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.
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.
Nation has profound, subtle and original things to say about the interplay between tradition and knowledge, faith and questioning...It's funny, exciting, lighthearted and, like all the best comedy, very serious.