play seemed a very ambitious choice. But have no fear, the production is an absolute triumph.

The best-selling books, turned stage play and this year a Hollywood film, The Golden Compass, has become one of the most-loved stories of recent years with droves of fans among adults and young people alike. It tells the tale of plucky young Lyra who makes a journey from the Oxford of an alternate world into a huge, world and universe-embracing adventure exploring issues of authority, religion, courage, truth, love and free-will.

This stage version, cleverly adapted by Nicholas Wright, maintains most of the threads in the novels and vividly communicates the scale and the power of Pullman's story. The huge cast of young actors offer some very powerful and compelling performances. Several cast members played the central twosome, Lyra and Will Parry, cleverly communicating how the children grow up during the course of the story, so congratulations all round to Theo Boyce, Jonathan Chorley, Leah Elston-Thompson, Bethany Hocken and Caitlin Lees-Massey. Chantal Preston,18 played Mrs Coulter and invested her character with considerable corrupt and seductive power. Jethro Smith made a great Iorek, the mighty king of the armoured bears.

The intelligent and sometimes breath-taking presentation of the story made up a large part of its success. The characters' daemons, for example, were created using actors, puppets and models. The old king of the bears, Iofur, was a giant puppet, towering over the human cast. The witches flew on wires in long, silk gowns. The angels hovered in shimmered in outfits of gold. Projected images were used to create scenes. Film, lighting, sound and music were woven into the mix to great effect. At the end of the play, so many brilliant images remained in the mind, the stained glass window and purple silk robes of the sinister church hierarchy, the harpy No-Name leering over the land of the dead, Lyra and Will sitting under a tree knowing they will never see each other again. It is a magnificent production and runs at the Bath Theatre Royal until Sunday April 20.