Review of Pratchett Pieces by Rod Lewis

Reviewer: Rod Lewis
First published in: Adelaide Theatre Guide

Adelaide’s own theatre company, specialising in plays by Terry Pratchett present four short pieces by this British father of the fantastic.

For the uninitiated, Pratchett’s Discworld novels are of the comedy/fantasy kind. They take place on an imaginary world that rides through space on the back of four giant elephants standing on an enormous space-faring turtle. It’s a world full of trolls, dwarfs, wizards, witches and other outlandish creatures; a world where the normal is abnormal.

Company co-founder Pamela Munt has adapted all four stories for the stage, and directs three of them, with Melanie Munt directing one.

A number of the familiar Unseen cast are back to reprise their roles, including Gwyn Morfey as Corporal Nobbs, Sean Venning as Sergeant Colon and the delightful Sam Priestley as Constable Carrot. Katie Packer takes over the role of the narrator, ‘Footnote’.

Those who have followed the progress of Unseen Theatre Company will find few surprises – there’s the usual, excellent costuming; a clever minimalist set which allows for speedy scene changes; and an enthusiastic cast of varying skill but almost always enjoyable to watch.

New recruits should delight in the absurdity of the plays, the quirkiness of the characters, and the company’s ineffable wit.

Munt’s direction (both of them) is pacey and makes excellent use of the limited performance space, although some cast members need to watch their diction. A neutral observer unfamiliar with the script could resolve this ongoing problem for the company by attending the odd rehearsal and providing such feedback.

Pratchett plays are difficult to stage, if for no other reason than the settings. But like the wizards who attend the Unseen University on Discworld, the Unseen Theatre Company make the impossible possible with imagination, flair and fun.

3 stars out of 5