Wednesday, 22 March 2017

“Carpe Jugulum” by Terry Pratchett.
Nottingham Lace Market Theatre.
Vampires or Vampyres, are not what they used to be. No longer are they afraid of traditional weapons like garlic and holy water, these are modern blood suckers, well even that may be a bit out dated now.
Foreknowledge of the series, or indeed “Carpe Jugulum” itself, is definitely not necessary for this play to be enjoyed. I am living proof of this fact as I’d no prior knowledge of Pratchett’s intricate Discworld series. Having never really ventured into Pratchett World, after tonight, I think I've been converted.
The Nottingham Lace Market theatre production is performed by their Youth Group and directed by Roger Watson, who is a massive Pratchett fan.Rosina Reading, Sophie Owen and Jemma-Dawn Froggitt were Assistant Directors.
The King and Queen of Lancre are having their baby girl christened, and the King, who only sees the best in people, invites all the local heads of state and powerful families. Included in this is the De Magpyre family, who are Vampyres. These Vampyres are progressive and modern, and decide to take over the country. They come up against the Lancre Witches, who have to use all their guile and cunning to defeat them, causing much on stage hilarity in the process.
The set is magnificent. Designed by Cris Brawn. There are about 33 scene changes which are handled by the ensemble with incredible ease. The set is almost comic-book/ cartoon-like in its' appearance and adds to the fun element of the play.
The costumes likewise bring the whole atmosphere together. Max Bromley in the wardrobe department has really gone to town with them.
Some excellent lighting effects designed by Allan Green.
A cast of 22 were smoothly stage managed, along with the props and everything else by one man, Jon Watson.
This is a young group and delivering comedy isn’t easy for a lot of actors, of any age, especially after lengthy rehearsals, the laughs can seem a bit flat to the actors. If this was the case it didn't come across, although a loot of Pratchett's lines are delivered dead pan, which made it even funnier.
I wasn't going to pick out any particular actors, mainly because the cast worked so very well together but there were a few who I must mention for their wonderful acting and stage craft.
Sophie Boettge (Count), Sam Howitt (Vlad) Adelaide Marshall (Granny Weatherwax), Sophie Owen (Rev Mightily Oats) and Emelia Pettit (Agnes Nitt) were all incredibly good. This is not to take anything away from the rest of this marvellous cast because for a group so young, they delivered an amazing performance who understood the comedy and delivered it with belief.
There’s plenty to amuse the young audience member as well as the seasoned theatre goer with nods to Hammer Horror as well as Grimm’s tales. You won’t get a pain in the neck watching this theatre piece. I personally give fangs for a brilliantly entertaining night, proving I’m not too long in the tooth to enjoy a play like this.
I didn't realise how long this piece of theatre was because the time flew by. Pure spellbindingly magical, something to sink your theatrical teeth into. I loved it, and so will you!
“Carpe Jugulum” is on until Saturday 25 March 2017.

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