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Roleystone Theatre Presents: Terry Pratchett's Hogfather

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Festive show with Terry Pratchett twist
Terry Pratchett, Hogfather, Roleystone Theatre, Discworld, Roleystone Hall, performing arts, drama, Christmas, festive
Death (Sam Barnett, left) and his sort-of granddaughter Susan (Michelle Ezzy) in Terry Pratchett's Hogfather. Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf


Christmas is being turned on its head in Terry Pratchett's Hogfather at Roleystone Hall. 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.

Terry Pratchett, Hogfather, Roleystone Theatre, Discworld, Roleystone Hall, performing arts, drama, Christmas, festive
Albert (Ian Banks, left), Death (Sam Barnett) and Susan (Michelle Ezzy) team up to spread festive cheer in Terry Pratchett's Hogather. Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf


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.

"It follows the same satirical and comedic beats as Pratchett's other works. The story of the Little Match Girl has a tragic ending, but what if someone came along with the power of winter time miracles? What if rich children were not the only ones who got rich things for Hogswatch? What if all the cabbages with whirring blades really were your worst nightmare?

Terry Pratchett, Hogfather, Roleystone Theatre, Discworld, Roleystone Hall, performing arts, drama, Christmas, festive
Teatime (Aaron O'Neil) and his band of criminals: Sideney (Billy Darlington), Banjo (Peter Carr), Medium Dave (Curig Jenkins) and Chickenwire (Candice Preston). Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf

"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.

Terry Pratchett, Hogfather, Roleystone Theatre, Discworld, Roleystone Hall, performing arts, drama, Christmas, festive
Terry Pratchett's Hogfather features Caitlyn Boyle, left, as Ponder Stibbons, and Christopher Potts as Archchancellor Ridcully. Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf


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.

Terry Pratchett, Hogfather, Roleystone Theatre, Discworld, Roleystone Hall, performing arts, drama, Christmas, festive
Death (Sam Barnett, centre) with Gawain (Callan Emmerson) and his sister Twyla (Ellie Jones) in Terry Pratchett's Hogfather. Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf

"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 one of Pratchett's earlier works so it does not need as much 'pre-reading' as some of the shows do, in order to follow the plot closely.

"It is my aim to direct the earlier shows so I can then hopefully move into the later ones without leaving our audiences behind. 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, Hogfather, Roleystone Theatre, Discworld, Roleystone Hall, performing arts, drama, Christmas, festive
Susan (Michelle Ezzy) is unimpressed with tooth fairy Violet Bottler (Monique Nelson) and her belief in the oh-god-of-hangovers Bilious (Ellis Kinnear). Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf


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.

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Why? At its core, Hogfather is a story about the nature of belief with Pratchett a master at making you laugh, think and sometimes cry all at once.
When: 7.30pm November 26, 27, December 2, 3 & 4; 5pm November 28; 2pm December 4
Where: Roleystone Hall, 44 Jarrah Road (corner of Wygonda Road), Roleystone
Cost: $20, $15 concession
Your Comment
What a collection of characters. Great costuming
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|3596) 21 days ago
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