The Last Hero
Brisbane Arts Theatre
15th September – 13th October 2012
Reviewed by John McMahon
Cohen the Barbarian and his Silver Horde may well be over pension age, but that won’t stop them being Heroes. They’re heading to the home of the Gods, to give back what the first Hero stole – fire. The genius inventor Leonard of Quirm and steadfast watchman Captain Carrot are on their way to stop them blowing up the Discworld. They’re certain to succeed – except that they’ve brought the wizard Rincewind with them…
The BAT’s popular Discworld series continues with this premiere adaption of one of Sir Terry Pratchett’s most popular stories.
This is their fifteenth Discworld play since 1998 so obviously Brisbane Arts Theatre have some sort of a niche audience that really appreciates this genre.
Much about the production was excellent and this started with the comprehensive and attractive programme. The sets were simple but really effective and clever and the quality of the lighting added to the performance. Large flat screen TVs were mounted on the wall to bring another dimension and it worked. Costumes were of a highly professional standard as were the clever props and special effects.
In the acting department the men were uniformly good. John Grey as Lord Vetanari and John O’Connor as Boy Willie along with Daniel Grey as Rincewind and Greg Stiff as Captain Carrot all gave very believable performances. The barbarians were all well cast physically and worked well off one another. They really looked like the Barbarians that time forgot.
In the females the only stand out was Angela Indemaur as Valkyrie, a Harridan.
With a running time of three hours and ten minutes the show needs a heavy pruning. I lost count of scene changes but it must have been in excess of thirty. Many of these involved moving the twenty cast on and off an overcrowded dais in the half light or moving a complicated piece of set only to move it back a minute or two later. As the sets were changed, backstage was revealed to my side of the audience in all of its blue lit glory.
I did laugh as there were some funny lines and situations. I got the impression that the cast were loving what they were doing but I also got the feeling that no one had actually watched the show from out front before the opening night.
The Last Hero needs at least 45 minutes pruned off the running time.