AuthorAuthor Even in darkest Australia they have discovered the delights of Discworld amateur dramatics. Rosalie Wodecki & Aleksandra Wragg report on one such happening.

Terry Pratchett's Mort: adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs, presented by the FAUST Uni Student Theatre Group.

In a tiny universe, on a tiny world, in a tiny, tiny theatre, Mort the play enveloped the audience in Terry's puns and plays on words.

Granny Weatherwax (not usually seen in Mort), superbly played by Rosalie Wodecki, sat in the audience and educated all with such comments as "That's a wig! See? His wig fell off!", "She's too skinny to play Ysabell! Hasn't the producer ever heard of pillows?" and "That's not Death - I should know".

Mort is a well produced play with good actors and effective but simple special effects. You want more detail? Well.....

Death (Peter Davies) was simply brilliant, stalking the stage on black platform shoes. He wasn't skinny enough to be a skeleton, but he had the demeanour of the Death we all love and don't want to invite to parties. He wasn't just some dude in a black dress: he was Death - the Death of the Discworld, at least. Death came equipped with a distant echo when he spoke, which transferred to Mort when he became more Death-like.... very good. What was not so good was leaving out all but two lines of the bar scene with Death. Why? It can't have been because of the special effects requirements - all you'd need is a barstool and a glass. Shame that such good dialogue was left out.

Albert (Dan Hines) was superb. He didn't actually have a drip on the end of his nose, but I was convinced there was one. I kept expecting to hear a tiny little splish on the floor.

Mort (Brendan White) wasn't really up to scratch. Not being thin, gangly and awkward didn't help, but I don't think he came across as the Mort of Terry's book. Mind you, another person that went to see the play with me thought he was spot on. Just goes to show you how differently Terry's work can be interpreted.

The person (character, Rosalie, it was only a character - AW) we all thought was 'spot on' was Igneous Cutwell (Sam Priestly). Cutwell was definitely the highlight of the play. Every time he walked onto the stage, people laughed (although this may have had something to do with the purple, fluorescent green and white shower curtain he wore as his robe). I think Sam Priestly had probably read the book, although it could just be that he's a wizard and he knows these things.

Almost all of the bit players did a great job. Much kudos must go to the actor called 'Nick the Great' for his portrayal of the dithering, deaf old High Priest. Every time he spoke (well, yelled actually) the audience burst out laughing. I think they used some old UU magic and transported him over from the Discworld. Actor? What actor?

Life timer Ysabell (Christina Giorgio) was well played even though she had the body of a witch's broomstick. You didn't really notice how thin she was until they got to the 'insult hurling' scene. I'm sorry, but if you're going to tell someone they look like they've "been eating doughnuts in a wardrobe for years" then they shouldn't look like they've just stepped out of the gym after eating two sticks of celery and a diet rice wafer. One of the funniest lines in that scene and it didn't even get a confused laugh.

All in all, the play was fun to watch (even the goof-ups were enjoyable) and it looked like fun to be in. It is only a rumour that the audience was rated by the actors' friends as "tough - they're not even laughing". It's hard to laugh when you're checking out what someone did to your favourite author.

Rosalie Wodecki & Aleksandra Wragg take no blame for any of the contents of this review (it's all the fault of an inspiration particle which got sent to the wrong brains).

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August 1997