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WOSSNAME -- November 2009 -- Part 2 of 5

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  • granny_tude
    WOSSNAME -- NOVEMBER 2009 -- PART 2 OF 5 (continued) ... oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ====Part 2 -- MORE REVIEWS, MORE NEWS, ODDS AND
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 24, 2009
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      WOSSNAME -- NOVEMBER 2009 -- PART 2 OF 5 (continued)
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      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      ====Part 2 -- MORE REVIEWS, MORE NEWS, ODDS AND SODS

      10) REVIEWS OF UNSEEN ACADEMICALS, CONTINUED
      11) WOSSNAME EXCLUSIVE REVIEWS: NATION LIVE AT THE NT
      12) ONLY YOU CAN SAVE MANKIND, THE MUSICAL: AT LAST!
      13) JUST THE THING FOR HOGSWATCH: UA FOOTBALL CARDS
      14) AUDIOFILE: THE SOUNDS OF PRATCHETT
      15) THE PRATCHETT COLLECTION COMES TO DUBLIN...TO STAY

      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      10) REVIEWS OF UNSEEN ACADEMICALS, CONTINUED

      Another long review, by blog reviewer Nymeth:

      "What is it about, then? Well, conflicts and immigration,
      dehumanizing others and stereotypes and urban violence; the fashion
      world, people being judgemental while telling themselves everything
      they're doing is for The Greater Good, acceptance, belonging,
      success, passion and enthusiasm; being who you are, other people
      letting you be who you are, remembering history while not letting it
      define you, the fact that there are always several sides to one
      story, and...well, you get the point. As the rest of the Discworld
      series, it's really about life..."

      http://tinyurl.com/yd89jsu


      And another from blogger Paperback Reader:

      "As always I enjoyed reading Pratchett; I find him very comforting
      and he brings me out of any book slump that I occasionally fall
      into. I find that he is exceedingly difficult to review; I've
      summarised what Unseen Academicals and my response but the joy of
      reading Pratchett is inexplicable to describe. You do not need to be
      a football fan to appreciate this novel as it is not so much about
      the cult of the sport but the societal observations surrounding the
      game; it is easy to see the humour in the making of the offside rule
      without the need to understand it oneself..."

      http://tinyurl.com/yabpepm


      And from blogger Jacob at Drying Ink:

      "It's a fantastic satire with a message: for fashion, on equality,
      whatever Pratchett sets his pen to, it's literary gold. I don't need
      to talk about the prose, so instead let it suffice to say: it's
      brilliant..."

      http://tinyurl.com/yaah66q


      A short, sweet review from blogger Tim Niland:

      "Culminating with a wildly funny winner take all march between the
      wizards and a gang of street toughs and hooligans, the story also
      tells a fine tale of understanding and redemption..."

      http://jazzandblues.blogspot.com/2009/11/recent-reads.html

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      11) WOSSNAME EXCLUSIVE REVIEWS: NATION LIVE AT THE NT

      11.1 PUPPETS AND PIG-MILKING FUN: A REVIEW OF "NATION" AT THE
      NATIONAL

      by Llin Thomas

      I was lucky enough to get tickets to the pre-premiere of Nation at
      the National Theatre, and by the time Wednesday the 11th of November
      arrived I was so excited to see one of my favourite books brought to
      the stage that I could hardly sleep the night before.

      So: the National Theatre's adaptation of Nation was really good, in
      a lot of ways. In other ways it was a little lacking, but overall it
      was still a really good and enjoyable production.

      The actor playing Mau was excellent -- not at all how I'd pictured
      the character, and I don't think my mental image is forever changed
      afterward, but he really got under Mau's skin and put some pretty
      subtle stuff across very well. The young actor playing Daphne was
      more hit and miss, but the bits she hit were very good, and the bits
      she missed were not that far off. There were only a few moments
      where she really captured the essential Daphne-ness of the
      character, but again, having read the book I had a very firm idea of
      how the characters should be, and the two in our party who hadn't
      read it had no complaints, so probably it works in the context of
      the play. She was a bit too shouty; I got the impression perhaps
      because the theatre was a little big for her voice and she had
      trouble speaking loud enough to fill it ("Mau", on the other hand,
      had no trouble in this area).

      The rest of the cast were excellent, especially the guy playing the
      parrot (fun and clever, and helpful especially near the beginning --
      more on that in a minute), and the woman playing Cahle. The woman
      playing Daphne's grandmother wasn't on stage long but she made a big
      impression, and the kids in the audience especially thought she was
      hilarious.

      The set and staging were absolutely terrific -- we were struck by
      the set as soon as we came in, they used the revolving stage, and it
      had the top of a globe on it like a small hill, which was useful for
      dividing the stage, and got to play a part in the plot when they
      entered the Cave of the Grandfathers. There were three large screens
      as well which were used to great effect, especially for the
      underwater scenes.

      The storm, as I mentioned, was fantastic, they used a combination of
      the screens, a large blue sheet for the ocean, lighting effects,
      dancing, and a model ship, and it was very effective, especially
      since it pretty much opened the show and nobody knew yet quite what
      to expect.

      There was a lot of use of puppetry, especially for the grandfather
      birds (which magically became the grandfathers to talk to Mau --
      very clever), and for the pig milking scene, which was hilarious.

      The music was wonderful, especially the songs of the Nation. There
      were two main ones, Imo Be Praised and the Beer Song, which were
      repeated frequently and which I'm not going to stop humming for
      quite a while. There was also a fun version of Zadok the Priest for
      the coronation scene, and the incidental music was gorgeous too,
      with touches here and there of electric guitar which worked in a
      very strange way.

      Oh, that reminds me, there was a girl of about ten sitting with her
      parents directly behind us (at the beginning she said "Mummy, is
      Terry Pratchett famous, then?" Bless.) and she kept having to have
      everything explained to her every step of the way, which was
      irritating, but makes me wonder whether bits of it weren't a bit
      confusing for people who hadn't read the book.

      Oh yes, it was really funny in places -- I mean, as you would
      expect, but there were plenty of LOLs for the kids and grown-ups
      alike. Everyone seemed to like the sweary parrot, and there were
      giggles when Mau turned up in his trousers. A couple of moments
      where the school trip kids in the balcony inevitably sniggered at a
      very serious moment at the word "breasts", but you can't have it
      all.

      I think the trouble is that the story is very big, a little too big
      really to fit into a normal-length play. This meant that they had to
      skip over a lot or do lots of things very quickly, which made the
      pace a bit peculiar in the first act, although it evened out a bit
      in the second. Also, because so much of the beginning part of the
      book has no dialogue, they had to get a lot of the ideas across in
      creative ways, which they did mostly successfully. A lot of it
      involved the parrot repeating things that had gone on before the
      play started (the opening was very quick, it started with the moment
      of Mau burying the axe in the tree and immediately led into the
      storm -- very well realised, more on that in a minute...) but they
      didn't use this enough for it to become annoying. Also it was
      necessary for the first few minutes for both Mau and Daphne to
      occasionally hallucinate their relatives in order to have
      expositional conversations, but again this worked quite well,
      especially the part where Mau saw Locaha in the form of his father
      and realised that his people were dead. All in all, the main plot
      was pretty much intact, although the significance of a lot of the
      smaller bits and pieces was lost.

      Overall it was an above-average evening at the theatre, and although
      the play didn't quite manage to get across the sheer wealth of ideas
      in the book (but then, how could it?), it often captured the spirit
      of it, and even where it didn't, it was a very good play.


      11.2 NATION @ THE NATIONAL: A REVIEW

      by Asti

      ...or should I say, Nation -- The Musical!

      It's difficult for me to give an objective review because, quite
      frankly, I hedgehogged up. I bought six primo tickets and then was
      too busy to set up invites. The result was that I had six prime
      seats all to myself to stew in.

      The staging was lovely. The entire production was consummately
      professional and it's refreshing to see an actual backing orchestra
      rather than people working to a click-track. That said, if I had had
      my choice, there would have been less attention paid to singing and
      dancing and more attention paid to adhering to the original dialogue
      and plot. The big surprise at the end was given away twice (!!!)
      before the interval (although I may be wrong as I haven't read
      Nation since it came out).

      I wondered what someone who hadn't read the book thought so I
      accosted some little old biddies at both the interval and afterward.
      They too wished there were fewer song & dance routines. They also
      wondered where Pratchett's witty dialogue was. Over a bracing cup of
      tea, we politely decided that the director must have made decisions
      with an eye toward bringing in a younger audience. And yet the
      parrot still said "****" and "*!*!*!*!" and such. Mystifying.

      Oh, and I bought myself a badge that reads 139th to the Throne.

      And I cried at the end. But I'm soppy old thing.


      [Editor's note: Both reviewers went to the preview performances.
      Nation formally opens on 24th November 2009, and continues in
      repertory in the NT Olivier until 28 March 2010.]

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      12) ONLY YOU CAN SAVE MANKIND, THE MUSICAL: AT LAST!

      News from the composer's mouth -- Leighton James House writes on
      pjsmprints.com:

      "Now fully mastered -- and with some hidden treats -- the actual CD
      will be available in December from www.ifnotyouthenwho.com

      We are also releasing a very special Limited Edition with exclusive
      content and a fantastic competition. We've already had some great
      feedback regarding the songs and I hope we get the chance to
      complete what we started next year with the national tour."

      For the original notice, and a photo of the OYCSMtM cover, go to:

      http://www.pjsmprints.com/news/index.html

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      13) JUST THE THING FOR HOGSWATCH: UNSEEN ACADEMICALS FOOTBALL CARDS

      Now available from the Cunning Artificer's Discworld Emporium: the
      full set of Paul Kidby's Jolly Sailor footy trading cards, as
      designed for Unseen Academicals! Comprising twenty different cards,
      featuring all the stars of the (very) opposing teams, the set is
      priced at £8.00 loose and £12.99 with album included. For those
      who prefer the luxury option, the Discworld Emporium also offers a
      mounted set backed on board (inc UK postage) for £30.00, mounted
      set backed on board (inc EU postage) for £35.00, or mounted set
      backed on board (inc Rest of World Postage) for £40.00.

      And there's also a lovely selection of 50p Ankh-Morpork Post office
      commemorative football stamps, also by Kidby and designed by Bernard
      Pearson and Ian Mitchell, featuring Mustrum Ridcully (Capt. UU),
      Joseph Hoggett (Capt. AMU) and, as the match referee, The Wizard
      Formally Known as the Dean; these are available in Mossy Green,
      Royal Blue and Decidedly Grumpy Red, with prices from £0.50 for
      individual stamps to £18.00 for a sheet of 36 stamps (12 of each).

      http://tinyurl.com/ya66kr6
      http://tinyurl.com/ycnzjap
      http://tinyurl.com/yadqczs

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      14) AUDIOFILE: THE SOUNDS OF PRATCHETT

      This month, Audiofile Magazine features Good Omens, which is being
      released as an audiobook in the USA for the first time [Took them
      long enough! -- Ed.]. Here be a link to a selection of audio
      interviews with the narrators of Good Omens and other Pratchett
      books, including Nigel Planer, Martin Jarvis, George Guidall, and --
      of course -- Stephen Briggs. Fascinating listening, especially
      Martin Jarvis' segment; you can hear how much he's enjoying his
      work:

      http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/epicks/1109_landingpage.html

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      15) THE PRATCHETT COLLECTION COMES TO DUBLIN...TO STAY

      The dynamic duo of Sir Terry Pratchett and Colin Smythe recently
      travelled to Ireland to present the complete back-catalogue of the
      author's works to Trinity College, Dublin:

      "The catalogue, presented in all 33 of the languages they have been
      published in, was presented to the College Library and the School of
      Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies. According to the
      College, the gift is intended to underpin research in contemporary
      fiction and translational studies.

      "Commenting on Mr. Smythe's donation, the Provost, Dr John Hegarty
      said that 'Colin's generous gift of this wonderful collection will
      inspire future generations of scholars for many years to come.' He
      added, 'Trinity has links across the world in all walks of life. Our
      links to another world, the Discworld, were expanded last December
      through the addition of Sir Terry to our university's alumni. I'm
      always delighted to see the success of our graduates
      internationally, across all generations.'"

      Honorary alumnus Pratchett and Trinity graduate Smythe first met in
      1968, worked together from 1971, and have been a literary team par
      excellence for over 20 years now. Well done the lads!

      http://tinyurl.com/yagwfmc

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      End of Part 2 -- continued on Part 3 of 5.
      If you did not get all five parts, write: interact@...
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      Copyright (c) 2009 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
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