Introduction to the Discworld of Terry Pratchett. What was I doing! My beloved friends ‘We Are Theatre’ invited me to audition and here I am writing Fan Fiction!!!!!!

Introduction to the Discworld of Terry Pratchett. What was I doing! My beloved friends ‘We Are Theatre’ invited me to audition for their forthcoming production of Maskerade (the play of the book by Terry) and here I am writing Fan Fiction!!!!!!

Or possibly summarising the work of a great writer in a few paragraphs is the greater crime of plagor…

Let’s not go there.

I am a big fan though. When I was asked to audition (and quietly knew I would be in there somewhere) I felt a synopsis of the whole world of Terry P would entertain and slightly redirect their approach to his work……

(So I wrote it on the train with all its inaccuracies)

 

Welcome to Budapest, I said walking in the door with a leaflet in my hand, “He’s started!” “Wait hang on, we haven’t sat down yet.”

The great city of Budapest was originally two towns; the two towns of Buda and Pest. budaBuda was very poor and filthy and Pest was filthy rich. Hang on, that’s not right, that’s Ank’Morpork!

Ank was filthy and Morpork was filthy r…, well you’ve got the idea.

Terry stole it off there.

Two towns and they grew and grew till they came towards each other and when they became connected by a bridge they became a huge city.

Long ago that was and new folks come along of all types all the time; if you want to be in the city you build in the city, so folks built on tops of old buildings. There are several layers of buildings sinking away below what you see. Many of those layers far below (shiver) are still lived in.

The city is protected though. It has the Watch. It needs protecting because everything in this world was stolen; stolen by the master storyteller himself. The very Terry who robbed from history, folklore, religion, tourist guides – and they call this comedy.

We are safe though. There is the Watch. The honest one on the Watch is Carrot;carrot the huge strong tall leader of it all these days; he is huge, strong, tall, proper and slowly steady. He could keep the whole city in order on his own.

He is six foot eight and he is a dwarf. They found him when just a babe with just his regal sword by his side and raised him as their own.dwarves When he no longer fitted in the cave without a double stoop they felt he ought to venture into the world of those, er, other, er, folk…..

The Watch, yes that was it, the Watch.

There is a lot to be said for the highly untrustworthy Corporal Nobbs. Nobbs. Nobby Nobbs for short; he is short, and ‘technically’ human. You can trust him to find the thieves though, because he is very interested, in a personal way, in the things which they took – he will find them.

The night shift is also the best place for his boss Captain Fred Colon many decades he has been on nights, his wife is on days, any other arrangement would take the romance right out of it.colon and nobbs

Commander Vimes,vimes who married the lady of the manor, sometimes puts on his old ‘copper’ boots and comes back to help out in a crisis, these old boots have huge holes in the soles which he has lined with cardboard. You can feel the cobbles under your feet and you know just where you are.

He probably got involved when the Kings Head was demolished over night,kings but it was rebuilt in minutes early in the morning. Soon as Tiffany found out.

Yes, you knew it, it was the Nac Mac Feegles; little, blue all over and nothing but a kilt and a very very bad attitude, (and mouth).

They got in a fight with the landlord and demolished the place.kings

Yes, Tiffany the girl witch of merely eight or so, “Hag o all hags yer ken,” she knew.tiffany

“Ok nay., she’s makin of the folding of the arms, she will be doing the tapping of the foot…..”

They ran back down there and rebuilt the Kings Head in minutes, trouble is they built it backwards. Now everyone has to go in through the back way – so, they don’t call it the Kings Head anymore…

You are safe in the city, well unless you buy a sausage.dibbler Cut My Own Throat Dibbler is out there hollering his wares and if you are to buy one of his so-called sausages you will soon begin to understand why the River Ank is almost possible to walk across.

You would be safer doubling up your expenditure and buying his top of the range product, the rat on a stick – at least you would know what it is.

All stolen, even the disc; if you peer over the edge of this round flat world you may see that it rests on the back of four elephants, they in turn stand upon the back of A’Tuin the giant turtle. A’Tuin is on a galactic mission, flying through space to meet another turtle with a disc on its back – to mate.

The worry is, is A’Tuin a male, because we will probably be all alright then. Or, is A’Tuin a female, in which case when they meet up we are all in trouble.turtles

You may wish to be rushing back to the city nearer the centre of the disc, for there behind you is the great mountain. You may need to pray to a god for protection. If you want to please one you will need to eat a lot of broccoli, to please another you will need to eat a lot of chocolate – I cannot influence you too much, it is your choice in the end, broccoli or cho……

If you are wanting to get away with things you may wish to choose Blind Io.

There they all are on the mountain above AnkMorpork which is ruled with an iron fist of subtle manipulation by the Patrician.patrician

Carrot of the Watch should be the ruler, he has the royal sword and the birth mark and actually killed the dragon,drag slay but everyone seemed to forget by morning.

He does his best against the Thieves Guild. But the gentle Patrician, who is only standing in till the real king is found, has the guild organised. If you are robbed they will take eight per cent of your current monthly incomethe theives and they will utilise half of this to employ the Assassins Guildassasin to remove from the city any unregistered thieving types.theif

You are safe here though. Across the gulf of the Ank is the great bridge, and, looking out forever upon the sea, from this bridge are huge great brass hippopotamus’.

If ever there were to come, it is said, foreign enemy fleets from the seas toward AnkMorpork the hippopotamus’ would be the on the bridge looking out, they would see the enemy and they will come alive and promptly run away – this is the nature of this city.hippos

You are safe here, until a dark figure is cast in a role and walks into a dark theatre with a dark mask upon his face and audiences are entranced; when I played him in audition he fell below the casting table and stretched back up with a mask upon his face, “You call this a comedy!”

 

See Maskerade in the Upper Theatre of the ancient Black Swan Inn 26th to 28th February.

 

We Are Theatre

 

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Three Norns Go Denmark

Three Norns Go Denmark

The best of times the worst of times, this always seems to be the way for me. So it is on this trip to Scandinavia. Yes my health seems to have taken another of its backwards steps whilst I am supposed to be getting better each day a bit at a time.new hat

I have been saying over this ill health year that there are good patches every day (my pal Donna wants to know where I buy these patches) I cannot even say this at the moment; no, no good patches but good people. Good people here every day and we feel like being here every day. So if you never see Sigrun, Alda and Svanhvit again it is because they have stayed here with me in ‘Wolf Town’ forever. Well, either that or their car fell completely apart on the way home. It started on the way here, and quite frankly there isn’t much left – except super glue and Gaffer tape.

I can be ill here and still happy,learning to weave I would be just as poorly if I was at home and I am surrounded by laughs, love and ‘loveliness’ yes.

royalty

The Norns. We are the three Norns and life is only perfect when we are united. Oh no, they have their mum with them! So I have promoted her to the position of Norn – where does that leave me? I guess I am the devoted follower; a bit like the besotted, squirmy, devotee you see with vampires. I am the Norns assistant.3 norns

I got here though – we are back in beautiful Denmark; last year I did a review, with a main feature on Danish design: It is rubbish! Unless it is eggcups of course, they are good at them.

Not that you can tell they are eggcups by looking at them. If you were out shopping for them you would probably pass them right by.

So, if you see something and you don’t know what it is, buy it, take it home and stick an egg in it.eggcup

When I say design what I mean is; if you build a thing you have built it, but if you spend time beforehand thinking not only about whether or not it looks cool but about whether or not it will actually work, or even better finding ways it will work better and in new ways – then – it has been designed.

That isn’t how it works here, well not in my experience last year, admittedly my very limited experience of just one apartment; a grannie flat actually.

Converted from a cellar and retouched recently to be lettable to mugs, sorry I meant tourists.

The loo was under the stairs in a miniscule cupboard where you couldn’t even stand up at the sink,tiny loo yet the bathroom was gigantic. One of those semi basement places where there are huge windows all along the back wall with no nets; this is all over looked by a children’s play area for the people upstairs. Needless to say, the second time I went in there I wore clothes, at least till I got the curtains closed.

The water from the shower hit the back wall of the bath and followed a runnel around under the shower heads. I realised as I got out it was flying to the tiles like a waterfall. I mainly discovered this by stepping into the lake my clothes and towel were in.

The dining area was in my bedroom, the couch and computer desk were in the other bedroom. The wardrobes had been newly painted and were sealed shut as a result.

The kitchen was minute; a short passage with a narrow cupboard by the window. A mismatch of tiny pottery hung on a rack and the one cupboard held the fridge (which ripped your skin off every time you opened it). When you turned on the really high tap the water hit the tiny round sink in such a way that it turned into a geyser which visited the electric hob in torrents, (most of us survived intact).

When we discovered the final straw of opening the window we were almost glad that is was impossible to close again because it was out of reach so at least the owner would understand that fault.

Don’t even get me started on shopping in Velje!

But no it is this year and that is all behind us. The 2017 review. This time it is Ryanair.

The engines are not powerful enough to be able to keep the lights on during take off. If they didn’t make us all sit in the dark we would never get off the ground, well not all the way up anyway. Similarly make sure you turn everything off when about to land or the engines will never get us to the ground.

Magazine racks are an optional extra same as tickets and seats are.

As for passengers, I don’t think it is just my mood but everyone travelling with Ryanair is really irritating. It is urgent to get to the plane as soon as possible. Some race across the runway to get to the back steps before you, even at the expense of a young family member, only to discover she has the now needed boarding passes and is at the bottom of the steps behind everyone. Hah hah hah hah haa.

Hah hah hah hah oh I have to wait until she can bring them till I can get past them.

Yes I know the boarding passes were checked at the boarding pass checking gate before we set off down towards the plane so don’t need checking again now we are all passengers getting on the same plane I know, I know, I know.

They lied about extra leg room, I didn’t fall for paying for extra leg room; it turns out what they really meant was actual leg room.

Flying Ryanair without paying for all the extra extras is like being in a plaster cast – and I had to share!!!

They brought me wine, though things are not what they were, one glass and I fell asleep.

That’s where I got to dream that there were two rival singers running airways; Ryan Adams and Brian Adams. I was lucky to be on Ryanair. Brianair is even worse, “Every breath you take, every move you make, I’ll be charging you.”

Let not my whole review of our holiday in Denmark be critical and bad I shouldn’t poke fun all the time.

The cabin is fantastic – cheap too. Here in Ulfsborg we are in the depth of woods and I am the log man.log pile

There would be no kindling without me without me there would be no kindling. The fires they burn because of me because of me the fires burn.

I have another important job too, that of fire monitor.

It might be worth noting that I have a specific walk for each of these important tasks, so the mere girls know what it is I am about.

I may have failed occasionally, when one of the ‘girls’ points out that a fire is getting a bit low. What they fail to realise is that they real man fire monitor has an inbuilt sensor and was just about to get up and add another log. Chop chop.

The area is beautiful. I admit Norwegians are wrong; whenever you say to one of them, “What’s Denmark like?” They reply in the same way every time, using the one word, “Flat.”

They are right yes, but they are quite condemning when they say it, dismissive, they cannot bring themselves to say more, for indeed there is nothing left to say.flat map

In future I may respond with, “And happy!”

It is not quite as flat as they say, not like in totally. It is beautiful with much nature (Beaches are hard to get to or even see without owning a holiday home among the private dunes) but there is so much protected wildness.

I have enjoyed: thatched rooves, wooded estates, gladioli (so yes it is beautiful), lille frogs, lille cakes, sporadic songwriters, antiks, crafts, fleas, fungi, pagan sacred areas, sculptures, sand sculptures, marinades, free vodka, fish cakes, Asatru forests, carved gods and goddesses, mother goddess shaped sacred areas, recovered long-ships, towers of hope, mjord, home-baking, proper bread, fired steak, thatch dryers, lille horses, bus shelters, everything.sacred me and serpent

We have planned: future trips, future residences, bake houses, barn conversions, Jorvik shows, poodle tales, Hastings, graphic novels, fan trips, London fashion week, TV series, rock opera, Vegas trips, tunics, wood carving, Greek myth shows, book launches, landscaping, stalls, food festivals, story shares, sock making, everything.posing

We look around, everyone looks happy, really happy, as we sit with chocolate Soft Is (not me thank you), they smile, as they pass they are so so happy – I hate them!

This is the happiest place to live in the world – How irritating!

Oh if only we had so much spare time. As we sat in Sandwichvej, Holstebro thinking of our drive back to Klitvej Cabins it wasn’t like we were on holiday at all all of a sudden. We looked around at a happy happy people who have half a vacation’s worth of time off every week of the year (I swear they retire at twenty nine and a half) it as like we were already halfway back to Drudgevej, Taskmadby.

They are so relaxed they don’t even realise bicycles are for exercise, (actually they are not, they are for getting from A to B cheaply and in a hurry, but there is no way on earth they would get that idea) they are a gentle occupation of the ‘occupy your time’ generations of this Nordic land.

They walk like they have those bouncy blades Paralympians use strapped to their feet, but not to hurry at all, oh no.

Slow cycle, slow, we have a lot of time to fill, a lot of time.

They haven’t rushed since they leapt off the Viking long-ships and charged into your land roaring.

Ah, all of those guys stayed in Iceland, Belfast or the Gorbles. These are the descendants of the remainder.

Not a lot of these oceans of spare time are spent on appearance; utility is the only option – and hairdressers for women must only possibly survive if they charge an immense amount per cut to whip it all off. Not one woman in Denmark has long hair. Boy cuts. Dead straight forward boy cuts, but hey ‘we gotta get out there and cycle slow looking happy’.

‘We are so relaxed we can not even be bothered clapping singer songwriters why should we have long hair?’

‘What do you think we are – Vikings?’

Hang on – there’s a fashion statement – there is someone coming up the street in a T shirt – with something written on – it says – it says – Let’s Party and Dance. They even need extra instructions on how to party!

Here on the way home I reflect in a more serious mood on how nice everyone was and what a great time we had.

I sit now with my sandwich of bacon, wettuce and what-once-was-tomato and recall the beautiful scenery. The forest deep in the centre of the country was my favourite part. The centre should be designated an area of outstanding unflatness as it is less like Bonnie and Clyde land and more like Yorkshire with extra wildness. It rolls.

We got lost. All we had to look out for was a particular tree but it could only be seen from the west of the trees and we were driving from the east (I think). My favourite part of the trip, of the whole holiday in fact, was getting lost in the wrong forest. I don’t think the three drivers were as chuffed, indeed I guess, Jonas wished he had come in his truck. It was magical nonetheless; and we did eventually find our sacred forest with its large carvings of the old gods and goddesses.

We will be going there again – by a more direct route.

I almost forgot – I am a Viking Chieftain!

We dressed up – no we didn’t – ‘we became’. Off we went to the meandering magical village of the ancient Danes.

guide

Our guide

This village has been built so well, modelled on dwellings and arrangements of the area and on buildings from other regions of the Viking empire such as Iceland.

The variation added to the natural appearance of the village which rolled and wandered just as if it had gradually developed.

Now, when I go back to Norway I have sailed the sea in many ships over in Denmark as soul command.captain

Christian (Schuetz) the storyteller from Germanythree in hut was so impressed with my interpretation which cannot be described as untrue that he invited me to the long house to sit upon the tall imposing chieftain’s throne. This I did and promptly declared myself chieftain. I can tell you that I addressed my subjects and all those around me obey my every command; wave I command and they wave etc.

In this land where I sailed those ships I had sat as chieftain yes.

And if you want to prove wrong my cheeky descriptions of boring unimaginative Danish people then go to the marvellous Café Sajd in Jelling and their highly exciting Mythological Festival. – http://www.cafesejd.dk/mytologiskartfestival/

That Viking village in Denmark

Gods Bless Ya!!! Our Rock Opera in Jelling

My Viking Saga in a Nutshell

My Viking town link – Gudvangen

thorsmind

Yes these are the things Thor has on his mind

klit

Image from Jelling Mythological Arts Festival:-pixie

tellers hut

All photos by Sigrún Björk Ólafsdóttir