Scunthorpe Little Theatre Club Presents:
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
at the Plowright Theatre, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire 17th-20th October 2012
The once proud Ankh-Morpork City Night Watch has been reduced to just three men. Cautious, cowardly Fred Colon, the desk sergeant who communicates with his wife through notes left on the kitchen table and weasely Nobby Nobbs, who carries documents to prove he is actually human are led by drunken, cynical Captain Vimes, whose ideals of upholding the law in the city he loves have been slowly crushed.
Two new arrivals upset their comfortable rut. The first, an enthusiastic new recruit: Carrot Ironfoundersson, human by birth but dwarf by upbringing. The second, a large, angry, fire-breathing dragon…
With the city in chaos, and only an orang-utan hunting for a stolen book and dragon-loving Lady Sybil to help, it falls to this sorry band of misfits to save the day.
A fabulous and very funny adaptation by Stephen Briggs of the first book in Terry Pratchett’s well-loved ‘Guards’ series.
Director’s note: Guards! Guards!
I’ve admired Terry Pratchett’s wickedly satirical and very funny writing for years and it was the opportunity to act in SLTC’s adaptation of ‘Carpe Jugulum’ which led to me joining the club in 2009. Somehow, three years later I’m directing ‘Guards! Guards!’, the first title in the ‘Guards’ series of books dealing with the members of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch.
(Captain Vimes, Corporal ‘Nobby’ Nobbs, Lance-Constable Carrot and Sergeant Colon in ‘The Shades’)
‘Guards! Guards!’ is a comedy, but like all great comedy it has its roots in pathos. These are real flawed people: small-minded individuals with dreams of power they’re too inept and lazy to achieve; spivs with an eye to making money from any opportunity; men who drink because they know they can’t fight a crooked system; women who throw their energy into caring for animals because they believe love is never coming their way and the masses who blindly accept the latest fashion like sheep.
(Captain Vimes looks on in amazement while the crowd cheer the king.)
Harold and Albert Steptoe, Hancock, Hyacinth Bucket, Compo, Foggy, Clegg and Nora Batty, Del Boy and Rodney – they’d all fit in here.
It may be comedy but there is an edge. Underneath the humour Pratchett is deadly serious, holding up a mirror to the iniquities of our own world as surely as satirists like Waugh and Defoe. He explores Edmund Burke’s observation: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” And like the Patrician, comes to the chilling conclusion that it’s true.
Fortunately, there are a few good men who are determined to do something. They may be dealing with dragons, stolen books of magic or orang-utan librarians, but their roots are in a world we recognise. A world where beef dripping on toast (with the little crunchy bits on top) is a meal fit for a king and the secret of a happy marriage is for one party to work days and the other nights.
Those of you who live locally, buy your tickets now – it’s going to be a real treat!
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