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Thief of Time


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Thief of Time is a terrific stage adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s sublime satirical-fantasy novel of the same name.

Wonderfully staged, smartly bespoke and stocked with great lines, the play is another worthy addition to the Unseen Theatre Company’s repertoire – a well-paced piece that ranks among the best works of director Pamela Munt and her players.

Fans of Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy series will find it an absolute treat.

There is a good deal of aptitude in the Unseen troupe; each performer is impressive and the overall production shows what substance in presentation can do to bring to life complex plots, entire continents, and even the whole of space and time.

The play is a quest with comical heroes, sagacity and satire, but it comes with an unusual philosophical outlook – which, fortunately, doesn’t detract from the hilarity.

Much of the success is due to the hearty direction by Munt, whose adaptation gives the piece a suitable depth, yet doesn’t ignore the essence of Pratchett’s humour. She delivers a fairytale for adults, utilising the author’s astonishing work of imagination to yield absurdity and soul in every scene.

Time has stopped. The world is given over to fairytales and monsters, and there’s a schoolteacher walking around. She is Susan (Amelia Lorien) and she’s Death’s granddaughter. Death (Hugh O’Conor) has noticed the Auditors are back and that can only mean disaster for humanity.

On behalf of the Auditors, Lady LeJean (Priscilla Thomas) has asked Jeremy Clockson (Leighton James) to build the legendary glass clock. But this precision device will imprison Time. He has to be stopped and only the History Monks – who make sure that tomorrow happens – can thwart him. So Lu-Tze (Phillip Lineton) and his young apprentice Lobsang spend time to slice time and head off to Ankh Morpork to save Time.

An audacious concept, this comic-gambol delights, combining rib-tickling humour with high-brow notions and a sense of wonder. Thief of Time is enormously appealing and beguiling; one of those comedies that’s rich in atmosphere with a plot that holds the attention due to narrative crispness.

See this production now. After all, procrastination is the thief of time.

Thief of Time is playing at the Bakehouse Theatre until June 7.

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