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National Theatre Live: Nation (2010)

A parallel world, 1860. Two teenagers thrown together by a tsunami. One wears next to nothing, the other a long white dress. Neither speaks the others language, but somehow they must learn to survive and forge a new nation.


Melly Still


Terry Pratchett (novel), Mark Ravenhill (adaptation)


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Credited cast:
David Ajala ... Milo
Gaye Brown Gaye Brown ... Grandmother
Gary Carr ... Mau
Paul Chahidi ... Cox
Elaine Claxton ... Ensemble
Adrian Decosta Adrian Decosta ... Ensemble
Mike Denman Mike Denman ... Ensemble
Lorna Gayle ... Marisgala
Nancy Wei George Nancy Wei George ... Ensemble
Howard Gossington Howard Gossington ... Ensemble
Tony Hasnath Tony Hasnath ... Ensemble
Robert Hastie Robert Hastie ... Ensemble
Michelle Lukes ... Ensemble
Nick Malinowski ... Ensemble
Michael Mears Michael Mears ... Polegrave


A parallel world, 1860. Two teenagers thrown together by a tsunami. One wears next to nothing, the other a long white dress. Neither speaks the others language, but somehow they must learn to survive and forge a new nation.

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Drama | Fantasy







Release Date:

30 January 2010 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Έθνος See more »


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User Reviews

A beautiful nation
26 June 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have gotten familiar with Terry Pratchett's work over-time and his lauded appeal as an author is more than justified. Love his wildly imaginative storytelling, the colourful characters that stick in the memory a long time after and the very intelligent and funny writing that made me laugh and think numerous times throughout all his work. The small handful of adaptations of his books vary quality-wise, but all are more than watchable and don't dislike any of them.

Also get a lot out of watching the National Theatre Live live screenings and have always made every effort to see as many as possible. Love their authentic feel while being accessible and watching favourites and new discoveries with talented casts and crew. 'Nation' is not quite one of the best of them, but it is nonetheless beautifully done and captures the spirit of Pratchett's book, a one-off and not part of the deservedly immensely popular Discworld series, very well. Thought it would be hard to adapt Pratchett to stage, but 'Nation' shows that it can work.

There are times in 'Nation' where the production values are fairly uninspired and look rushed, a prime example being the costumes for the South Sea Islanders. There are instances where the puppetry is a little basic, but on the most part it's nicely done.

Will admit too that for personal tastes most of the music left my head not long after, what was only just remembered didn't impress me that much and only just about got the job done and not much else.

On the other hand, it is hard not to admire the maturity of the storytelling, an interesting subject handled intelligently. Nothing is dumbed down or bland and it doesn't get over-complicated or over-serious. Instead it manages to be poignant, thought-provoking and with a fair share of funny welcome levity without any lurching tone changes or a disjointed feel. Pratchett's distinctive writing shines, the wit and wisdom present aplenty with equal emotional impact.

Characters are colourful and engaging, all brought out by powerful and quite brave performances from Emily Taafe and especially Gary Carr that are a perfect pitch for Pratchett's writing and storytelling. The staging is never less than compelling and has inventive moments throughout. The underwater sequences are just beautiful in feel and how they look.

In conclusion, very good. 8/10

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