Adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs
Based on the book by Terry Pratchett
Directed by Amy Davies
Performed by Monstrous Productions
Saw at The Gate Theatre, Cardiff
Opening night, 29th January 2014
Mort is introduced to Death’s domain, meeting his human daughter, and former wizard manservant. However, in an act of kindness while out on the job, he alters the course of history by foiling the assassination of Princess Keli.
This creates an alternate reality that is up to Mort to put right. Meanwhile, Death goes to explore what being a human is all about, with hilarious consequences.
Monstrous Productions is an ambitious theatre company, that's for sure. Hot on the heels of the success of their adaptation of Carpe Jugulum, where they tackled some of Pratchett's most loved characters, they follow it up with an even more beloved and ever-present face from the Discworld - Death.
This was done brilliantly. Matthew Churchill's deadpan performance (and excellent make-up) was an instant hit with the audience from the first booming syllable. Even as the more human elements of his personality begin to creep in, his monotone boom and stoic presence makes the funnies even funnier.
Also great was Craig Harper's take on Mort, and the juxtaposition between himself and Death was excellent. Both leads worked flawlessly with one another, and Mort's good-natured fool served as an excellent counterpoint to Death's grim demeanour (excuse the pun).
Tip of the cap goes to Laura Kendrick, who played her Ysabell like an older Vanellope von Schweetz (from Wreck-It Ralph) to great effect, and also Nick Dunn, whose brief but brilliant performance of Rincewind was spot-on (take note, David Jason - this is how you play Rincewind!).
Mort was a delight to watch, and it's safe to say that Monstrous have scored a their third hit in a row. Director Davies has said that she's reluctant to put on a performance of anything involving Discworld favourite Sam Vimes as it would be too challenging - with a track record like this, I don't think they've anything to worry about.