Feet of Clay preview: “guaranteed to be on the edge of your seat”

By Ellen Tapp

Havoc wreaks across the city of Ankh Morpork as Patrician Vetinari, played by Kyle Kickpatrick, falls severely ill, but by no easily identifiable agent… 

It’s Epiphany term; meaning the time has come for Ooook! Productions to perform their 10th annual play selected from the novel works of Terry Pratchett. Feet Of Clay is a murder mystery, set in a steam-punk fantasy world, expertly curated with clever puns, clichés and political parallels to modern society. Think zombie lawyers to vegetarian werewolves alongside the enslaved, sentient Golems made of clay.

As with many tales by Pratchett, this play is saturated with quirky characters. Such a large cast of university students has, understandably, proved a challenge for organisational purposes as confessed by assistant director Harry Twining, but this group of talented individuals has been transformed into a triumph of personality on the stage.

From the scenes I viewed, I was incredibly impressed with the individual physicality adopted by each actor, giving them an instantly distinguishable character. Sammy French, playing Carrot iterates the importance in ‘maintaining a sharp posture at all times’ to reflect the punctual nature of his detective role under his superior, detective Vimes, played by Uday Duggal. I spoke to directors Katherine Briggs, Harry Twining and Catriona Inglis about how they have worked with the cast to achieve this. A combination of vocal and physical experimentation has resulted in physical nature derived from animalistic forms whilst taking care to maintain some of these subtleties.

Feet Of Clay does not promise to deliver a solely theatrical experience, but a musical one too. Ooook! Productions have put their stamp on this play by including music; more than likely this will add another layer to the tension. Talented composer Georgia Procter has devised a folk inspired score. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, the musicians are going to be present on stage, amongst the action. For example, Twining explains how they represent ‘buskers in the bustling streets’ of the opening scene and how a simple lighting set up, with ‘as few blackouts as possible’ is planned to conserve the mystical mood throughout.

Guaranteed to be on the edge of your seat as well as flattered with puns, join police commander Vimes, the forensics and the city-watch unravel this curious tale of serial assassinations in the Assembly Rooms Theatre from Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th February at 7:30pm.

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