The Truth

Sun 19th – Tue 21st February 2012

reviews

Edward de Quay

at 09:24 on 21st Feb 2012

1agrees

0disagrees

Bias aside, I am quite a Terry Pratchett fan, “The Truth” provided a thoroughly entertaining evening of unabashed silliness, set in one of the most imaginative and unlikely worlds in literature. The basic plot, occasionally narrated and filled in by a talking dog (Leone Nicks), surrounds the Dwarfish invention of the Discworld’s printing press, and the establishment of its first newspaper. Young William de Worde (Luke Jew), becomes involved, and ends up running the newspaper assisted by Sacharissa (Rosalind Gealy), and fending off stories about humorously shaped vegetables. The newspaper takes when the ruler of the city of Ankh-Morpork is caught in the alleged murder of his secretary, leading to a tale of murder, violence, words and wit.

Perhaps this sounds straightforward so far? Enter a vampire photographer (Ricky Nathvani), a zombie lawyer (James Phillips), two criminals with a taste for fine craftwork and spiritual potatoes (Pete Bradshaw and Rachel Watkeys Dowie), dwarves (Beth Aspinall and Annis Stead), a werewolf (Hannah Schneiders), and a despotic ruler that could kill with a glance (Victoria White). Each of these characters (and more not mentioned) are as silly as the plot quickly becomes, and beautifully believable. Choosing a stand out performance would be worthless, each character unique enough and so full of life as to be incomparable to the next.

The experience is definitely enhanced by knowing the books, as there are several references to continuity gags throughout. This could make it confusing initially if you are not familiar with the characters, but a really good job has been done of trying to fill in the gaps, and omitting anything unnecessary (including, surprisingly, the fact that the Discworld lies atop the backs of four elephants, who ride through space on the back of a giant space turtle. It all makes perfect sense, really.) That said, those that had not read the book laughed as much, if not harder than anyone else. It’s difficult to convey the ridiculousness of the duck woman, Foul Old Ron, Nobby Nobbs or Mr Slant without giving away the humour that is the lynchpin of the play, so the only advice that can be given here is, if you like to laugh, and you don’t want to see a play that takes itself in any way seriously, you will like “The Truth.”

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