The Truth – adapted from the Terry Pratchett book of the same name – introduces William de Worde, a reluctant journalist and one of Pratchett’s more ‘normal’ characters, into the Discworld. The plot follows de Worde’s trials and tribulations as he accidentally becomes editor-in-chief of the Disc’s first newspaper. Meanwhile, the city is under threat of invasion as the Patrician, Lord Vetinari, is attacked by two assassins with the aid of a man who bears a striking resemblance to the ruler.
The team behind this production have three years’ experience of staging Pratchett plays, and this time they hit just the right tone of light-hearted fun, aiming for what they call “panto without audience interaction”. They dispose of complicated sets, instead relying on a few outsized props and a single raised platform to draw a height distinction between human and dwarf characters (after all, what would Pratchett be without some anthropomorphic personifications?). Liam Welton deserves a nod as sound designer, as his recorded dialogue and soundscapes effectively and amusingly set the scene.
On the whole, the cast deal with the personification of their characters well, and the stereotypes remain entertaining without becoming quite too ridiculous. James Utechin’s Otto Chriek, an enthusiastic and incredibly camp vampire complete with essential ‘überwald’ accent, is frankly hilarious as he attempts to become de Worde’s photographer despite his genetic intolerance to bright lights.
Vetinari and his doppelganger are unsurprisingly played by the same actor, and Calum Mitchell does a good job of distinguishing the two characters through physicality and voice. The line between comic and ludicrous is carefully observed throughout, with humorous one-liners incorporated deadpan into the dialogue.
The Truth was never going to be an astonishing piece of fine art, and that’s just as well. It’s near the end of term, and you owe it to yourself to take some time off and watch something just for fun; rest assured the audience will at least get a lot of laughs from this production.
OFS, 3rd-7th March, 7.30pm