Last Thursday I indulged in a greater than usual amount of the works of Terry Pratchett. I went to see the Brisbane Arts Theatre's production of Maskerade, and afterwards finished reading the latest Discworld novel, Unseen Academicals.
The Brisbane Arts Theatre has a bit of a regular thing putting on plays based on Terry Pratchett novels (one or two a year, at least), and this is the third one I've been to. I initially found out that this one was on through one of my coworkers during my short career as a telemarketer who had a small role in the play. The crowd was a lot smaller this time compared to previous ones, but it was a Thursday and I used to usually go on Friday evenings. There was around 15 or so people in the audience. The play was pretty good, not much suspense as I already knew the story, but the acting was good, especially the witches, and it's a very funny story, and seeing it acted out allowed for the introduction of a bit of physical comedy as well. All round a good night out.
Unseen Academicals however, was a bit of a let down. The Discworld novels all have a concept, an idea or a theme that forms the core of the story even though it's not always explicitly stated. Unseen Academicals however seems to be two almost ideas tacked together in a way that doesn't add up to one big idea. Each of the two ideas with a bit of work could have stood on it's own and been a better novel for it.
Actually, now that I think about it a bit more, the football side of the story seems to have been tacked on to the much better and deeper story of Nutt and co, and stole too much of the time and energy from that story. Even with this though, the themes of rising above misconceptions and getting along with different people has been done by Pratchett before.