Nation: The Play

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Following the National Theatre's success with plays based on novels by well-loved children's writers like Philip Pulman ( His Dark Materials ), Jamila Gavin ( Coram Boy ) and Michael Morpurgo ( War Horse ), the National now stages Mark Ravenhill's exhilarating adaptation of Terry Pratchett's witty and challenging adventure story in a major Christmas production for 2009. Its a parallel world, 1860. Two teenagers thrown together by a tsunami that has destroyed Mau's village and left Daphne shipwrecked on his South Pacific island, thousands of miles from home. One wears next to nothing, the other a long white dress; neither speaks the other's language; somehow they must learn to survive. As starving refugees gather, Daphne delivers a baby, milks a pig, brews beer and does battle with a mutineer. Mau fights cannibal Raiders, discovers the world is round and questions the reality of his tribe's fiercely patriarchal gods. Together they come of age, overseen by a foul-mouthed parrot, as they discard old doctrine to forge a new Nation.