Home » Back Issues » Issue 137
Est. 1997 - Proprietors Anthony, Barnett & Massey
The Truth Shall Make Ye Free

Discworld Monthly - Issue 137: September 2008

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Men at Arms - Live
6. Competitions
7. Review: Moving Pictures Live
8. The End


1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 137. This month I had the great pleasure of being invited to the wedding reception of two very good friends and long term Discworld fans, AJ and Rob.

AJ and Rob got married on 08/08/08 which must be the most unlikely date for Discworld fans. The reception was like going to a Discworld Event with so many familiar faces. It was great fun helping to celebrate their marriage.

So congratulations and all the best to AJ and Rob.


Sadly one of AJ and Rob's wedding guests and regular Northern Institute meet-up member, Carole (known to many Duina Sidhe) sadly passed away this weekend. I am sure you will want to join us in passing on our sympathies to Carole's husband Paul (hansolobiker) and the rest of her family at this very difficult time.


Terry recently appeared on the BBC Panorama program about the "post code lottery" where your location affects what drugs are available from England's National Health Service. The section with Terry is brief but a longer video is on the Panorama website at: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7561724.stm


By the time you get to read this two of the biggest Discworld events of the year will be over. The Convention in Birmingham and Wadfest in Retford, Nottinghamshire. For various reasons I was unable to attend the Convention but did manage to make Wadfest. You can read all about it next month.

If you did go to the Convention and would like to let others know about your experiences there - please send us a review at the email address listed below.

It appears that due to work commitments beyond their control Diane Duane and Peter Morwood (two of the Discworld convention's most popular guests) sadly had to cancel their visit to the Convention. Diane writes about her disappointment at missing the event in her blog dduane.livejournal.com/151706.html


Don't forget, if you visit a play or a talk and would like to let the world know about it, please feel free to email your review to and we will consider it for publication.

--
Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Soft Toy Abductor)


2. News

An update from Terry via PJSMPrints.com (www.discworld.com/):

"Folks,

To those that want to know, it would be true to say that my life right now is occasional short periods of writing interspersed and interrupted with requests for interviews. As my UK readers will know, merely catching a variant of Alzheimer's has propelled me onto more prestigious chat show sofas than I have ever seen in 25 years of quietly writing the Discworld series.

My general health is good. The most recent test by my specialist indicates, in effect, that I am no worse now, and possibly slightly better than I was at the back end of November. I have no idea when Unseen Academicals will be finished, simply because of the amount of media interest that continues to be generated by recent developments in the treatment of AD. Frankly, and with the agreement of my publishers, I feel that this is something that I should give priority to.

In a weeks time we are flying to the States to talk to a number of specialists in AD research and, incidentally, go out with the LAPD officers who are tasked with - and I am not kidding - locating and bringing home those elderly joggers with memory difficulties who have jogged five miles and can't remember where they live. I thought this was an urban myth, but apparently it is true. We will, obviously, be back in time for UK convention, which I would not miss for root canal surgery.

The bad news is that it looks as if, for various reasons, Going Postal The Movie will be delayed and shooting will not begin until the start of next year. However, the guys from Mob turned up this morning and filmed my sequence for the Colour of Magic DVD which will be released in October.

Terry Pratchett"


News from Terry's Agent Colin Smythe ():

Terry will be interviewed by Mark Lawson for BBC Radio 4's Front Row on Monday (1st September). The show is broadcast between 7.15 and 7.45pm. The full version of Terry's article on Alzheimer's and Aricept that appeared on p. 6 of the News of the World on Sunday 17th August can be found at www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/article14796.ece [Despite the wording under the photo in the article the old man in the photo is not Terry - Ed]

On 9 September the Buckinghamshire New University, with its headquarters in High Wycombe, will be giving Terry an honorary doctorate. He had worked at the Bucks Free Press which is based in the town when he left school in 1965.

Talpress (Czech Republic) will be publishing the Discworld Almanak, and Proszynski (Poland), Going Postal

Terry's Dutch publishers De Boekerij, are relaunching his back list with trade editions of the first 15 titles, The Colour of Magic to Men at Arms.

The Chinese publishers Science Fiction World Magazine are now taking licenses on the second four Discworld novels, Wyrd Sisters, Pyramids, Guards! Guards! and the unillustrated Eric. They published the first four in 2007.

Verlagsgruppe Random House have just acquired the German audio licences for Thud! and Making Money.

Thorpe/Charnwood have just published Making Money in large print (978-1-84782-277-2)

The 1 August issue of The Bookseller, the British book trade's principal publication, has a lead article entitled 'Pratchett crowned "evergreen" king'. It explains that Neilsen Bookspan lists 1.8 million books published in the UK and since it started keeping sales data in 1995, only twelve books have never fallen out of the top 5,000 bestsellers chart. Of these twelve, three are by Terry - The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, and Mort. No other author has more than one in the list.

The other nine are Sebastian Faulk's Birdsong (which topped the chart), J.R.R.Tolkien's The Hobbit, Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course, James Redfield's The Celestine Prophecy, Nelson Mandela's A Long Walk to Freedom, M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Travelled, Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, and two children's books, Michael Rosen's We're Going on a Bear Hunt, and Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar.


As a service to fans Sandra Kidby is pre-selling signed editions of Terry's latest novels including: Nation, The Folklore of Discworld and The Illustrated Wee Free Men.

If you purchase all three you will get a chance to win a signed UK proof copy of Nation (one of only 100 printed) [One of the 100 sold recently on eBay for over 2,400 GBP - Ed]

See www.pjsmprints.com/books/index.html for more information and check out our competition this month to win a signed hardback copy of Nation as supplied by Sandra Kidby.


EuroVideo have announced release dates for the German Edition of The Colour of Magic (Die Farben der Magie). The DVD will be available for rental from 2nd October and for purchase from 9th October.

More information is available at: www.eurovideo.de


A group of Discworld fans know as the Ankh-Morpork Knitters Guild decided to make a special afghan blanket for Terry which they inventively named the Pratchgan. On Saturday 16th August they caught up with Terry at the Edinbrough International Book Festival to hand over the Pratchgan. We understand that Terry was suitable impressed with all the colourful sections and spent some time identifying them all.

For more information and to see photos of the finished item visit: discworldmonthly.co.uk?redir=BLOG2008091


Is Mars a good habitat for swamp dragons?

NASA has announced that it has discovered perchlorates in soil samples collected by its Phoenix robot lander. This suggests there could possibly be Martian animals with perchlorate-fuelled metabolisms, living off perchlorate-concentrating plants.

The problem with this though it that there would be a significant risk of these creatures catching fire or exploding if upset - not unlike Terry's swamp dragons.

discworldmonthly.co.uk?redir=REG2008091


News from Transworld:

Terry to do largest and smallest book signings to launch NATION.

The smallest island book shop and the Nation's largest bookshop will join forces to launch Terry Pratchett's new novel, NATION, at special events to be held on Saturday 13th September.

NATION is set on a small desert island and challenges the way we think about cultural identity, nationhood and the history of civilisation. To reflect the book's setting and story, Random House Children's Books plans to hold the biggest and smallest bookshop signings with the Hayling Island Bookshop (smallest) and Waterstone's Piccadilly (biggest).

At just over 3m2, the Hayling Island bookshop is the smallest island bookshop with enough space to hold only one copy of each book it stocks. In contrast, Waterstone's Piccadilly is set over 7 floors with 5000m2 of shop space, making it the biggest bookshop in Europe.

It is at these two very different venues that fans will gather for the chance to meet Terry Pratchett and get a copy of NATION signed. Also, exclusively available to these two shops is a limited edition copy of NATION available to buy on the day of the signings (more details to follow).

On Saturday 13th September, Terry Pratchett will be signing at the Hayling Island Bookshop at 9am, and at Waterstone's Piccadilly at 2pm. Marie and Colin Telford, owners of the Hayling Island Bookshop, are thrilled to have secured the signing: "Events are a huge part of what we do and we're over the moon to have someone as popular as Terry Pratchett visiting us. We're going to decorate the shop with palm trees and jungle foliage to make our British island shop look like the tropical setting from NATION - it's going to be a huge small signing!"

Waterstone's are delighted to be holding the biggest signing event for the launch as Gary Deane - Waterstone's Children's Events Planner comments: "As our flag-ship store, there is nowhere better suited than Waterstone's Piccadilly to holding a large signing with Terry Pratchett and we're thrilled to be involved. We're trying to build a nation of book lovers so holding the NATION signing here is very appropriate."

NATION, published by Doubleday (HB) on 11th September 2008, 16.99 GBP.


Southport's Broadhurst bookshop won a competition to have Terry visit for a book signing. The winning display was of Death and The Luggage (complete with dolls legs purchased from ebay!)

Terry will sign copies of Nation and The Folklore Of Discworld on Thursday, October 2nd - from 4pm "until he runs out of steam."

discworldmonthly.co.uk?redir=SOUTH2008091


Reader Simon Appleby thought other readers might be interested in some hitherto obscure but rather cool, officially approved Discworld drawings: bookgeeks.wordpress.com/2008/08/11/the-lost-art-of-discworld/


Discworld Dates...

This section will contain events that you need to keep in your diary. Entries will remain until they go out of date. New entries will include the word [New] next to them. If this section gets too large we will start pruning entries.


[UK] The resurrected Point 303 Theatre Company will be performing Night Watch from 4-6 September 2008 at 7.45pm with a Saturday Matinee starting at 2.30pm.

The shows are part of a one-off fund-raiser in memory of a former member of the group who died in September 2007, aged 25, from cancer. 55% of the ticket sales will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

The performances take place at The Studio, Questors Theatre, Matlock Lane, Ealing, W5 5BQ

Tickets cost 10 GBP or 8.50 GBP for concessions.

Visit www.questors.org.uk or call 020-8567-0011


[UK, Updated] The Broken Drummers is a London Discworld Group that meets once a month on a Monday evening. Membership is free - just come along. New members and visitors to London are both welcome and encouraged.

September's meeting will be on Monday 8th September at the Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ.

Keep an eye on www.brokendrummers.co.uk or e-mail


[UK, New] Greenock Players are putting on a production of Maskerade at the Arts Guild Theatre in Greenock (20 miles west of Glasgow) on the 11-13th September 2008. Tickets can be purchased for 7.50 GBP from the theatre 01475 723 038.


[UK] Shepperton Players are planning a production of "Carpe Jugulum" in October 2008 at the Riverside Arts Centre (59 Thames St, Lower Sunbury, Middx TW16 5QF). The production will be on stage 1st to 4th October. www.riversidearts.co.uk/


[UK, New] Wyrd Sisters will be performed by Straight from the Heart Productions at the Assembly Rooms in Glastonbury, Somerset. Doors open 7.30pm for 8pm start on October 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Tickets are 5 GBP, 4 GBP concs and 3 GBP children. More details at www.straightfromtheheartproductions.com


[UK, New] Wyrd Sisters will be performed by ACE Theatre Company from West Sussex in October and November.

Performances on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th October are at The Hawth Studio, Crawley, Box Office 01293 553636

Performances on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th November are at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead, Box Office 01342 302000.

All performances start at 7.30pm. Tickets 10 GBP, concessions 9 GBP.


[UK] The Wincanton Hogswatch Event will be celebrated on the 29th and 30th November. Visit www.discworldemporium.com/ for more details once they have been confirmed.


[AU] Nullus Anxietas 2: The Second Australian Discworld Convention February 27 to March 1 2009 Storey Hall, RMIT, 342 Swanston St, Melbourne

ausdwcon.org

There's a venue, the dates are set in stone, and attendance memberships are now up for grabs! At the end of February next year, the second Australian Discworld Convention will be happening again in Melbourne. While Terry understandably can't make it over this time around, there are still plenty of exciting events lined up - including Snowgum Films' Troll Bridge, a sequel of sorts to Run Rincewind Run, the hilarious Martin Pearson, a new, improved Gala Dinner, and the return of favourites like Significant Quest, Werewolf, Medieval Weapon Demonstrations and more.

Ticket prices are currently 120 AUD / 100 AUD concession - but they are set to rise at the end of September, so confirming your spot sooner than later is recommended. ausdwcon.org/memberships/new

If you want to stay on top of the latest news, sign up on the mailing list: ausdwcon.org/subscribers


[US] The First North American Discworld Convention will take place from September 4-7, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.

For more information visit http://www.nadwcon.org/


Small Ads...

Please note, DWM has no way of checking the veracity or validity of any of the items in our small ads section. As always, exercise caution when giving out your details over the Internet. We *strongly* recommend parental supervision for younger readers who
follow up any of these contacts.


Sara Redford writes: "I have every edition of Ramtop to Rimfall (except Issue 34, which for some inexplicable reason is missing) for sale. If anyone is interested please email me with an offer (to include postage at 3.00 GBP - it's a heavy parcel!) All 36 issues are in excellent condition and make for interesting reading. Trouble is I need the space now, so it is with some reluctance that I offer them up to another fan. I'd rather give Discworld Monthly subscribers first refusal than stick them on ebay and I promise to sell to whoever makes the highest offer. I'll accept offers up to two weeks from the arrival of this publication in our inboxes and the highest offer wins :-) Email me with subject of Ramtop Offer (that way it'll get through junk filters!) Just let me have a name and your offer at first. I'll acknowledge receipt of offer and then let everyone know if they have been successful or not so you aren't left wondering. Only when I accept your offer will I ask for personal details like your address (a minor essential) and then we can discuss payment."


3. Readers' Letters

If you have any letters or comments, please email them to

We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters while Richard's on holiday...

It is vitally important that you don't pass off other people's work as your own. If you use information from other resources please let us know so we can give proper credit.

The best letter of the month will receive a Kiss the Cook print supplied as by Bonsai Trading. Sadly Bonsai Trading is no longer trading but John Pagan has kindly supplied me with a reasonable supply of prints to give away.


*
* From: "Gary O'Connor"
*
This was found in one of the Indian papers :

Indian officials tell poor people to start eating rats: 'The beauty is we have billions of them'

August 19, 2008 by Muhammed Ansari

Indians living in one of the country's poorest states have been told to eat rats.

The rodents are already consumed by an impoverished caste in Bihar called the Musahars or 'rat-eaters' (Dwarf ?) - but most people find the idea distasteful.

Now state officials are asking hotels and restaurants to devise interesting ways of poaching, roasting or stewing the meat.

'Once people accept it as just another meat like chicken or mutton, it will become popular,' said Vijay Prakash, Bihar's social welfare secretary.

Rat meat is already cooked in some Bihar villages and Mr Prakash's mission is to spread the taste to urban areas because poor rat-catchers will only make enough money once demand grows.

'It is very high in protein and the beauty is that we have billions of rats,' he said.

He wants rat snacks served at bus and train stations, and roadside cafes.

'In the countryside, in roadside cafes, people have rats as a snack with drinks,' he added.

Mr Prakash's objective is to give Bihar's poor a source of nourishment and income.

'India has about eight rats per person. If rat meat sells for 50 rupees a kilo and each rat weighs a kilo - field rats are fat and heavy - then a poor family can make 150 rupees a day by catching just three rats.

'Once it becomes as normal as chicken, then I will encourage people to start rat farming.'

Is this a statement from "Lord Snapcase" or just a figment of my imagination?


*
* From: "J.P. Godfrey"
*
Last month Brian Robert asked about the circled numbers on the maps inside his leather-bound Discworld books.

I also don't have these editions of the books, but I do have "The Discworld Mapp" Which I think is the same map re-used for the books. If so then the numbers refer to a list of places in the accompanying booklet that were not able to be fitted onto the map in full.

They are:

  1. Tsort
  2. Djelibeybi
  3. Ephebe
  4. Crinix
  5. Papylos
  6. Erebos
  7. Jowser Cove
  8. ParaMountain
  9. F'twangi
  10. Koom Valley
  11. Oolskunrahod
  12. Ankh R.
  13. Heliodeliphilodelphiboschromenos
  14. Holy Wood
  15. Chirm
  16. Sto Lat
  17. Sto Kerrig
  18. Sto Helit
  19. Kom
  20. Al-Ybi
  21. Il-Drim
  22. N'Kouf
  23. Otherz
  24. Quirm
  25. Pseudopolis / Psephopolis
  26. NoThing
  27. Rham Nitz
  28. Re'Durat
  29. Leaping Mountains

DWM replies: Thanks to J.P. Godfrey and the many other readers that were able to resolve this mystery for us.


*
* From: "Paul van Oven"
*
I hope you had fun last weekend. [At the Moving Pictures stage Premiere - Ed]

Many years ago I read the Dutch translation, but now I just finished the English version of Moving Pictures.

I wonder has anyone ever tried to make a list of all movie references in the book?

DWM replies: I haven't checked recently but L-Space (www.lspace.org/) may well have many of the references listed.


*
* From: "Luminous Cumbrian" <address supplied>
*
Agnes Nitt does not suffer alone. If you didn't watch the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing, you probably heard on the news that the cute little girl who 'sang' the solo was only miming while the actual singer was hidden off-stage because she 'had chubby features and uneven teeth.' I hope that the Agatean Agnes also has a lovely personality. The poor lass will need it, growing up with the memory that she was so cruelly deprived of her moment in the spotlight just because she didn't look cute enough.

DWM replies: Luminous Cumbrian gets this month's Letter Of The Month.


*
* From: "Fiona Finch"
*
I was just reading this month's newsletter and thinking how long ago it was that I first started reading it, way back in 96/97. It got me thinking about how I accidentally discovered TP books back in the early 90s - at the time I read horror books almost exclusively (in retrospect, as a teenager I was quite possibly trying to discover a story that was in some way worse than my angst ridden nightmare of puberty. How can monsters in the dark compare to a spot on the end of your nose though?). I devoured as many Stephen Kings and Dean Koontz books as I could from the local library, but a few weeks of this behaviour seriously reduced my options in that department. It was quite possibly the smallest library in the whole of L-space. Think of a mobile library condensed into something smart car sized and you get the picture.

I had to start taking risks at this point and pick up strange books, some of which I'd never heard of before. No matter to me though, as long as they had a black cover and were in the horror section they HAD to be top notch scary tales, right? Hmm, it appears that the librarian, or maybe it was the Librarian, had other ideas. There was a copy of Good Omens staring at me one day, from the horror shelf, complete with occult-ish symbols on the front and on the back - even better - black and white photos of the authors looking suitably odd. Without stopping to even glance at the bumpf regarding storyline, I added it to the pile for that week.

Well, you can probably guess the rest. I read Good Omens in one sitting, found myself laughing out loud every few minutes (I didn't think people did that before), but when I got to the end and had a problem. A big problem. I needed more, and having never heard of these writers before, was wondering where on earth I was going to find some. Maybe, just maybe, I could just go to the book shop and spend my entire student grant* for the term on TP and NG books and damn the consequences...

I lived on boxes of food sent to me by my mum for the rest of the term, but was sustained by merriment and joy brought on by Terry's writing. I still can't face tinned ravioli, and still await every new word written by TP with baited breath. So, not an entirely bad outcome eh?

I was wondering if any other readers have any evidence of the Librarian being at work to snare readers into TPs clutches? Thought it might make a bit of an interesting run in the newsletter if you're short of anything better to do.

Keep up the good work!

*about 8.35 GBP.


*
* From: "Kiki"
*
Thank you, thank you, thank you for mentioning the Alzheimer's t-shirt. I bought it right away and will be wearing it proudly in honour of my mother, who's 62 years old and has advanced Alzheimer's. I'm dead curious how the staff in her nursing home will react ;-)


*
* From: "Jonathan Wright"
*
[With reference to SFX magazines recent poll of the top 100 authors of all time]

Terry won by a blue mile. Jonathan, SFX freelancer

DWM replies: We're surprised Stephen King wasn't in the running [Green Mile - get it? - WB]


*
* From: "James Donihue III"
*
Greetings from the southern United States. I had a question I was hoping someone could help me with. I know a new edition of the Discworld Companion came out last November, but what happened? I can't find it available anywhere on line. I've tried bookfinder.com and bookbutler.com. One showed it available through a dutch website that I couldn't get translated on my computer. The latter shows it through a few websites, but they show it as an item they don't stock but they can "source it" with a finders fee.

DWM replies: I had that on order as well in the UK but I don't think it ever got released. I think it might have been the case that Amazon incorrectly had it listed.


*
* From: "Patrick Marks"
*
This is the first time I've written and would like to say what a great email to read with all the news! I was lucky enough to meet Terry at the Southbank centre when signing Money, Money and was delighted at how he took time to chat with every fan who wanted to ask a question. As a social worker I work with dementia sufferers, so I asked him if any of his characters could be described as social workers and he perhaps jokingly thought the wee free men might be!

At the time of signing the fly past for the Queens birthday roared overhead and we joked as we waited that they were honouring Terry!

It was also great to be entertained with musical extracts from one of the musical versions of his work!

I'll remember the day with affection as a chance to meet a lovely man, even briefly!

keep up the good work

Are there any fans groups in Scotland - I live in St. Andrews?

DWM replies: We are not aware of any Discworld fan groups in your area. If you live in or around St. Andrews why not get in contact with Patrick and start up a group.


*
* From: "John M Rogers"
*
I reckon they Pratchettophiles have been at it again - the sign directing drivers off the Portishead road over the Suspension Bridge now reads "CLIFTON (TROLL BRIDGE)".

Must be a gurt great troll, mind...

DWM replies: Anyone got a photo?


4. DiscTrivia

This month I'm asking questions about A Hat Full of Sky.

Q1.
Who took over as the gonnagle?
Q2.
What made Miss Level special?
Q3.
What was it that chases Tiffany?
a) The Queen of the Faries
b) A Hiver
c) A Drone
d) Roland
Q4.
Oswald is an ondageist. What does that mean?
Q5.
Who is the new Kelda?

The results, as always, appear at the end of this issue.


5. Review: Men at Arms - Live

Reviewed by Kirstie May

Southcoast Goes to the Theatre - a review of Men at Arms, performed by the Really Necessary Travelling Actors at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth

After the success of last year's Southcoast theatre trip to see Carpe Jugulum, both anticipation and nerves heralded the arrival at the New Theatre Royal the latest offering of Pratchett on the stage. We had all enjoyed last years production so much that I realy didn't want this one to be a let down. Plus, last years 'Random Salad Company' has morphed into the 'The Really Necessary Travelling Actors'. However I was relieved to find that this was the only change, and that all the signs were good.

As is traditional, the majority of us met up for a pizza before the performance. We were a little surprised to see a familiar face sat on a table close by - one Steven 'CMOT Dibbler' Briggs, very far from home. We, of course, were as well behaved as would be expected which I am sure is the only reason why he didn't notice us.

Once we arrived at the theatre, we were warmly greeted by both Producer and Director - Steve Johns, and Chris Blatch-Gainey who were out at front of house. They told us, after some prompting, that no, we weren't imagining things and that Mr B was expected to the performance.

I can only imagine the extra pressure that must have put onto cast and crew - but it made no difference to the thoroughly professional performance that we were treated to. Everyone was as sharp as ever.

As the past performances that we'd seen had been 'Witches Books', many of the principals were new faces. However, it was smashing to see the return of 'Footnote' (Liz Philo) and her fishnets. The wonderful Jane Blatch-Gainey returned as Lady Sybil Rankin (as a change from Nanny Ogg, on previous occasions); and Jasper Bone who played a Nobby Nobbs that stepped directly, if bandily, from the pages of the books.

Along with the more familiar faces, credit has to be paid to all the new faces for a job very well done. Special mention has to be paid however to a very dashing Captain Vimes, played by Jason Smith, who I understand cut off his lovely long hair and shaved his beard for the part! There can be no greater sacrifice made for a role. Also, a quite disgusting 2nd Footnote (Paul Lewis) complete with his fishnets; and the most thoroughly earnest Carrot I have ever seen. Andy Wright made a spectacular job of him, and gave us a Carrot that again, could have walked proceeded from the pages of the book. My two favourite Carrot scenes, are the drawing of his 'perfectly normal' sword, and that of him swearing in the new officers. It's so tricky to keep talking when you hear someone else talking over and behind you! As you might be aware, I have great difficulty with clowns, but Dr Whiteface (Kevin Mitchell) was played with both the style and malevolence that the character needed. Finally, Phil Pennington has played Havalock Vetinari four times before, but this was the first time we had seen his take. His performance lends weight to my belief that the recent incarnation of 'The Sheriff of Nottingham' was based on Vetinari, with his deadpan and perfectly weighted performance.

It was clear that a great deal of care and attention had gone into costume and stage sets - Detritus and Cornice-Overlooking-Broadway more than prove the point. The set was minimal, but entirely functional as all scenes were catered for in a manor that left you in no doubt about where you were. From speaking to everyone in the group following the production, I think that the bath scene was the favourite of most people. This might have had something to do with an almost naked Vimes making his way to and from the set in the dark...

Following the finale, and a very fitting standing ovation, there was announcement that in light of Terry's recent news there would be a collection made by the cast on behalf of Alzheimer Research. As we made our way out of the auditorium, and over to the collection bucket, we were able to pay our compliments properly to Lady Sybil. She still held Errol who had been her escort all evening, which meant that we were able to have a properly good look at him, and I have to say that he is a proper thing of beauty! I was delighted to be able to have a cuddle with him, and a chat with his owner. Errol was created, along with the Great A'Tuin we see as part of the introduction, 13 years ago for the company's first production. After all this time, and right up close, he is a work of craft.

I caught up again with Chris Blatch-Gainey on our way out, and asked how he'd thought things had gone. He was rightly proud of the work of the whole company - and also that Mr Briggs had just confirmed their next 4 years.

I for one am very much looking forward to their next production.


6. Competitions

This month we have a signed copy of Nation to give away supplied by Sandra Kidby. To enter the competition simply tell us how much it would cost to pre-order signed copies of Nation, The Folklore of Discworld and The Illustrated Wee Free Men (and be entered in the signed UK proof of Nation competition on Sandra Kidby's site).

We expect the price in GBP and without any postage costs. Please send your answer to by 20th September 2008.

The randomly selected winner will be anounced next month.

For more information about the products that Sandra Kidby sells visit www.discworld.com


Last month fellow reader Steve made a Welsh-language paperback version of "Johnny and the Dead" available as a prize. It is apparently in pristine condition i.e. never read and as new as when it first came off William de Worde's printing press!

We asked you to send in a very short funny story - even a few lines which include Wales and Discworld.

We had a total of exactly one entry - so this months randomly selected winner is "Sapphire Cat". I will be in contact soon so that I can pass your details onto Steve who will send your prize.


7. Review: Moving Pictures Live

Reviewed by Jason Anthony.

Kennet Amateur Theatrical Society (KATS) recently performed the World premier of Moving Pictures at the Kennet School in Thatcham from 31st July to the 2nd August. I went on the closing night.

I have been to two previous Discworld adaptations at KATS before (Carpe Jugulum and The Truth) and have really enjoyed the performances so was once again expecting a good performance - I wasn't disappointed.

The adaptation was made by KATS members John Hicks and Kevin Miller. If John Hicks's name sounds familiar it is because he was immortalised as Dr John Hicks, professor of post mortem communications in Making Money after winning a charity auction at the last Clarecraft event back in 2005.

I'll admit that it has been over a decade since I last read Moving Pictures so I only had a vague recollection of the story which meant I needed the adaptation to tell the story to me afresh. The adaptation worked well on the whole but I felt that the UU bits with Ridcully and the Bursar whilst being very funny were unnecessary and never fully concluded. This is a minor aside and otherwise the story flowed well. I had no problem following the story.

Victor was played brilliantly by David Richardson who previously made a very believable Vimes in the Truth and co-star Jenna Sharpe made an excellent Ginger. Infact the only bit of miscasting for me was Kevin Miller as CMOT Dibbler. I just didn't feel he was someone who could sell me a sausage in a bun.

I loved how the footnotes were handled - with an Elvis impersonator doing the exaggerated film synopses suggested by CMOT Dibbler.

After the excellent seating arrangements for the production of The Truth I was disappointed to see that the old raised seating had been used again. I found the seating rather uncomfortable and was glad to have a walk around during the intermission. It was also incredibly hot in the auditorium - I am sure there was nothing that KATS could do about the weather but it did make things rather uncomfortable.

That aside the performance was very entetaining and KATS have once again put on an excellent show. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that you visit KATS when they perform their next Discworld adaptation - whatever that might be.

You can find out more about KATS by visiting: www.kats.org.uk/


8. The End

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