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Mort, by Pratchett, via Briggs

March 9th, 2008 (01:07 am)

I find myself sitting up in the middle of the night with a pot of coffee (decaff) and LiveJournal. Thus I think a short review is in order.

I've not read Mort, but this student production of Stephen Briggs's play further consolidates my theory (on slender evidence) that I find Briggs's concentrations of Pratchett more amusing than Pratchett's books themselves. I've not really tested this beyond getting a quarter of the way through Feet of Clay, though.

Anyway - this was staged with real care and attention and full use of the space that the Old Fire Station's stage offered, and inventive use of lighting, sound and props. Death was suitably imposing, though his voice-altering microphone liked absorbing other voices too. There were several good interpolations in the script - such as Death's walk-on part in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix being mentioned. Stewart Pringle gave the abbot a Leslie Phillips-like drawl which seemed surprisingly appropriate; Hannah Tolkien, a dynastic scion herself we assume, though of a literary sort, a haughty Princess Kali. Rob Hemmens, as the eponymous Mort, charted his character's evolution from idiot-savant to the borders of Death with flair.


Posted by: But what if I'm a mermaid? (deepbluemermaid)
Posted at: March 9th, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
LOTR / Holy Grail - model Edoras

I was about two-thirds of the way through Mort when I saw the play. It's only the second Pratchett book I've read, after Wyrd Sisters. Personally I really enjoy the footnotes, and the puns, and the wonderful flights of imagination - a lot of which is unavoidably lost in translation to the stage.

Death's walk-on part in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Huh, I must have missed that - do you remember the joke? I can't think of where Death appears in OotP, unless he's masquerading as a Dementor.

I also thought that the actor playing Mort was very good. Hannah Tolkien is apparently a great-niece of JRR. And yes, she's studying English at Oxford. I wonder whether it's a family rule that at least one member of each generation should be here to carry on the name and tradition...

Posted by: http://elevatormusic.space (sebastienne)
Posted at: March 9th, 2008 09:05 am (UTC)
stewart spider

It must have been a last night ad-lib; the actor playing Death also played young Remus Lupin in HP&tOotP. I was in Edinburgh with him. We sold Robin Hood almost entirely on the famous-name aspect.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: March 9th, 2008 11:12 am (UTC)

Thanks for clearing that up - I'd assumed it was a reference to the Dementors or a special effect which I'd forgotten.

Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: March 9th, 2008 10:25 am (UTC)

Thank you for enlightening us as to Hannah. I had been racking my brains, trying to think where I had seen a Tolkien family tree recently.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: March 9th, 2008 11:11 am (UTC)

I've long ago established that I'm at odds with most of taruithorn on Pratchett, though I'm prepared to be surprised, as I was with Night Watch.