Review of Mort (2003) by Rod Lewis

Reviewer: Rod Lewis
First published in: Messenger Newspaper, Adelaide

Misadventures of Death’s deputy

DEATH came to Mort – he offered him a job.

With that outlandish premise, Pamela Munt unfolds Unseen Theatre’s snappiest production to date, outlining the misadventures of Death’s apprentice.

Terry Pratchett’s fourth Discworld novel is adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs.

Sam James plays the Grim Reaper with all the dry wit and childlike innocence that makes this towering character a favourite among many Discworld fans.

The reverberation on his voice adds a gleefully gruesome touch to his perfected delivery.

In the title role, Tim Bates looks out of his depth, but rightly so given the unexpected new occupation of his character.

Left in charge after Death takes a holiday, Mort creates havoc by saving the life of a princess scheduled to die.

But Fate is not overcome that easily and Erin Stockie is amusing as the Princess caught between two worlds.

It is Andrew Dowling’s flippant interpretation of Mage Cutwell that really stands out, however. With great stage presence, he earns every star on his wizard’s hat.

Munt blends multiple scenes together with minimal fuss and keeps the action flowing fast.

A good selection of songs bridges brief scene changes and Robert Andrews is quick off the mark with the ample lighting and sound cues.

George Leaman’s split level set is practical and Anna Scott’s scenic art is eye catching.

Unseen Theatre’s debut with this play in March 2000 won a City Messenger Light Year Award for best costumes. Seamstress Sharman Gilchrist presents an equally fine array of colourful outfits this time around.

Despite the quirky plot, Mort is perhaps one of the best introductions to Pratchett for the uninitiated and Unseen will leave you dying with laughter.