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Monstrous Regiment


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Monstrous Regiment

Based on the novel by Terry Pratchett

Adapted by Chris Hainsworth

Directed by Kevin Theis

At Lifeline Theatre, Chicago

Wickedly funny look at the absurdities of war strikes home

I must confess that I am not familiar with the writings of Terry Pratchett, the prolific author of the global bestselling ‘Discworld’ series of novels beginning in 1983 with The Colour Magic. Pratchett has over fifty bestselling books. I learned about his ‘Disc’ world through the funny  satire of war adapted from the Pratchett novel, Monstrous Regiment by Chris Hainsworth. In this strange world, magic is realer than reality and if enough folks believe in a thing, it may become true. But, a good story is always treasured.

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In Monstrous Regiment, Borogravia is at war. Again. Polly Perks (Sarah Price) cuts her hair and joins the army (as a boy) in order to find out about her missing brother. Soon, she discovers that there are other girls disguising as boys in her unit. This band of misfits must survive  corporeal Strappi (John Ferrick) and the strong sergeant Jackrum (Christopher M. Walsh) and the goofy Lt. Blouse (Robert Kauzlaric), This  insane leadership is made plausible by the sheer cunning of the band of girls.

Besides the determined Polly, there is an assortment of strange women here: Igor (Katie McLean Hainsworth), the weird looking woman; Maladict (Micheala Petro), the vampire who has sworn off drinking blood but is now caffeine harvested with her coffee and the wacky Lieutenant Blouse who uses word play to organize his troupes.

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These misfits fight a war and engage in hilarious adventures to thwart their opponents. We laugh and admire the total commitment of the eleven member cast. The action is fast-paced, funny and cleverly staged. The game cast leaves it all on the stage as they manically tell the absurd story of the folly of war as seen through they eyes and actions of woman warriors. This entertaining fantasy works nicely with effective  scenic design by Joanna Iwanicka with terrific sound design by Chris Keiz. I did have problem understanding some of the women who talked too fast and mumbled some dialogue. But actually, the production worked nicely with spot-on comic timing. Sarah Price, Robert Kauzlaric and Christopher M. Walsh were particular strong along with Katie McLean Hainsworth.

Entering  the Disc world via Monstrous Regiment is an engaging theatrical event that makes us laugh as it highlights the folly of war. It is funny. clever, and engaging.


Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Jeff Recommended

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2014

For more info checkout the Monstrous Regiment page at

At Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood, Chicago, IL call 773-761-4477,, tickets $40, $30 seniors, $20 students and rush, Thursdays & Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 4 & 8 pm, Sundays at 4pm, running time is 2 hours, 40 minutes with intermission, trough July 20, 2014

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