Review of The Truth by Ewart Shaw

Reviewer: Ewart Shaw
First published in: The Advertiser
Date of review: 28 October 2017

The truth, they say, will set you free.   In this delightful whimsical evening, it will make you laugh, and also think.

The arrival of ‘fake news’ and challenges to the freedom of the press makes this Pratchett story remarkably pertinent, and incidentally very funny. There’s less Discworld magic and more contemporary politics on stage as the City watch investigate a possible murder by the Patrician no less, and down the street, the daily newspaper is being invented.

Unseen Theatre and founder Pamela Munt have developed a Bakehouse style of versatile performers, with many changes of costume, accent and beard, nipping out of many doorways. There’s an energetic sense of improvisation carefully managed for maximum effect.

Aimee Ford is Gaspode the talking dog. Hugh O’Connor and Natalie Haigh are William de Worde and Saccharissa Cripslock, accidental publishers of Ankh-Morpork newspaper The Truth, aided by Leighton James as Gunilla Goodmountain, dwarf engraver, I mean a dwarf who engraves not someone who engraves dwarves. Pratchett fans will understand the confusion.

There’s great support from the square jawed Mike Shaw as Commander Vimes, with Alycia Rabig as sidekick Angua, David Dyte as Lord de Worde and the man with amusingly shaped root vegetables and David Haller as Drumknott.   Danny Sag is outstanding as the vampire press photographer. There’s a special mention for Nick Andrews and Paul Messenger as Mr Pin and Mr Tulip, a new firm of bad boys, and producer/director Munt reprises her role as the zombie lawyer Mr Slant.

By law, the role of Vetinari can only be played by Philip Lineton, whose quiet authority is a still point in the chaos of the play.
Stephen Dean’s light and sound design add a special magic to the action, ably managed by Eleanor Adams.

One of the many enjoyable features of the show is that a deep acquaintance with the novel or the Discworld, which is carried by a giant turtle..if you’re a fan you know this already..isn’t necessary. The clearly expressed action and the relevance of the story will carry you along.

Ewart Shaw – The Advertiser