WOSSNAME -- SPECIAL EDITION -- DECEMBER 31, 2006
Our beloved editor Annie Mac was horrified to see that the
splendid review in rhyme of HOGFATHER by our former
editor Anna M. Conina had somehow slipped through the
net and was missing from our last issue which you just got.
No one understands how this could happen -- as Terry
would say, there was a million-to-one chance such a
thing could occur. Well, we all know about those
million-to-one chances, don't we?
So here it is, and since it is still 2006, it might even
be vaguely legal.
THE MONTH BEFORE HOGSWATCH:
A report on the HOGFATHER London premiere
by Anna M. Conina
'Twas the month before Hogswatch, when all through my house
'Bout the only things stirring were keyboard and mouse.
My jaw hung wide open, my face turned snow-pale,
To see Terry’s _Hogfather_ premiere email. (1)
“Would you like a ticket?” I joyfully read,
While visions of movie stars danced in my head.
“November 27th, at Curzon Mayfair.”
Though I live in the U.S., I had to be there! (2)
Soon, back at my job there arose ample chatter
That Anna just had to be mad as a hatter.
Away from my duties I flew like a flash,
I now owe them favors (and possibly cash). (3)
The flashbulbs reflecting on fake fallen snow
Left me dazzled as I came to see the first show.
For what to my wondering eyes should appear
But reporters, and hordes of Disc-fans in full gear! (4)
And a guy in a Hogfather suit near the mob;
Then in a few moments I spotted our Rob.
More rapid than Rincewind, celebrities came,
And folks whistled, and shouted, and called them by name! (5)
“Hey Tony! Hey David! Hey, Nigel, hey Vadim!
Please sign this! A quote, please? A photo? I got 'em!
Could you pose by the doors? Could you pose by the tree?
Don’t dash away 'till you wave hi on TV!” (6)
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
(Or poor Rincewind retreating when danger is nigh),
So into the theater, we fortunate few,
With the press and the actors, and Terry there, too. (7)
And then, in a twinkling, I found on the floor
A bag full of goodies – the screenplay, and more!
As I thrust in a hand, and was digging around,
The lights dimmed – sadly just for Sky One ads, we found. (8)
Then a Sky exec. and Vadim Jean came onstage
To commend how the crew wrought the film from the page.
They’d conjured the Discworld as it should be seen!
And voila! Great A'Tuin’s grand entrance onscreen! (9)
Our eyes - how they sparkled! Our laughter, how merry!
We ne’er felt the lack of that most cheerful fairy.
The story was lavished with style and wit,
And I think those involved should be damned proud of it. (10)
The details rang true – Oh, the tower for teeth!
And the chaos at Crumley's! The dark realm of Death!
How Nobby oozed Nobbiness! Teatime oozed creepy!
And Susan was spot-on – I almost got weepy. (11)
We beheld the first half, and a peek at part two,
Plus Michelle, Terry, David, and Vadim’s talk, too.
Applauded and lauded, they joined us to schmooze
At Hilton’s posh fete (with no shortage of booze). (12)
I chatted with “Nobby” and “Susan,” and stared
At Hogfather props I would steal if I dared,
While back at the Curzon, more fans watched the show
Too soon it grew late, and I needed to go; (13)
But first Terry asked – had it been worth the bother?
Flying in at short notice for half the _Hogfather_?
So he heard me shout “Yes!” ere I left –“It’s the best!
“Happy Hogswatch to all – and can’t wait for the rest!” (14)
HERE BE FOOTNOTES
(1) Although _Hogfather_ is scheduled for broadcast on Sky One on
December 17th and 18th, it received a full-on theatrical premiere on
November 27th at the Curzon Mayfair in London.
(2) This jet-setting attitude probably leads you to conclude that I
must be rich, a huge fan, and/or a flat-out loon. Hint: I’m not rich.
(3) Not only was the premiere on the other side of the world (where
I had just traveled in August for the Discworld Convention), I was
scheduled to work the Thanksgiving holiday weekend when I needed to
be airborne. Many, many thanks to my generous colleagues who
covered for me, to my poor husband, who had to stay home and work
like a responsible grown-up, and to Kris, who let me crash at her
place yet again.
(4) There were actually two preview showings: the first at 7 pm for
the press, celebrities, and a few lucky folks from fandom, and the
second at 9:30 pm for a mass of fans who’d won tickets. The latter
lined the street early to celebrity-watch and pose for photos with a
fabulously costumed Hogfather, but those wearing costumes were
photographed by the press almost as often as the arriving actors.
(5) Many, many thanks to Rob Wilkins, Terry’s PA, for all the time
and effort he devoted to making arrangements for us to attend.
(6) Tony Robinson, David Jason, Nigel Planer, and director Vadim
Jean, respectively, plus many more well-known (and lesser-known)
attendees. Favorite overheard conversation between two
photographers snapping away at one young woman:
“Who is she, anyway?”
“I don’t know – I thought you knew!”
The motto was: if it moves, photograph it.
(7) Besides the pseudo-snow, the theatre was decked with a forest of
trees, a living room setting with a fake fireplace, and other
yuletide props for photo ops. Very festive and well-done, although
I wish they hadn’t cleverly hidden the ladies’ room behind the
(8) In addition to the sumptuously illustrated screenplay, the bags
contained a Sky One promotional booklet and DVD, bottled water, a
candy cane, and the tie-in paperback of _Hogfather_ with Michelle
Dockery’s Susan on the cover. I also hear there was a candy bar,
although I somehow missed it. And it’s not like me to miss chocolate.
I confess I can’t tell you diddly-squat about Sky One’s winter
programming lineup, since I spent a lot more time watching famous
people in the audience than paying much attention to the promos.
(9) I urge you now: watch that opening sequence on the largest
television you can find!
(10) The beggars and the Cheerful Fairy apparently didn’t make the
cut, but judging by what I’ve seen, the edits helped tighten the
focus for the film. They’ve achieved exposition without infodumps
and deftly translated all essential plot, themes, and humor. The
actors absolutely nailed their parts -- Michelle Dockery seemed to
be channeling Susan, while Mark Warren’s Teatime made my nerves want
to crawl right out from under my skin (unfortunately, he wasn’t at
the premiere; I hear he’s recently filmed a remake of _Dracula_).
The look of the film is stunningly gorgeous, meticulously detailed,
and skewed a bit off-kilter in just the right way. It has all
thehallmarks of a labor of love, and is an utter joy to watch.
Here’shoping it introduces a whole new audience to the books!
(11) Okay, so “teeth” and “Death” don’t quite rhyme.
(12) Terry once again regaled us with the tale of how Michelle
Dockery discussed the fit of her corset with him on set (I have a
feeling replica corsets will be very popular items at future
Discworld events). When a reporter asked why no one seemed to notice
the Hogfather was Death in disguise just because he wore a beard and
a red suit, Terry compared it to the operatic convention wherein a
man will fail to recognize his distinctively large wife merely
because she’s wearing a tiny mask.
The Zeta Bar at the Hilton hosted the reception after the premiere,
and in addition to the all-you-can-drink extravaganza, guests grazed
upon such nibbles as tempura vegetables, chicken, mini-mince pies,
and slightly disturbing white orbs that may have been quail eggs.
Or possibly eyeballs.
(13) The walls, nooks, and countertops were all stuffed with
lifetimers, scythes, piles of teeth, a giant boar’s head, etc. Nick
Tennant (Nobby) actually asked a group of fans what we thought of
his performance, then sat down and chatted with us about how much he
enjoyed the character. He’s even started reading _Guards! Guards!_
(14) I’ll be eagerly waiting to hear when this will be released
stateside. I envy everyone who gets to see the ending this month!
AND FOR ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW:
Copyright 2006 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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