FIFTY YEARS OF TERRY PRATCHETT

16 November 2021 marks 50 years of Terry as a published author.

By a delightful coincidence, the revised dates for our delayed Discworld play - MURDER IN ANKH-MORPORK - are the same week as that anniversary.

'The Carpet People' was published on 16 November 1971. And on 17-20 November 2021, we will be staging a celebration of Terry's work - featuring some of his best-loved characters - the Ankh-Morpork's City Watch.

We are delighted that the show will be officially sponsored by Terry's Estate.

We wanted to stage a play involving the Ankh-Morpork Night Watch. But we'd already staged all of Stephen Briggs' dramatizations featuring this noble group of guardians of justice. By coincidence, this year also marks the thirtieth anniversary of our first Pratchett play (and the first Pratchett dramatisation ever) - Wyrd Sisters.

Stephen got special permission to put together an affectionate mash-up incorporating characters and bits from Guards! Guards! , Thud! and Feet of Clay, woven respectfully into the core plot of Men at Arms. All Terry.

The city is protected by the multiverse's most diverse police force. But a new threat is emerging - the Discworld's first and only firearm. The Gonne.

Access

Disabled Access. Please do note the Theatre is part of Abingdon's Abbey Buildings - a scheduled ancient monument. There are lots of steps and awkward changes of level throughout the building. There is, effectively, no wheelchair access and the buildings do pose major challenges for anyone with mobility issues.

The City Watch from our 'Feet of Clay'.

Stephen Briggs, on adapting Terry for the stage:

When I first adapted Terry for the stage (back in 1990), it was because I liked, enjoyed and admired his inventive and witty writing. 

I knew, of course, that cuts would have to be made to fit an 80,000 word novel into a two hour play. My challenge was to ensure that my stage versions would still accurately reflect his characters, humour and plots. I aimed to retain, and portray, the spirit of each book.

Terry came to see all twenty of my shows, and liked what I did with them (to be fair, some more than others!).

I've written three more Pratchett shows since Terry passed - but I always have him sitting at my shoulder as I write, and I always picture him in the audience each night. I still write what I think he'd approve and enjoy.

Murder in Ankh-Morpork takes more liberties than a straight book-to-play adaptation, but I am still true to Terry's words, wit and characters. I think he'll enjoy it, and I hope his fans will, too.

I'm very grateful to Rob Wilkins and the Pratchett Estate for approving, and supporting, this project and title.

Stephen, with Terry, in the pub after 'Monstrous Regiment' in 2003.