Discworld Monthly - Issue 170 - June 2011
Table of Contents:
3. Readers' Letters
5. Review: Wincanton Spring Fling 2011
6. Competition - Cunning Artificer Travel Labels
7. Press Release: Ankh-Morkpork Board Game
8. Article: Mustering of the City Watch
9. The End
Welcome to issue 170. This month I was planning to write part 4 of my series of articles on Discworld Games. Unfortunately I am so far unable to get Discworld Noir working properly under Windows 7. I am planning to attempt to get it working under Wine for Linux on my laptop and failing that I will look at using a virtual machine.
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.
If you have written an article that you think we might want to include in the newsletter please feel free to email me at the address below. We will of course give credit for anything we use. [And we'll probably edit out every use of LOL - WB]
Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Teaching Lessons)
The latest news from Terry on PJSM Prints dated 26th April simply states:
"Apologies for the lack of news thus far this month; this isn't because of a lack of news, but quite the opposite - there's simply far too much of it! We're presently writing this in Australia in the middle of a magnificent tour and will update you shortly with great tales of speaking at the Sydney Opera House and visits to Hobbiton.
More from me very soon." -- Terry Pratchett
On Tuesday 31st May Terry announced the winner of the first ever Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now award at a gala dinner.
The official press release from Transworld reads:
The six judges (including Sir Terry Pratchett and Tony Robinson) met yesterday at Waterstone's flagship store in London's Piccadilly to thrash out a winner. After hours of debate the conclusion was reached that it was impossible to select a single victor! The entries were so diverse that it was unanimously decided to split the prize and award it to David Logan for his book HALF SICK OF SHADOWS, and to Michael Logan (no relation!) for APOCALYPSE COW. Both writers will receive a publishing contract from Transworld.
'It was a long deliberation and although to some it might seem a cop out to split a prize, we decided that since the existence of the prize was to find new talent then this was the happiest decision to make. Half Sick of Shadows and Apocalypse Cow both stood out in their different ways and I wish their creators the best of luck in their writing careers.'
SIR TERRY PRATCHETT
Half Sick of Shadows is a darkly atmospheric, richly written coming-of-age novel in the spirit of Ian Banks' The Wasp Factory. David Logan, who lives in Carrickfergus, N. Ireland, commented:
"I am disappointed for the runners up. The difference between winning and losing is a hair's breadth. I just feel very lucky."
Apocalypse Cow follows the story of a group of social misfits thrown together after an experimental bio-weapon is accidentally unleashed by the government, with peculiar repercussions for Britain's farm animals. The Scots-born but Kenya-based Michael Logan commented:
"Ever since I wrote my first short story at the age of eight, it has been my dream to become an author - although the idea for a novel about sex-crazed zombie cows did come a little later. The full impact of attaining a lifelong goal has yet to fully sink in. I'm sure it will hit me on the way home, when I will bemuse all around me by performing a victorious knee-slide across the concourse at Gatwick."
Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers would like to thank everyone who submitted an entry to the prize.
It looks like the fan film of Troll Bridge will finally get made. At the time of writing and with 38 days to go they have managed to get to a total of 54,213 USD. To make the film they needed 45,000 USD - with the extra money they plan to fly over to New Zealand because they have more epic mountains than Australia.
Terry has recently written to his old school Holtspur School to help the school celebrate its 60th Birthday.
Terry, his assistant Rob Wilkins and agent Colin Smythe, recently met the Queen this month when she visited Trinity College, Dublin where Terry is now an honorary professor.
Terry opened the SKYShades Solar Chelsea Garden. The SKYShades garden attempts to show how, in a relatively small area, it is possible to create a work that is bio-diverse and eco-friendly.
News from Colin Smythe:
I'm delighted to say that "I Shall Wear Midnight" won the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America's 2010 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.
It was announced after the Awards banquet in Washington DC on 21 May, and was accepted on Terry's behalf by Emily Whitten, Co-Guest Liaison and Convention Advisor to the 2011 North American Discworld Convention.
Terry recently opened a new bird room at Secret World, an animal sanctuary. The room was opened in memory of seven year old Jasmine Clare who died from meningitis more than a year ago. Terry got involved with the charity when he put up a bounty after several swans were shot in February.
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 and AU, Updated] The Broken Drummers and The Drummers Downunder are groups of fans that meet up monthly in the UK and Australia.
Monday 6th June 2011 - The Drummers Downunder (Perth) will be meeting from 7pm at The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco, Australia.
The Drummers Downunder (Sydney) meet at Maloneys Hotel on the corner of Pitt and Goulburn Streets (across the road from World Square), Sydney, Australia from 6.30pm on the first Monday of every month.
Our next meeting is on Monday 6th June. For more information contact Sue (AKA Granny Weatherwax) on
Monday 6th June 2011 - The Broken Drummers meet at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ, England at 7pm.
The Drummers are always happy to welcome new visitors.
[AU, New] Unseen Theatre Company, Adelaide will be performing Wyrd Sisters from Saturday 11th June, with performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays until 25th June.
There will be a preview and free ticket night (for pensioners and unemployed) on Friday 10th June.
All shows start at 8pm at Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street Adelaide.
Tickets: Adults 18 AUD; Conc 15 AUD; Groups (10+) 14 AUD; Fringe Benefits 14 AUD; Preview Night (June 10) all tix 14 AUD.
BOOKINGS: http://www.bakehousetheatre.com (no booking fee) or 82270505 (2 AUD per ticket booking fee applies).
MORE INFO: http://www.unseen.com.au MEDIA CONTACT:
[UK, New] The Purple Theatre Company will be performing The Truth from Wed 29th June to Saturday 2nd July. Performances start at 7:30pm.
[AU, New] For fans in Adelaide, The City of Small Gods Terry Pratchett Fan Club meets on the last Thursday of the month from 6.30pm at the Ed Castle, 233 Currie St. Details, discussions and organisation of extra events (such as play outings) are held on our email mailing list, so please sign up at https://groups.google.com/group/adelaide-discworld-fans
[US] NADWCon2011 planning is under way. The dates of the new con will be July 8-11, 2011, and the location will be the Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club, in Madison, Wisconsin.
[UK] Following on from last year's great success with Wyrd Sisters, Collingwood RSC will be performing Jingo at The NEW THEATRE ROYAL, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.
The dates you want to know are Tuesday 12 till Friday 15 July 2011. curtain at 1930. FOUR shows ONLY.
Box Office number 02392 649000. Ticket prices Stall and Dress Circle 12 GBP (concession 10 GBP), Upper Circle 8 GBP (concession 6 GBP).
[US] The Historic Mounds Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA will be performing Mort. This will be their first in a hopefully long line of Terry Pratchett productions.
Performances will be July 22 and 23, 29 and 30, and August 5 and 6, 2011.
For more information, please visit: http://www.moundstheatre.org/AmDram.html
[UK] Wadfest X - The Future and Beyond takes place from 19th - 21st August 2011. The event takes place at Trentfield Farm in Church Lanehan, Retford. Wadfest is a family-focused camping event where Discworld fans meet up for a weekend of fun and games from Luggage Wars to Live Pingu. The event includes a talent show and a charity auction where you can get some excellent collectors pieces.
More information at http://www.wadfest.co.uk
[DE] The German Discworld Convention 2011 will take place from 30th September to 3rd October 2011. Assassins will roam the halls of Castle Bilstein but they promise not to harm visitors of the 3rd German Discworld Convention during that time (except when contracted).
You can let people know that you will be there by visiting us on Facebook.
[IE] Irish Discworld Convention 2011 (IDWCon11)
The second biennial Irish Discworld Convention will take place, once again, in the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon. Taking place from the 4th-7th of November 2011. For those of you who missed it the first time, and if you don't mind us saying so, it was a bit of a bit! If you would like to be there this time membership is now open and information on all sorts is available at our website! Special Guest Professor Sir Terry Pratchett has confirmed his attendance! Now it's your turn!
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.
The Soul Music Chorale needs YOU!
If you are attending the North American Discworld Convention and have any sense of rhythm whatsoever, there will be a couple of opportunities for you to participate. In particular:
* "All the Little Angels" (a marching song, if you're not familiar
with "Night Watch") for which the ability to march in time-- mostly-- is the only requirement.
* Possibly a very elaborate filk. For this one all the parts will be
recorded, so singing loud but not necessarily well, in front of a crowd, will be the key.
If interested, contact
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 and remove some of the LOLs, BRBs and PMSLs.
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.
* From: "Russell Ball"
Speaking of Good Omens, there was an interesting obit in the Telegraph recently about Kenneth Grant, a sort-of secretary to Aleister Crowley who called himself, amongst many things "the Beast 666".
Cheers from a reader who's still waiting for the sequel to Dark Side of the Sun...
* From: "Rui Leite"
In last April issue there was a letter from Jane Harrington commenting on the fact that she had heard of a book called "Death With Interruptions" by a writer named Jose Saramago with a similar premise to "Reaper Man", as well as a quite striking resemblance in the plot line.
Well, as Saramago was one of the greatest Portuguese writers (he died last year), I know some of his works relatively well, and yes as a fan of Pratchett and a reader of "Death With Interruptions" I can say they do have thousands of similarities in concepts and ideas. In fact, after reading Saramago's book, I mentioned just that to some of my snobbiest friends who...well... snob me for reading a best selling author with colourful covers like Sir Terry. They wouldn't believe me, so I'm glad someone else noticed the similarities...
I think this is simply a coincidence though as the style of Saramago is completely different to that of Pratchett, and he probably didn't even know his work, as Pratchett is nearly unknown in Portugal (yes, I know, a sin...but the master is working his way in lately, to my pride and joy) and his writing style is one of those that gets snorted at by our literary establishment (to which Saramago belonged, despite denying and being strongly critical about it).
Saramago's work, though, is absolutely brilliant in his own right and is well worth a check. He has a very corrosive and critical kind of humour, which might be appreciated by those who love Pratchett's satirical vein more than the slapstick one (personally I love them both, and that's why I prefer Pratchett to Saramago, although I'd probably get shot, slashed and chopped into tiny pieces if I ever said that out loud in an academic environment). Yet it was quite fun to see how these two absolutely distinct authors, with such different styles, publics and imaginations take on pretty much the same subject and end up reaching very much the same conclusions. (Including, for example, the idea of a bigger, universal "Death" overseeing all the other smaller "deaths".) In fact I've noticed, since then, that they do connect in some other works as well... like in 1997's "All The Names"... which is, in many ways, a fantasy set in a gigantic, crumbling and ever growing Public Registry Office ... now ... who else thought that government service was a suitable subject for a fantasy tale? Oh...yeah...
But try explaining that to our "cultured elites"...
To conclude I'd just like to point out that Saramago is a Nobel laureate, and so, keeping in mind the striking resemblance in recurring themes to those of Pratchett, I think this really says a lot about Pratchett's hidden depths and his talent for disguising profound themes as light humour and entertainment... To me, that alone makes him one of the most brilliant figures in the literary world today.
DWM replies: Rui gets this month's Letter of The Month.
* From: "Peta Peggs"
Terry Pratchett at the Sydney Australia Opera House on April 17th! Was a great talk and my daughter and myself got to meet him twice at the aussie con :)
* From: "Vivienne Dunstan"
I played Discworld 1 many years ago, borrowed from the local public library where we then lived. I'm a Mac user though, and had given up hope of playing it again. But now I can, thanks to ScummVM and reading the article about it in Discworld Monthly. I've bought an old PC boxset of Discworld 1 on eBay, and - now having read the second article! - have just bought the second game as well. The first game is already up and running on my Mac and on hubby's Linux system. As soon as the second game arrives it will be likewise. I'm really looking forward to it.
* From: "Trevor Rees"
A dibbler is Parantechinus apicalis, a small (40-125gm), rare carnivorous marsupial which was once thought to be extinct. It has featured in a list of cutest animals.
* From: "Bri Derbyshire"
How nice to be told the true story at last! The adjective "schmalzy" is of course well established in the world of film reviews and similar, and for many years I understood the associated noun to mean "what Disney routinely uses to smother any dignity there once was in any literary property they make a film of." Close, but no cigar - I had extra sugar and cream in mind - but the effects on the consumer are probably not too different.
Just don't let them get their hands on any of the Master's stories .....
P.S. Sir Terry earned his "sir" long before HMQ caught up: but now that she has, I would dearly like to know if we long-serving Watch members (or equivalent) may be accorded the privilege of continuing to call OUR Commander "Mr. Pratchett?"
* From: "Peter Jaconelli"
I was doing the Sponsored Ultimate Abseil from the Forth Rail Bridge at the weekend – I was doing it for Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland – but I was pleased to see that Alzheimer Scotland had large support at the event. With the numbers doing the abseil I am sure they raised a load of cash for such an important cause – well done all who took part.
* From: "Loretta H."
I was doing a word puzzle. You were to follow a series of directions, crossing out words until there would be a quote left. I was doing o.k. until I came to this instruction: Cross off any word of four or more letters that forms another word when the first letter is dropped. One of the possibilities was the word BOOK! What would you have done? I have to say that the resulting quote: Honesty is the first chapter in the of wife seemed wrong.
This month I'll take three random quotes involving Death from the Discworld series and ask you to name which book they came from.
The answers as usual can be found at the end of this issue.
5. Review: Wincanton Spring Fling 2011
Written by Elaine Boot.
I went to Wincanton for the first time and joined in the Spring Fling. It was the same weekend as the Royal wedding - 29th April; we chose to go by train as this avoided London. We got an off peak train which meant we did not arrive till after 4pm, so we missed the Spring Fling Wedding. We stayed at Macawber house which was a bit away from the town so it was nice quiet; we got ourselves settled in and then took a wonder in to town and stopped by the Emporium to see what was on over the weekend.
Now we knew what was what we looked round to see if we could see anyone we recognized from Wadfest and we spotted everyone in the Dolphin beer garden; so wondered over and everyone was pleased to see us. We sat and chatted to Waddy, Jason and others who names I have forgotten, sorry.
On Saturday morning we had a lovely breakfast and met the other two guests staying at the B&B who were from France; they where interviewing people such as Waddy to start up a web site and maybe French Discworld convention. They were very nice girls whose names I have forgotten. We then made our way to the Emporium where there was already a queue of eager customers waiting for the shop to open.
Once I had got in to shop it was like walking in to a dream as there was everything a Discworld fan would like to collect. We left the shop with large bag full of fab items and decided to go back to the B&B to drop them off and get ready for the hat parade; by now it was afternoon. Before the hat parade started we had a go at spotting Feegles in the shops and had a real fun time, they where brilliantly knitted and displayed; also we went to the lunch of a new Discworld game that I can not say the name of as it not been formally launched. I sure had fun playing it . I joined in the hat parade whilst Steve watched - I was the one wearing the Fools' Guild hat and carrying a stick; also saying 'women can tell jokes, women should be allowed to join the Fools' Guild'. There where some fab hats, most of them hand made. I really liked the one that was made from pipe-cleaners and was a take on princess Beatrix's hat. Bernard [the Cunning Artificer - Ed] really liked them and thanked us all for taking part and that we should pop by the shop to collect a prize for taking part; so we popped by the shop and got given some sweets, then Bernard came out of his office and said "I meant to have printed off certificates for those who took part in the hat parade, but I forgot, come in tomorrow and they'll be ready for then". Before we made our way to The Bear for the evening banquet we watched lesson on etiquette, which Bernard gave and very funny it was too. We got to the Bear early to make sure we got a good seat; the meal was nice and so was the company at our table :-) [DWM Ed Jason was presumably at another table on the far side of the room then? – WB]. We then made our way back our B&B – we did intend to come out later but got that comfy that we fell asleep.
Sunday Morning, after another lovely breakfast we made our way down the High Street to the shop to collect my certificate, which is very funny and looks great; we then made our way to The Bear ready for the auction, there were lots of cool items and I won a wonderful knitted Nanny Ogg and a copy of Truckers. The total I paid was 8 GBP and all the money raised went to RICE (Research Into Care of the Elderly) - we raised over 1200 GBP. It was now Sunday afternoon and time to join in the walking tea party with Lucy. We all met up at the Dolphin and most of the people were dressed in Edwardian explorers outfit; some of which where rather grand :-); I was dressed like a man going off on safari. We had people dressed as porters and it was their job to carry our tea and other items, plus we had two wonderful boys dressed in mock bear skins and they had to keep a lookout for bears. So we set off up the high street in single file and stopped off at different places along the way - it was fun when we all tried to get into The Emporium, in fact one of the townspeople took a photo of us all, hope they have put it on Facebook or on their website. It was great fun and we ended up back at the Dolphin in time for the cake competition. There were some wonderful cakes and I'm sure there will be some photos of them somewhere on the net; sadly I could not partake of the tasting because I have a nut allergy, but Steve sure had a nice time trying them. The cakes were soon eaten and enjoyed by all. The Tarot reading by Bernard was very, very, very funny, it was nearly the end of Spring Fling and Bernard did his usual farewell and he even did it in French too hee, hee; those of you who where there will know what I am talking about. We stayed and chatted to people for a bit before going off for something to eat at the Nog Inn, lovely food it was too.
Monday was spent exploring Wincanton as there were no buses running so we could not go and visit Stonehenge, so went to have a look at the new estate and I had my photo taken by Treacle Mine Road; we did not get to see the foundation stone that Sir Terry laid as the other parts had not yet finished being built, but they assured us that the foundation stone is somewhere very safe ready for when all building work has finished. It was a bit quieter on the High Street as most people had started to make their way home.
We both had a wonderful time at the Spring Fling and would recommend all Discworld fans to go to one. I am now trying to decide whether or not I should do Hogswatch or a Discworld convention; which do you think I should do? All I would like to is be in the same room as Sir Terry or even to get to meet him would be wonderful. Thanks again to you all who where at Spring Fling, it's all of you that make it such a wonderful and fun time.
This month Bernard "The Cunning Artificer" Pearson has given us three sets of Discworld Travel Luggage Labels to give away. These stickers range in size from circular designs at 100mm diameter, to rectangular designs at 130X90mms. Each set consists of 10 luggage labels including such favourites as: Djelibeybi (Hotel Bast), Hotel D'Spagetti - Brindisi, Bhangbhangduc hiking tours, Gast-Haus Nostalgie - Koom Valley, Gritz Hotel - Ankh-Morpork, Gasthaus des Funften Elefanten - Ubervald, Ramtop Rambles, Sunny Wincanton, Grand Trunk Crew Baggage and of course the Ankh-Morpork Trespassers Society.
In order to win one of these wonderful prizes you need to send us the answer to the following simple question:
Send your answer along with your postal address to by 20th June 2011. Your address will only be used if you are one of the winners and only for sending out your prize - once prizes are sent out all address information will be destroyed. Entries received after 20th June 2011 or sent to any other address will be ignored. No more than one entry per person will be accepted. Answers to the questions must not be posted to any websites before the competition ends. The judges' decision is final.
For more information about Bernard's products visit: http://www.discworldemporium.com/
7. Press Release: Ankh-Morkpork Board Game
Coming soon from Treefrog Games ...
A new Discworld boardgame based on the novels of Sir Terry Pratchett.
Trouble is Brewing on the mean streets of Ankh-Morpork, and it's time for you to play your part in its story. Be one of seven personalities vying for control of the Discworld's premier city using your cunning and guile to complete your secret agenda. Along the way you'll encounter Wizards, Assassins, Watchmen and Thieves... all of whom will affect your fortunes and continually change the face of this mercantile metropolis.
Whether you're hungry for power, wealth, property or peace, each visit to Ankh-Morpork promises a different player experience. This beautifully aesthetic game immerses the player in Pratchett's most unruly city, bringing Discworld to life at every turn. Featuring 132 individually illustrated cards depicting the city's most beloved and infamous characters, locations and organisations, Ankh-Morpork blends mulitfaceted gameplay with rich visual stylings and the distinctive humour of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.
Up to four players can assign minions to carry out their dirty work, playing on a stunning map of the city, but beware of random magic and nefarious actions dealt by your cards and opponents that threaten to thwart your rise to the top.
Bought to you by internationally renowned games designer Martin Wallace and a dedicated team of artists overseen by the Discworld Emporium. Ankh-Morpork is due for release early September 2011.
For more information visit: http://www.treefroggames.com/ankh-morpork or contact:
8. Article: 'Mustering of the City Watch'
By Nanny Oggy ()
And now to this month's cast call... that of the City Watch.
Naturally there are a lot of MINOR Watch personnel who are important enough at their job and no doubt necessary to the plot (otherwise they wouldn't exist!!) but because otherwise this would turn into a dissertation not an article I'm only going to touch on them and only feature a cast call for the major characters.
To make this somewhat easier I've divided the personnel into species... maybe not the best way and I don't want to seem 'Speciesist' (is there such a word?? If not put it down to being a Nannyism!!) but I had to do it somehow!
OK the HUMANS are:
Sam Vimes, Capt. Carrot, Fred Colon, Nobby Nobbs (ok, dubiously human) (Undercover in Maskerade if you've forgotten him), Andre, Haddock, Precious Jolson, Andy "Two Swords" Hancock, Mr. Boggis and his bodyguards Harry and Vinny, Ping and Pessimal.
Now, unless they do Maskerade, in which case they would have to cast Andre, I'm only going to feature the first 4.
Vimes obviously HAS to be done right. The late (sadly) Pete Postlethwaite would have done the role justice but unless someone knows a darn good Necromancer, I'm afraid he's out of the question. I always see Vimes as one to 'not take any sh!t' if you'll pardon my Klatchian, a bit rugged, not too good looking but a definite figure of authority. I've always thought of Sean Bean in the role, although I was looking through IMDB for suitable candidates and Alexander Morton (Golly in Monarch of the Glen) would do equally well. Tim Healy has also been suggested and yes, I could see him doing it too, although while I don't think height has anything to do with it really, a little more height would be advantageous to get the imposing authority. Sean Bean isn't that tall but he has shown he can do authority figures and won't take no for an answer as well as being totally 'down to earth', when he played Sharpe.... he's old enough while not being TOO old too. Hugh Jackman could possibly do it too. And a last minute, in my opinion BRILLIANT, suggestion by Laura Palmer - Robert Lindsay (Hornblower, My Family, etc)
Captain Carrot - Well....although technically a dwarf, he's a bloody tall dwarf! I think you need someone with almost 'American Marine' looks. The sort of person that would look good in uniform, yes even someone that girls would drool over. I think he's supposed to be a bit handsome but in the chiselled features and toned body sort of way, fit yet not a body builder (Sylvester Stallone would be a) too short and b) too built for the part). I had an excellent suggestion of Sam Worthington (Avatar), and yes I like that idea, it's that sort of actor you want and need. Liev Schrieber (Sabretooth in Wolverine: X Men Origins) could do it too, or to continue the X Men theme - Daniel Cudmore who played Colossus. Also Mark Valley from Boston Legal (Brad Chase).
Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs (nominally human anyhow!) are a double team. You can't imagine one without the other really. To that end I'm thinking double acts. Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook (the pair in Pirates of the Carribean) or Simon Pegg and Nick Frost... that's the sort of comic pairing I'm thinking of. I don't think I need to say why... but these pair are the comic relief of the Watch. Johnny Vegas has also been suggested for Fred Colon, but not sure who they'd have as Nobby Nobbs to go alongside him. Russell Howard would do, but too good looking - remember, Nobby has to carry a card that proves that he is human!
Next up... The Dwarfs. These being: Cheery Littlebottom, Acting Constable Cuddy, Lars Skulldrinker, Abba Stronginthearm and Hrolf Thighbiter.
I'm sure there will be those to disagree, but I think a dwarf should be played by those of, shall we say, shorter stature. Since there are many actors out there with dwarfism, it seems only fair that when a part calls for a shorter person that they should be given the opportunity to take it BUT, I don't think that they should only be thought of for playing ONLY dwarf roles. On that note, I think a perfect candidate for Cheery Littlebottom would be Meredith Eaton (Bethany Horowitz in Boston Legal), she's feisty, fun and doesn't let her shortness make her any less of a totally engaging actress.
However, there will be those to point out that the rather tall, or should we say un-vertically challenged John Rhys Davies played a rather good dwarf ('Not the beard!') in the critically acclaimed Lord of the Rings trilogy... good cinematic magickary jiggery pokery done there methinks, just like making that wizard, oh what was his name again, no one important (LOL... Gandalf of course, and I'm only kidding!)... look so tall. Smoke and mirrors, but bear in mind that the directors of this day and age have more than a bit of magic at their fingertips!!
Mr Oggy has also suggested that as a fun twist, since the only way you can tell male from female dwarfs is the colour of bows in their beards, it might be funny to have obviously MEN playing the female dwarfs!
For the other roles, while Warwick Davis is possibly the most famous actor with dwarfism having played Willow, Professor Flitwick and Marvin in Hitchhikers, you also have the likes of Kenny Baker and co in Time Bandits. Anyone of those actors could easily do the parts of the male dwarf (or female ones). Tony Cox (A Date Movie) would also be a good choice and also Verne Troyer (Mini Me in the Austin Powers movies).
There are a few Trolls, notably Detritus, Flint and Bluejohn. These I suspect would be CG or animatronic like the Golems in Going Postal, however there would still be voice talent needed. With them being made of stone I imagine more gruff, gravelly voices would be necessary... Mr Oggy suggested the Glasweigan accent to be perfect and I think he's right. I know it's a bit cliched but the folk of Glasgow, salt of the earth though they are, are well known to (reputedly) eat glass bottles and gravel for breakfast!! Billy Connolly can do it, or someone with a Scandinavian or Russian voice.
Werewolves, well there's only one - Angua von Uberwald. I think they did get the looks right with Ingrid Bolso Berdal, but I (and several others) don't think she played Angua like she was in the books. Some kind of Swedish looks would be necessary I think: the thinnish face, long blonde hair (although that could of course be a wig), oh and quite young. There's only one notable Golem - Dorfl, who I imagine would be worked like those of the Postal Service in Going Postal. It worked in that, I thought, so would probably work in any of the Watch adaptations (to come, hopefully!) and as such someone like Nicholas Farrell, who voiced Mr Pump would have to do the voice, but it really could be anyone. Could be a good opportunity for a well-known older actor who might not want to do the acting, to raise ratings (someone well known like, say, Sean Connery). There is one Zombie - Reg Shoe - now being a zombie he has to look a bit, um... rough! If he doesn't play Nobby then Mackenzie Crook could do the part, with certain bits being done by CG... after all he gets his head cut off at one point!.... which is why it's useful to have an Igor around. The Watch's Igor could be literally anyone, but for some reason, probably because I've seen that movie FAR too many times, I'm in mind of someone slightly mad like Marty Feldman (Igor... it's EE-gor actually....in Young Frankenstein with Gene Wilder...actually Gene might be a good choice for Reg Shoe!).
There is one Vampire. The first and, to date, only vampire member of the Watch, she joined over the objections of Sir Samuel Vimes. Sally, or Salacia Delorisista Amanita Trigestrata Zeldana Malifee...von Humpeding – her full name being several pages long, aged 51 as of her first appearance in Thud!.
Despite her age, she has the appearance of a sixteen-year-old girl. Joining the Watch as a lance constable, she was initially teamed with Sgt. Angua. This did not go well. Werewolves hate vampires (think movies like Van Helsing, Underworld) and worse, Angua suspects Sally of 'making eyes' at Carrot.
With the youthful looks in mind, I imagine casting her would require a younger actress. And I think that, although stereotypical, she should be thin, gothic looking and raven haired... oh and pretty. If we are to believe the initial rivalry between Sally and Angua, it would be as well to at least have it so that Angua's suspicions of Sally fancying Carrot could even be something for Angua to worry about. With no disrespect to Trolls, if Sally was made to look like a 10 foot lump of granite, which to another Troll might be the most beautiful thing to grace the face of the earth, I don't think she'd have much chance against Angua in a beauty contest! With that in mind I'm thinking someone like Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn in Buffy), Eliza Dushku (Faith in Buffy.... by 'eck that show had some nice looking girls in it!) or even (although they've both played vampires before so getting a little typecast here) Rhona Mitra (Underworld, Rise of the Lycans) and Kate Beckinsdale (Underworld... all the others!)
Finally 2 characters who would have to be CG, though one could be done in a 'Clyde' from "Every Which Way but Loose" style.... and of course you've guessed that would be the Librarian who I'll cover with the Wizards in the next issue. And the Goblin, Buggy Squires.... there are also many other bit parts in The Watch too. Feel free to email me about Gargoyles and the like.
So this brings us to the vote... as previously please send your votes (and suggestions if you like although I'm wishing to put results of a VOTE in the next issue) to me at by 15th June.
FRED AND NOBBY:
Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook
Nick Frost and Simon Pegg
Johnny Vegas plus one
Other single actors
Ingrid Bolso Berdal
SALLY VON HUMPEDING:
I hope you are enjoying the series and will enjoy 'The Wizards' casting in the next issue. As previously look past hair colour and age: while it isn't easy to take years OFF a person, you can age a person quite well with make up and prosthetics, as well as dye hair or wear a wig, padding (or the dreaded fat suit).
May I take this opportunity to send you greetings from sunny Lancre! Greebo is out on the prowl and either terrorising the neighbourhood or enjoying the sunshine lazing somewhere (possibly both!)
Until next time, take care
~ Nanny Oggy and Greebo
9. The End
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