One screening only of Prachett’s ‘Nation’

2010-02-23 00:00

FILM REVIEW

Nation

Cinema Nouveau, Gateway

TERRY Pratchett’s Nation is not set on his famous disc world. It is a very ­different animal and makes for a spectacular theatrical presentation.

The National Theatre production is the third to be filmed and screened around the world and follows in the successful footsteps of Phedre and All’s Well That Ends Well.

Adapted by Mark Ravenhill and ­directed by Melly Still, Nation, set in 1860, tells the story of two teenagers — Mau (Gary Carr) and Daphne (Emily Taaffe) — who survive a tsunami and despite not knowing each other’s language become close friends.

Mau’s family — the nation of the title — is killed in the tsunami and Daphne believes herself to be the sole survivor of a shipwreck, apart from a cheeky parrot called Milton (Jason Thorpe). Slowly, however, more survivors from other islands arrive and Daphne finds herself helping to deliver a baby, milking a pig and brewing beer — a far cry from her life with her conservative grandmother in Wiltshire, England. Mau, meanwhile, has to step into the shoes of the village chief, despite not feeling prepared for such responsibility. His relationship with Daphne also makes him question his tribe’s devotion to their gods and all that he has been taught.

On one level it’s a great adventure story, but there are deeper under currents to this play, which also boasts some truly fantastic puppets, live music and a truly innovative set design. And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll find the ending deeply affecting.

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