Review of Making Money by Stephen Davenport

Reviewer: Stephen Davenport
First published in: Independent Weekly
Date of review: 14 April 2009

Waves of laughter roll around the Bakehouse. Unseen Theatre Company’s latest production is bang on the money.

Pamela Munt’s adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s 36th Discworld novel Making Money, is thoroughly knowing, eminently funny and altogether fabulous. By some tight direction and remarkable casting she fuses her amateur players into two hours of hilarity.

Admittedly, there’s more ham on the stage in this farce than at Paul Keating’s pig farm. But that’s how it should be, as the ensemble grapples with Pratchett’s delicious parody.

Unseen’s timing is almost perfect and the ensemble proves that “Sometimes glass glitters more than diamonds because it has more to prove.”

This crew know exactly how far to take the overacting without losing the play’s balance between humour and sardonic bite. Moist Von Lipwig is the kind of man who knows how to put the sizzle in a sausage. He’s placed in charge of the Bank of Ankh-Morpork.

Topsy Lavish, the bank’s chairman, instantly suspects he’s a conman. “I wouldn’t trust you with a bucket of water if my knickers were on fire!” she accuses. In her will, she leaves her beloved pooch Mr Fusspot 50% of the bank and since the dog owns another 1% that makes him the chairman.

Adora Dearheart, Moist’s fiancé, sums up the plot. “A mad old lady – all right, a very astute mad old lady – died and gave you her dog, which sort of wears this bank on it’s collar, and you’ve told everyone that gold is worth less than potatoes, you’ve upset the nastiest family in the city, people are queuing to join the bank because you make them laugh…what have I missed?”

Well apart from neurotic employees, fornication in the vaults and other assorted lunacy quite a lot actually.

Paul Briske – resplendent in gold lame suit – is unremittingly outlandish as Moist, Michael Coumi treads a fine line between villainous and comedic as Cosmo Lavish and the rest of the cast are charming, inventive and engaging throughout.

Making Money is Unseen’s slickest Pratchett to date, and there’s plenty to admire about this golden production.