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Terry Pratchett's Only You Can Save Mankind - One4Review

I haven’t managed to get into reading any Terry Pratchett, therefore ‘Only you can save mankind’ was totally new to me. The premise that a computer game can come to life and link every player on earth was intriguing. The hero 15 years old Johnny Maxwell (Ben Heathcote), lives in his own dream world, trying to escape reality, from parental fighting to danger on the streets. When his computer game ‘Only you can save Mankind’ starts talking to him he has difficulty in believing.  The Captain of the ScreWee, the alien ships human are fighting in the game, feels he is the saviour and will be able to save them from extermination. During a game where he is trying to lead the SceWee home he hears another human voice, that of Kirsty (Ashleigh Gray) who fantasizes she is a Lara Croft style heroine and save mankind from Aliens. Coming from the wealthy side of town she knows nothing of Johnny and his mates. The tale is narrated by Richard Hartley as Wobbler and Tim Frater as Yo-Less teenage friends of Johnny who are also computer games nerds. Their other friend Big Mac (Bennett Andrews) has problems with his older brother Nozzer (Jonathan Glew) who wants him to sell drugs to his mates. The Captain of the ScreWee has her own problems when her Gunnery Officer turns his back on all the traditional beliefs and takes over planning to attack Earth to kill the humans or die in the effort. When the whole of the game playing population on earth join together to fight the Aliens, Johnny and Kirsty do their best to free the Captain, defeat the Gunnery Officer and save Mankind. This superb show deserves to be developed into a full length musical. The plot is simple and fun, punctuated with good musical numbers.  The fact that the seven strong cast have some impressive CV’s between them obviously helps. And the twist? Oh yes! ScreWee means ‘Mankind’ *****

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