Mort

Mort
By Terry Pratchett, adapted by Stephen Briggs. Roleystone Theatre, WA. Directed by Bradley Towton. Nov 25 - Dec 2, 2017

Terry Pratchett fans flocked to Roleystone Theatre’s Mort - with sell-out houses at every performance.

Director Brad Towton is a clear fan of the Discworld series of books, and clearly has a passion for the story.

Seren Moulds made his community theatre debut in the title role of Mort, which was also his first lead role. Very convincing and likeable, this was a strong performance.
There were many fresh and new faces in this show. Key character the loveable wizard Cutwell was played by Shannon Allender in her first appearance on stage, after some years behind the scenes. Promising community theatre debuts were also made by actor/puppeteer Monique Nelson (The Door Knocker), Anna Koval (The Prince), James Hunt (King Olerve) and Becky Hunt (The Vizier).

Lovely performances in their first lead roles were created by Sarah Callahan, an enigmatic Ysabell, and Michelle Ezzy, a powerful Princess Keli, while Alan Gill (Albert) and Callum Presbury made a welcome return to the stage after absences of over decade. 

Strong support came from reliable regulars including Paul Presbury, who was an audience favourite as The Bursar and Bonnie Bruce as The High Priest. Rosie McGavock was a standout in the small role Goodie Hamstring, while Jacob Morrow, Jade Keeble and Michael Juschke delivered solid performances. 

The star of Mort is Death, and Sam Barnett did not disappoint, playing the disanthropic entity with dry humour, authority and arguably ‘personality’. Perfectly costumed (Penny Ramsell, Bonnie Bruce, Becky Hunt), he appeared to float across the stage, courtesy of some impressive hover-board skills.

Pace needed a boost at times, and scene changes, of which there were many, could have been tighter. The use of screen puppetry, which was cleverly placed, and should have been a highlight. felt awkward and under rehearsed.

There was however, lots to like. The set was well designed (Daniel Ramsell, Brad Towton) and constructed, and there were some top-notch props (Kathryn Stark). There was lots of enthusiasm and an obvious passion for the story.

The Discworld fans in the audience were obviously satisfied and this was a production with a great deal of joy.

Kimberley Shaw.

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