Feeling the Potential of Elsewhere: Terry Pratchett’s Nation in Theatre
Nation, in its adaptation for the theatre, is at the heart of Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak’s chapter. Deszcz-Tryhubczak argues that, in its 2009 adaptation into a play, the utopian contents of Pratchett’s novel become distilled (Hutcheon, A Theory of Adaptation, Routledge, 2006) into a number of scenes which particularly effectively model socially and ethically constructive visions of change towards a better future. These utopian moments stand out owing to the narrative redundancy of the adaptation, which can therefore be seen as both an interpretative and creative venture revisiting the utopian theme of Pratchett’s novel. The play’s potential for activating the audience’s imagination makes it a utopian performative that embodies moments of transformation resulting in peace, justice and equality, thereby catalysing not only a critical reflection on the world outside the theatre but also a momentary collaborative and intersubjective experience of what a better world could look like.
I wish to thank the National Theatre Archive for enabling me to watch the recording of the play. My thanks are also due to the staff of Phantastische Bibliothek in Wetzlar, Germany, for providing me with secondary sources and a workspace to complete this chapter. I would also like to thank an anonymous reviewer of the first version of this chapter for all the comments and suggestions.
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