NT creates stage Nation this autumn

Published January 15, 2009

Terry Pratchett’s Nation is the latest novel to receive a family-orientated theatrical adaptation courtesy of the National Theatre. The production, due to open in November, will follow previous family shows His Dark Materials, Coram Boy and War Horse, all of which achieved critical and popular acclaim.

Nation, published just last year, is the latest work by Pratchett, best known for the popular Discworld series. An adventure story with echoes of Treasure Island and Lord Of The Flies, Nation is set on a South Sea desert island following a tsunami that wiped out most of the population. Mau thinks he is the only survivor, until he discovers shipwrecked British girl Daphne. Together, they struggle to build the basics of a new civilisation, as other refugees gradually join them.   

The stage version, which will play in the Olivier theatre, is adapted for an audience as young as nine by playwright Mark Ravenhill, whose previous work for young audiences includes the 2006/07 Barbican pantomime Dick Whittington And His Cat. Nation is directed by Melly Still, who also directed Coram Boy, the Laurence Olivier Award-nominated stage adaptation of Jamila Gavin’s novel which played at the National Theatre in 2005, returning for a second run the following year.

The team behind Nation will also be hoping to match the success of last year’s family drama War Horse, which has just announced a West End run at the New London theatre from March after two sold-out runs on the South Bank.

CB