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Terry Pratchett's Mort at Roleystone Theatre

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Terry Pratchett book about death brought to life on stage
 Terry Pratchett, Mort, Roleystone Theatre, performing arts, play, Discworld, Death, stage, adapted, Stephen Briggs
In Terry Pratchett's Mort, Death (Sam Barnett, left) selects a young apprentice (Seren Moulds) to take over his job).


Death comes to us all – but in the case of Roleystone Theatre's production of Terry Pratchett's Mort, he offers the title character a job. 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.

In Terry Pratchett's Mort, adapted by Stephen Briggs from the popular Discworld novel, the character of Death feels it's time for a change and chooses an apprentice to take over the job for him. He finds Mort at a small career fair, giving him board, lodging and free use of the company horse – but trouble begins when Mort, instead of collecting a princess' soul, kills her would-be assassin and changes history.

Terry Pratchett, Mort, Roleystone Theatre, performing arts, play, Discworld, Death, stage, adapted, Stephen Briggs
The inept wizard Igneous Cutwell (Shannon Allender, left) and Princess Keli (Michelle Ezzy) in Terry Pratchett's Mort.

"Mort is the story of a young man coming to terms with everyone's mortality and finding the bright sparks of comedy, love and anger of a life well-lived," director Bradley Towton said. "It was the first Pratchett book I read, given to me by a friend, and while I was sceptical at first, it changed my appreciation of literature forever. Dozens of books later, I am still hooked!

"When I was given the opportunity to direct my second show, Mort was a clear and obvious choice to me. The subtle humour, beautiful characters and inspired storytelling all combine to make Terry Pratchett my favourite author and I feel proud to put on one of his shows to honour his memory."

Terry Pratchett, Mort, Roleystone Theatre, performing arts, play, Discworld, Death, stage, adapted, Stephen Briggs
Death (Sam Barnett) makes a point to adopted daughter Ysabell (Sarah Callahan) in Terry Pratchett's Mort.


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.

Previously, Bradley directed Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors – but Terry Pratchett's Mort has provided different challenges. "Finding the right voices has been interesting," he said. "We have had many long nights perfecting 'the leaden tones of Death' and 'giggling threateningly'. We're now working on technical things such as glowing blue eyes, swords as thin as a whisper and a flash and a bang as Death is summoned into an octogram."

Terry Pratchett, Mort, Roleystone Theatre, performing arts, play, Discworld, Death, stage, adapted, Stephen Briggs
Terry Pratchett's Mort features husband and wife Becky and James Hunt as the Vizier and King Olerve.


Husband and wife James and Becky Hunt both have roles in the show. James plays King Olerve the Bastard, the reasonably benevolent king of Sto Lat. "While he's beheaded a few people, he is generally well-liked and spends his time feasting and hunting," he said.

"When not enjoying the benefits of being king, Olerve dotes upon his headstrong daughter and heir Princess Keli. One challenge is making myself look older than my daughter because, as actors, we're similar ages. My character also laughs at his own jokes a lot, although nobody else does, so making my king-laugh authentic and convincing is a big challenge."

Terry Pratchett, Mort, Roleystone Theatre, performing arts, play, Discworld, Death, stage, adapted, Stephen Briggs
Monique Nelson as the Seamstress and Sam Barnett as Death in Terry Pratchett's Mort.


Becky is the Royal Vizier known as "Nine Turning Mirrors", the man in charge of the Agatean Empire. "He has been responsible for the deaths of the previous two emperors and hopes to do the same to the current emperor if he doesn't follow the Royal Vizier's instruction," she said.

"My husband James is a huge Pratchett fan and Mort is his favourite book by the author. Having a small amount of theatrical experience, James was quite nervous but really keen to be a part of the production. I came along to auditions to provide support, as both a drama enthusiast and his wife, and while there I quickly signed up, to try and act offside James to calm his nerves – and, from the audition, I was cast in the show."

Terry Pratchett's Mort plays at 8pm November 24, 25, 29, December 1 and 2. Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book on 6396 1557 or at www.roleystonetheatre.com.au. Roleystone Theatre is located at 587 Brookton Highway, Roleystone, opposite the Croyden Road junction.

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Why? This show will appeal to people who have no idea who Terry Pratchett is and just want a good story, as well as the fans who have certain expectations – but with Pratchett’s irrepressible wit, it’s hard to go wrong.
When: 8pm November 24, 25, 29, December 1 & 2
Phone: 6396 1557
Where: Roleystone Theatre, 587 Brookton Highway, Roleystone
Cost: $20, $15 concession
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