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Small Gods: a rip-snorting saga

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Sir Terry Pratchett may be gone but he is not forgotten. His satire is rip-roaring and, to borrow one of the fantasy author’s own quotes, his “words are the litmus paper of the mind”.

Small Gods confirms, yet again, Adelaide-based Unseen Theatre Company’s status as an accomplished and engaging presenter of Pratchett’s Discworld series of novels.

Small Gods. Photo: Michael Errey

Small Gods. Photo: Michael Errey

Director Pamela Munt and her ensemble have taken the author’s thirteenth book and transformed it into something remarkable and compulsively enjoyable, creating the multi-layered society of the Disc in an enchanting, colourful fantasy adventure with a satirical bite.

The Great God Om (Alycia Rabig) manifests herself as a tortoise to novice monk Brutha (Timothy Tedmanson). At first, Brutha thinks it’s some demon. But shortly after his encounter with the deity, he is selected for a secret mission by the devious Deacon Vorbis (Adeodatus McCormack).

For a while, Brutha’s dreams of innocence are safe, untroubled by knowledge that the Church does not represent its God’s wishes. However, amid treachery, torture, slaughter and rebellion, a great prophet is born and life in Omnia will never be the same.

Munt has a great understanding of Discworld and Pratchett’s swipe at religion and intolerance, and as a result she has created a solid production. This is probably close to what Sir Terry had in his mind when he wrote the book.

The director allows the saga to sweep along on a wave of politics, battles, plots, passion and flights of fantasy. Her admirable cast whizzes along, too, with a goodly amount of gusto, talent and fun. The result is a good, rip-snorting tale and a significant contribution to the legacy of Sir Terry Pratchett.

Unseen Theatre Company is presenting Small Gods at the Bakehouse Theatre until May 30.

 

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