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KATS - The Truth

11th to 13th August 2005.

From the Newbury Weekly News.

Great one for the Pratchett fans

Kennet Amateur Theatrical Society: The Truth, at Kennet School, Thatcham, from Thursday, August 11 to Saturday, August 13

The Truth, presented by KATS last week, was adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs from Terry Pratchett's 25th Discworld novel. This series has a huge following and unveils the satirical and comical fantasy world that rides through space on the back of a giant turtle! If you couldn't suspend your disbelief that far, this play may not have been for you. That aside, KATS pulled it off as a piece of theatre that stood in its own right.

The plot follows the creation of Ank-Morpork's first daily tabloid and the humour revolves around how news can be easily manufactured and manipulated, As the characters were so fond of saying: "A lie can run around the world before the truth has got its boots on."

With its fantastic array of characters; dwarfs, werewolves, vampires, talking dogs and zombies, it's a recipe for something quite different.

Director John Hicks had assembled Pratchett's fantastic ingredients well and, following a slow start, the action moved swiftly through the many scenes, with slick entrances and exits, well-cued lighting, and an apparently word-perfect cast. It was an extremely impressive first night.

The whole cast is to be commended, with good characterisations and delivery, but the principal roles in particular were notable (although not all are mentioned here).

Jon Lovell as William de Worde handled his large role with great flair and Claire Helyer as Sacharissa Crisplock gave a delightful performance. The delivery of these two actors was immaculate. Dave Vince was excellent and very amusing as Otto, the reformed vampire, and as the two 'heavies' Kevin Miller as Mr Tulip and Andy Pocock as Mr Pin gave good value as the Pulp Fiction-ish criminals in the thick of the murder mystery. Mike Cole was classy in his dual role of Lord Vetinari/Charlie and Katie Haythornthwaite and Kim Haysom-Gamblin gave solid back up as the dwarf printers.

Visually, the piece lacked the richness that one might expect from a fantasy piece - the set was very basic, and I felt the lighting could have benefited from more colour.

Apart from that however, it was a great evening's theatre and definitely one for the Pratchett fans.