An am-dram production in a church hall, this show comes from another world entirely to even the worst of fringe shows: a world where a serviceable witch's hat can be made from a cone of black paper and stick-on glitter; where people stand in horizontal lines, over-acting, pacing and delivering dialogue to the back of the hall; where smoke machines hiss and Mrs. Simpson from the WI plays the oboe: Stephen Berkoff this ain't.
Initially, it's all rather quaint. The company's enthusiasm and blissful ignorance of the rudiments of theatre (accidentally) conjure a Wodehousian idyll of tea with the vicar, dotty housewives and cake stalls. A soldier enters, wearing a plastic helmet and a home-made tabard covering jeans and t-shirt, and the thought occurs: are they taking the piss? Is this an inspired send-up of all things am-dram? An inner voice, like the itchy fibres of a noose around your neck, drones, no, no, no. This is tragically sincere.
The story is adapted from Terry Pratchett's novel, and a few of his better lines have made it into the script, giving a few chuckles for some. But the adaptation leaves the story almost incomprehensible. Scene follows scene, new characters appear, an endless stream of performers litter the painfully drab stage, nothing amounts to anything.
The venue is a good mile from the centre of town. The play is billed as 90 minutes but drags on for 2 painful hours, adding insult to injury. Do not waste your money on this appalling play.