Discworld Monthly - Issue 179 - March 2012
Table of Contents:
3. Readers' Letters
5. Article: Discworld Games 4 - Discworld Noir
6. Competition: Signed Terry Pratchett : Living With Alzheimer's DVD
7. Review: Pratchett Pieces
8. The End
Welcome to issue 179. Thanks for all the great comments about our new look website. It has taken many hours of hand crafting HTML, PHP and CSS to produce a site that I am proud of. I have continued to make minor changes to the site and for each new newsletter issue page I have included a facebook comments section to allow you to discuss its contents if you so wish.
It's worth keeping an eye on the website during the month as I will often update the news section (rather than just waiting for the next issue). We also have an RSS feed that will allow you to keep informed of the news updates as we post them.
For more information visit: http://discworldmonthly.co.uk
It's been quite a busy month for Discworld news so you should find plenty to keep you informed in the news section. This month the competition drought is over because the lovely people at http://www.discworld.com have offered a new prize to give away.
I finally managed to get Discworld Noir working and have included the 4th instalment in my Discworld Games series.
I've recently been sent a copy of the computer game The Book of Unwritten Tales because the humour in the game is of a similar type to Discworld. I'll let you know what I think of the game next month when I have had chance to play it. If you can't wait, the game is currently on special offer and can be purchased with a 33% discount.
More details at: http://www.unwritten-tales.com/
We are sure you will like to join in in wishing a very happy birthday to Terry's agent Colin Smythe on 2nd March.
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 email@example.com and we will consider it for publication.
Also 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.
Jason Anthony (Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Master Gamer)
Exclusive news from Terry and Rob (Tuesday 1st March):
Terry and Rob have met up with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen so it looks like Science of Discworld 4 will be started as soon as the edits on Dodger (Terry's next novel after The Long Earth ) are completed.
Work on The Long Earth is almost complete. Terry has been working with the editor all week to finalise the manuscript.
Terry and Rob are due to meet with DreamWorks again very soon to discuss progress on the long awaited Truckers adaptation.
At the end of March Terry and Rob will be heading off to the jungles of Borneo for what will be a very different documentary to the Jungle Quest the documentary Terry made back in 1995.
Rob is hoping to put up a news update on the PJSM prints website over the next few days and has asked me to mention that the ever-popular College Hoodies are now available as T-shirts.
Terry and Rob visited Secret World Wildlife Rescue on Tuesday 31st January 2012 for the launch of Secret World's new "Call of the Wild" appeal. On Twitter Terry and Rob asked us all to help save Britain's wildlife by visiting Secret World's website.
A BBC report on Secret World can be seen at: http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/SECRET179
A couple of photos of Terry with the wildlife can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/swwr/6806761663/in/photostream/
Actor Michael Fenton Stevens has recently gone into a recording studio to read The Science of Discworld audio-book. He recently tweeted "Day one of the Science of Discworld done. Three to go." and posted a picture of himself in the studio.
Snowgum Films have tweeted a few times this month about their new miniature set for their Troll Bridge adaptation. The links below are to some of the pictures of the set being made. I'm quite looking forward to seeing the film now.
On Wednesday 1st February Terry and Rob tweeted: "It's the Broadcast
Awards tomorrow night (
we're up for Best Documentary. If you have anything to cross, please
On the day it appears that they were beaten by Panorama. Their tweet from the event simply said: "Huge congratulations to Panorama. Worthy winners. And see that? That's our gracious in defeat but happy for those other buggers faces :)"
On Monday 6th Pratchett & Bursar Productions ran a quiz named UNSEEN UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE where the staff of Trinity College Dublin took on the students. Professor Sir Terry Pratchett was there to keep a watchful eye on proceedings and to answer any Discworld questions.
PJSM Prints now have images of the new revamped Josh Kirby covers for the first five Discworld novels on display on their site. The new covers will be available as B-format paperbacks in June 2012. Signed copies will be available to pre-order from May via PJSMPrints.com website..
Martin Wallace designer of the excellent board game Discworld: Ankh-Morpork is currently offering free postage and packaging until the end of March on all his games including the Collectors and Deluxe editions of the Ankh-Morpork game and the enjoyable little game Old Men of the Forest that we reviewed a couple of months ago.
We Love This Book is a free magazine produced by Bookseller that is only available in libraries. In late November it featured an interview with Terry about Snuff. It's a fun interview with a few new snippets of information about Terry's life.
Stephen Brigg's crew of thespians at the Studio Theatre Club are planning to perform Guards! Guards! to mark twenty years of staging Discworld. More news - on dates and tickets - will be coming soon!
More musical news - from Matthew Holmes writer of The Amazing Maurice Musical:
Following your review of the Amazing Maurice Musical Complete Performance Pack last month, I thought I would send you a couple of updates.
Firstly, the Amazing Maurice pack has been shortlisted for the "Educational Book Award" as part of the Education Resource Awards 2012. The winner will be announced at a gala event, in Birmingham, in March as part of the Education Show 2012. Here's a link to the awards press release:
Further, I have now adapted "Johnny and the Bomb" as a stage musical for children to perform. It is 1 hour in length and has 7 songs as well as instrumental interludes. This was performed to high acclaim on the 8th and 9th of February by the children of Church Broughton Primary School, Derbyshire. It is now moving to a bigger stage at John Port School, Derbyshire where Year 7 pupils will be showcasing it on the 21st and 22nd March. The complete performance pack will again be published by A&C Black in August. Here it is on Waterstones' website:
A sleepy dormouse that found its way into a tea shop in Lyme Regis, Dorset has been taken in by Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre, near Highbridge in Somerset, where he promptly went into hibernation.
Terry visited Secret World is the Wildlife Rescue centre last month to help promote the Call of the Wild appeal we mentioned earlier in this issue.
News from Bookseller Magazine: Source, Nielsen BookScan 52 weeks to 31/12/11. Top Authors in Fiction 2011. Terry was no. 8 with 3.9m GBP in sales, James Patterson no.1 with 9.6m GBP.
Top 50 Authors 2011 (including non-fiction): Terry was no. 14 with 4.7m GBP, Patterson is no. 4 with 10.0m GBP, Jamie Oliver is no.1 with 13.2m GBP.
We are unsure why there is a discrepancy between the sets of numbers.
The DVD of Terry Pratchett: Living with Alzheimer's is now available on UK DVD. "This programme follows Terry coming to terms with his diagnosis, living with his condition, facing the certainty of its conclusion and his mission to find a cure. Adamant that he has done nothing wrong and that Alzheimer's sufferers should not be stigmatised, this is a genuine personal journey of one man, through the science and the reality of what it's like to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease."
Locus magazine has Snuff as its top seller of February, 2012 up from number 4 in the previous month.
Students from St Joseph's Secondary School in Rush have had the chance to meet Terry as part of the Trinity Access Programme (TAP). The students were invited to the Unseen University Challenge mentioned earlier.
A lady called Tina based in California has created some Discworld inspired costume items including city watch badges and armour based on Paul Kidby's drawings.
Richard Woolfe (who was involved in the Sky television adaptations
and had a small cameo role in The Colour of Magic) has left Prime Focus, the company set to make the Watch series and Good Omens. We hope his departure won't get in the way of Prime Focus making Terry's works come to life on screen.
In a further update Prime Focus have said:
Woolfe's departure will not shift PFP's ambitions to develop event television, the company added, as it continues work on two literary adaptations.
The first is Good Omens, based on Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil
Gaiman's novel of the same name; and The Watch, also based on a
Pratchett novel that will star Only Fools & Horses alumnus David
NefariousCupcake has made her husband a beautiful wooden Great A'Tuin Clock for their "wood" anniversary.
A Polish Discworld fan is attempting to cover as much of his body as possible with tattoos of Discworld characters.
He's still got a way to go but you can see some photos at: http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/url/POLISH179
WB adds: I wonder where he'll find space for a tattoo of a wizard's staff...
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.
Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month. In March this will be Monday 5th.
The Drummers Downunder (Perth) will be meeting from 6pm at The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco, Australia. You can contact the organiser Daniel Hatton on email@example.com
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. For more information contact Sue (AKA Granny Weatherwax) on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Broken Drummers meet at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ, England at 7pm. Please note: The UK, May meet will take place on 30th April to avoid clashing with the Spring Fling in early May.
The Drummers are always happy to welcome new visitors.
[UK, New] Thalian Theatre Group will be performing Maskerade from Wednesday 14th March to Saturday 17th March at 8pm at the Mirren Studio, Towngate Theatre, Basildon, Essex. Tickets are 9.50 GBP (8.50 GBP concessions) for the Wednesday and Thursday performances, and 11.50 GBP (10.50 GBP concessions) for the Friday and Saturday shows. Tickets are available from John on 07788 997497, email email@example.com
[AU] 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
[UK, New] Wyrd Sisters will be performed by Amateur Players of Sherborne in the Digby Hall, Sherborne, Dorset at 7.30 pm on Thu 29th - Sat 31st March 2012.
Tickets: 7.50 GBP Students 4 GBP on sale early March. More information at: http://www.aps-sherborne.co.uk
[UK, New] The Truth will be performed by The Shoestring Theatre Company in Stanley Community Centre, Tyne Road, Stanley, Durham (DH9 6PZ). Thursday 3rd May to Saturday 5th May 2012. Performances start 7:15pm.
Tickets 5 GBP (4 GBP concessions)
More details email firstname.lastname@example.org 0776 675 1048
[UK, New] The Discworld Emporium Spring Fling will take place on 5th and 6th May 2012 in Wincanton.
More details at: http://www.discworldemporium.com/
[UK, New] Maskerade will be performed by HIADS (Hayling Island Amateur Dramatic Society) from Sat 19th May - Sat 26th May at 7:45pm. Tickets cost 7.00 GBP.
Location: Station Theatre, Station Road, HAYLING ISLAND, PO11 0EH
[AU] The Unseen University Convivium 2012 takes place from July 6 - 8 2012.
You can find out more information and purchase tickets by:
- Looking on the website: http://ausdwcon.org
- Liking them on Facebook: http://facebook.com/UnseenUni
- Following them on Twitter: http://twitter.com/UnseenUni
- Sending enquiries via email to: UnseenUni2012@gmail.com
[UK, Updated] The Eighnnnnnn International Discworld Convention will take place from the 24th to 27th August 2012 at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.
For more information visit: http://www.dwcon.org
The convention has allocated all 950 tickets for the event and have even had to close down their waiting list. So it looks like it really is too late to go now.
The convention has just released issue 3 of their news letter which
includes details of a new guest. You can view it at:
[US, New] North American Discworld Convention 2013
The North American Discworld Event 2013 will take place from July 5th - 8th 2013 in Baltimore, MD.
[DE] German Discworld Convention 2013
After successfully surviving the Assassins of Ankh-Morpork in 2011 we are taking the German Discworld Convention 2013 to their home continent Klatch! Make room in your schedule from October 3rd to 6th in 2013 for the fourth German Discworld Convention.
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.
Jacqui Drinkall email@example.com writes: Following the enormous response we received to last month's ad, we would like to thank everyone who responded whether or not they went on to purchase items, and advise everyone that as the entire collection was so large, there are still a lot of individual pieces remaining for sale. Now that we have taken the decision to split the collection, the rarest pieces which we thought would attract the most interest have received few enquiries in comparison with the others, and we would like to remind everybody that whilst we have listed a price beside each item on our sale list, we are prepared to accept sensible offers on most pieces.
An unfortunate and unexpected issue that we have encountered is the addition of resin to postal carriers' 'restricted items' list for damage compensation, meaning that in the event of damage in transit there is no compensation paid which understandably has led to several international buyers being forced to drop out of negotiations as, despite my bomb-proof packaging, the risk with high-value pieces is too great to take. This has not been helped by the conflicting advice on the subject we have received from various courier companies and Royal Mail staff, who themselves seem very confused by exactly what is covered and what is not.
If anybody would like an up-to-date list of pieces still available, prior to them being listed on ebay in the next few weeks, please contact us. Any pieces that do appear on ebay will do so under the seller name Jahelblue
A few of the 'rare' items remaining are: Lady Ramkin, both with and without goldfish All four versions of the original DW09 Carrot Cloakless Patrician Cheery Littlebottom Granny Weatherwax Aloft with plain legs
And many more!
Barry Spellman firstname.lastname@example.org writes: Anybody out there selling a Victor Gollantz hard back signed version of Guards! Guards! It is the last book I need for the full set. Please email me.
Lesley Wade email@example.com writes: I am trying to find out whether there is a Discworld collectors club, as I have a number of Discworld jigsaws and characters which I would like to sell. I have not been able to find out from the internet, so wondered whether you may be able to advise.
3. Readers' Letters
If you have any letters or comments, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 whilst applying to become Guild Wars 2 beta testers.
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: "Steven Dehon" email@example.com
Please could you help me? I've just recently purchased a Rincewind book end but with no box or tent card. Do you know where I could find one? Thanking you in advance.
* From: "Heleanor Feltham" Heleanor.Feltham@alumni.uts.edu.au
There are two Jabberwock films: one, Jabberwock, made for TV in 2011 is a galumphing bit of mediaeval heroic fantasy and is to be avoided. The other is Terry Gilliam's 1977 black comedy, Jabberwocky and is crazily brilliant. I much prefer it to Holy Grail or Life of Brian. It combines an anarchic, violent vision of Mediaeval life based on beautifully observed source material such as mediaeval illuminations, with anachronistic comments and attitudes (very much an early Ankh-Morpork city minus the wizards). The tournament to find a Jabberwock - killing champion is among the cheerfully gruesome highlights ('Get your red-hot rats on a stick!'). The cast is by Breughel out of Heironymous Bosch and includes Michael Palin as the hapless hero, Dennis Cooper, John le Mesurier as the king's advisor, Passelewe, Warren Mitchell as Mr. Fishfinger and a truly horrid monster. Creaking bureaucracy, Thatcherite economics - two years before Maggie took office - and the all-important potato all feature. I first saw it when it came out, and loved it. Watched it again recently and loved it just as much. Why it initially bombed I've no idea. It's around on DVD and for lovers of Discworld, it's a must-see.
* From: "Jacqueline Simpson" firstname.lastname@example.org
The pre-publicity for The Long Earth suggests to me that the potato question is about to get far more complex, at any rate on the Earths if not on the Disc. Meanwhile, I can contribute the insignificant and irrelevant fact that in Sussex in my childhood (1930s and 40s) there were still farm workers and gardeners who said that if you always kept a shrivelled old potato in your pocket you wouldn't get lumbago and rheumatism. Not tried it myself ...
* From: email@example.com
I'm currently reading and listening again to all the Discworld books in order. This takes a period of months. The thought occurs to me that in every hour and minute of every day, someone is reading one of the books somewhere in the world. What an achievement for their author! Were I that knighted gentleman, I should feel very proud. Well, he deserves to feel proud. I just grow trees and paint pictures and I feel moderately pleased with my little effort. His is BIG. Another thought I've had is that annotated editions of his books might be interesting before (and I'm thinking many years) some references go so out of date that no one will remember. No, it's a silly thought. The pleasure in 'getting' the references -some subtle, some obvious- far outweighs the usefulness of a spoon-fed edition with endless notes.And I'd like to remind the gent who wrote to your last edition complaining that he felt too many changes were being made as the series goes on that real life changes, people change and authors are allowed to change their minds too and I love that sense of being bumped back in to real reality every few pages, it's part of the joy of the books. So thank you, Terry, do whatever you want. I'll read it.
* From: "John Cameron-Cornish" firstname.lastname@example.org
I may be a little out of touch, here, but does UU have a(ny) college scar(f)(ves)?
* From: "Marion Banks-Wilkinson" email@example.com
Sirs, it occurred to me that there is a distinct similarity in the philosophy and world view of Sir Terry Pratchett and the late Robert Heinlein. I feel no need to draw elaborate parallels, if anyone has read any of the works of both authors it would be obvious (or not, as the case may be). Has anyone else noticed this? For anyone wishing to read their first Heinlein novel, may I suggest The Moon is a Harsh Mistress or Time Enough for Love. Although I must point out that while enjoying both authors as a Roman Catholic I disagree with quite a few of their ideas, but they wont mind :) TANSTAFL, carry a potato and God Bless
WB replies: my 2 penn'orth (or 2 cents if you prefer) - I haven't picked up on similarities but of course they may be there. Although I've tried reading Time Enough for Love I didn't really get into it; much preferred his books for a younger audience, Space Family Stone (aka The Rolling Stones) being a particular favourite.
* From: "Robin Galbraith" firstname.lastname@example.org
Not a themed pub or the turtle at the main door of the Sagrada Familia but my girlfriend has found this person in her family searches.
Music with rocks!
* From: "C Y" email@example.com
Two members of the Official Terry Pratchett online forums have gotten together to discuss the possibility of arranging a Discworld fan meetup event in the northwest of England (quite possibly in Manchester). No details have been decided yet as we'd like to get a good idea of how many fans would be interested in attending first. Please register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll keep you informed of any developments regarding the meetup. Thank you!
* From: "Nicola Robinson" email@example.com
Is anyone interested in setting up or attending a 'Northern Drummers', in either the Oldham or Manchester area.
I'd love to meet up with fellow Discworld fans, play Thud, Ankh Morpork, or even just chat and compare thoughts.
DWM replies to both C Y and Nicola: Interesting co-incidence to get two similar requests in one month. Maybe you can start a new group between you.
* From: "Scott Gabriel" firstname.lastname@example.org
I did something I never thought I'd do...I bought a Kindle. And as I went to download my first digital Terry Pratchett book I noticed a review saying that some of the Kindle editions are abridged, and badly so. Can anyone confirm or deny this? I can't find anything in the descriptions of the books but I do notice that there seem to be versions with black covers that are a bit cheaper than versions with the normal artwork. Any help on the matter would be wonderful. I don't want my Discworld stories altered!
* From: "Bri Derbyshire" email@example.com
What an erudite and contemplative bunch we are, we DWM readers. Even the Radio Times letter page is, by comparison, total trivia.
A few of my reactions -
Rabbi Rothschild - Yeah! Dead right, it's The Books! If I may quibble, though, I reckon your closing "despite" really ought to read "because of." Religion, two or three at a time, does little harm - but "organised" is deadly even if the guys at the coal face are diamonds.
Mr. Barker - the first entry of realism into Fantasy which I noticed was Larry Niven's Mana crisis of "Not Long Before the End." No idea of relative dates though.
Frau(lein?) Dahms - I'd forgotten the Potato of Jabberwocky, but - everyone else - yes, it's well worth setting the PVR up for: mediaeval grunge at its funniest.
Mr. Ward-Barrow - yes, I agree, to a degree: it's a bit jolting to hit these sudden glitches. However, in the case of (eg) the Shadowing Dark, it's not unusual for an unpleasant experience to be suppressed for a while. Eventually the subconscious comes to terms with it and lets it seep out into the open, or similar ...
Has anybody else noticed the subtle changes to TP's writing rhythms since he had to change from typing to dictating? I find it rather disquieting, but by golly you have to give the lad ten out of ten for Not Giving Up!
* From: "Val Googe" firstname.lastname@example.org
I have spent the entire afternoon with the DVDs, 'Wyrd Sisters', which I thoroughly enjoyed and 'Truckers'. Wonderful, delightful, Terry Pratchett. I have acquired and read all of Discworld plus, some of the other ones. Truckers, Diggers, Wings and all the books for young adults. I am 75 years old. At the moment I am in the middle of 'Snuff' and looking forward to his new one 'The Long Earth' with Stephen Baxter. Please keep them coming Terry and thank you once again, for the pleasure you have given me.
This month I've taken three random quotes 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. Article: Discworld Games 4 - Discworld Noir
Written by Jason Anthony.
In this series of articles I am looking at the various Discworld games (either computer or physical) that have been developed over the years. This month I am looking at Perfect Entertainment's Discworld Noir.
Discworld Noir was released in 1999 (we reviewed it way back in Issue 31) on the PC and in 2000 for the Sony PlayStation. The PC version of the game was designed to run on Windows 95 (b and c) and Windows 98.
I've attempted several times to get the game working with Windows 7. Some people have reported a certain amount of luck but it wouldn't work for me. I recently installed XP mode on my PC and installed Virtual PC and found an old Windows 98 CD. After getting a working '98 VM I was able to install Discworld Noir successfully.
The game starts with a crawling text introduction ala Star Wars and then dumps you in the main protagonist Lewton's office. Lewton is a down on his luck private detective (who might have once been in the Watch). The game proper starts when a mysterious lady visits Lewton with the offer of a job.
Unlike the previous two Discworld games, Discworld Noir is based on the Discworld but not on existing stories. You do get to meet a few recognisable characters such as Nobby, though, and there are passing references to Twoflower and Vimes.
The graphics are very dark - the game is set at night and features a lot of shadows much like the classic film noir genre it is trying to emulate. Behind the dark and moody graphics the game is basically a point and click adventure. Asking the right questions of the correct people either opens up new parts of the map, adds clues to your notepad or adds items to your inventory.
I managed with a little help from a walk-through to complete the first act. Even then I had to go back and visit places again in order to find ways of forcing the game to give up its treasures. I quickly found the game getting tedious.
There is quite a lot of humour in the game. I particularly liked the Star Wars references in the Octarine Parrot where the barman suggests "you will never find a place full of more scum and villainy". And Lewton has a strange feeling that someone might get their arm cut off.
Back when we first reviewed the game we noticed that if you click your mouse during conversations the current line is skipped and this could cause the clue to be bypassed, thus making the game impossible. This time round I didn't manage to get into this situation. And did manage to get a bit further into the game.
I like the atmosphere and look of the game but also found it annoying trying different actions on different characters until one of them triggered an event. I think seeing the game run through with only the correct conversations might be fun.
From a nostalgic point of view it was fun to revisit Discworld Noir. Though I don't think I'll be going back again anytime soon.
6. Competition: Signed Terry Pratchett : Living With Alzheimer's DVD
This month we have teamed up with the lovely people at http://www.discworld.com to give you a chance to win a signed Terry Pratchett: Living with Alzheimer's DVD. The DVD will be signed by both Terry and Rob.
In order to win this prize you need to send the answer to the following question to email@example.com by 20th March 2012 along with your postal address.
Send your answer along with your postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org by 20th March 2012. 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 the closing date 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.
7. Review: Pratchett Pieces Three
Pratchett Pieces Three - Unseen Theatre Company February 10 - 24 2012
Reviewed by Michelle Vitard 14/02/2012
Professor Sir Terry Pratchett is an author much beloved by fans all over the world, especially for his Discworld series. So much so that there are not only fan groups and reading groups and Internet forums but also monthly newsletters, Discworld Conventions and even amateur theatre groups dedicated to Pratchett's works. In Adelaide Pratchett / Discworld fans gather at the Bakehouse Theatre to experience the works of Pratchett through the Unseen Theatre Company under the direction of Pamela Munt.
2012 is promising to be a splendiferous year for Munt and her inspired ensemble cast judging from their first offering of 5 one-act plays entitled Pratchett Pieces Three, also part of the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival.
These plays in order of performance are:
Death And What Comes Next credited as a world premiere, adapted as a 2 person piece, Death's mask was the stand out performance for me.
The Trial, known as short story The Sea and Little Fishes full cast, with as many scenes as to warrant a second act. In fact they did such a great job with this story that I'd like to see Munt flesh out the story more, as the audience interest supports a full length version. Standout performances by Michelle Wichelo (Nanny Ogg) and of course Pamela Munt was "nice" in her recurring role as Granny Weatherwax.
Hollywood Chickens - non-Discworld in setting, but the audience was familiar with 'in-joke' reference to Queen's Greatest Hits cassette tapes found strewn on a highway which had them chuckling. The chickens were fabulous and stand out performance from Kate Hall as 'Research Officer'
Turntables Of The Night - non-Discworld in setting but with the oh-so-familiar character of Death (Hugh O'Connor) getting his groove on. Paul Messenger's (and I quote) "Eighties Shouty Man" voice held the story together and drew the audience in beautifully with the aid of Pratchett's well-timed gags.
A Collegiate Casting out Of Devilish Devices - all the fellas have got their wizard's hats on for this one and just enough time to sort through some UU business and Pratchett's favourite digs at committees, books for having been written and the metaphorical door always being open, before the tea trolley arrives.
A special mention must go to Samm Blackmore who as Pratchett's famous Footnote (asterisk) acted as Narrator, sewing the seams of very diverse Acts together with confidence, poise and good humour.
As for the production, the sound cues and song choices were all appropriately amusing and well-timed. The lighting design has most definitely improved and so has the seating. The Bakehouse theatre stage itself is quite an intimate affair with seating for less than 100 and a licensed bar where on occasion you might run into C. M. O. T. Dibbler during the intermission and sample his 'gourmet' fare.
Opening night proceeds were donated to Alzheimer's Australia SA in recognition of Terry Pratchett's own fundraising for Alzheimer's cause and cure research. The company currently has a seasoned cast who have now performed together on about four other occasions, give or take a cast member, and are comfortable with the space and each other. It seems the amateur actors' talent is blossoming under Pamela Munt's direction, and it is difficult to pick out an actor to praise as they do work so well together that the ensemble becomes more than just the sum of its parts.
8. The End
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I Shall Wear Midnight
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