Festive Show with Terry Pratchett Twist at Roleystone
CHRISTMAS 2021 is being turned on its head in Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather at Roleystone Hall in Western Australia.
Adapted by Stephen Briggs and directed by Bradley Towton for Roleystone Theatre, the Discworld version of Santa Claus – known as the Hogfather – has gone missing.
The character of Death has to step into the red-and-white costume to keep children’s belief whole and safe, although he isn’t very good at the job.
As a result, he enlists the help of his granddaughter Susan in an effort to save the special occasion.
Dying of Alzheimer’s in early 2015, Pratchett was the UK’s best-selling author of the 1990s, selling more than 85 million books worldwide in 37 languages.
“Hogfather shines a lantern onto the messier and more real side of the holiday, in a very unreal manner,” Bradley said.
“This is my fourth time directing a Pratchett play and, with the Christmas season rapidly approaching, I thought it would inject a nice amount of holiday cheer into the lives of Perth people.
“Hogfather is a very emotional piece in certain moments and can hit close to home at times.
“It just fits, as a capstone to the year we’ve all had.”
Involved in theatre for the past 10 years, Bradley studied performing arts at Curtin University and appeared in several Stage Door School shows before joining Roleystone Theatre to perform in Much Ado About Nothing, Avenue Q, Peter Pan and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
He has also appeared in Garrick Theatre productions of A Lady Mislaid, Project Macbeth and Love is a Noun and scored acting awards for his roles in She Was Only a Miller’s Daughter and Footrot Flats at Roleystone Theatre.
Earlier this year, Bradley performed in The Producers at the Regal Theatre with the new Alexandra Theatre Company.
With Hogfather, he is facing certain challenges moving the book from page to stage.
“The worst part of the directing process is just how much has been taken out of the book,” Bradley said.
“A common critique of Pratchett plays is their length and I think Stephen Briggs has heard that plea.
“Hogfather is a nice fit at just under two hours but a lot of popular material has had to sit on the cutting room floor.
“As fans ourselves, having to see some of those moments not get stage time is a huge challenge – but one we hope we’re up to.
“Hogfather is honestly a hilarious and heartfelt show and it’s been an absolute blast working with our cast and crew on it so far.”
Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather plays at 7.30pm November 26, 27, December 2, 3 and 4; 5pm matinee November 28 and 2pm December 4. Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/BUTQA.
Roleystone Hall is at 44 Jarrah Road (corner of Wygonda Road), Roleystone, WA.
Images: Albert (Ian Banks, left), Death (Sam Barnett) and Susan (Michelle Ezzy) team up to spread festive cheer in Terry Pratchett’s Hogather; Teatime (Aaron O’Neil) and his band of criminals: Sideney (Billy Darlington), Banjo (Peter Carr), Medium Dave (Curig Jenkins) and Chickenwire (Candice Preston); Death (Sam Barnett, centre) with Gawain (Callan Emmerson) and his sister Twyla (Ellie Jones); Susan (Michelle Ezzy) is unimpressed with tooth fairy Violet Bottler (Monique Nelson) and her belief in the oh-god-of-hangovers Bilious (Ellis Kinnear). Photographer: Zyg Woltersdorf