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J. Rushbrooke (Gloucestershire)
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Be My Baby (NHB Modern Plays) (Nick Hern Books)
Be My Baby (NHB Modern Plays) (Nick Hern Books)
by Amanda Whittington
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.64

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic play for an all female cast, 7 Feb 2007
This play by Amanda Whittington is an excellent piece of drama. The dialogue is fast paced, intriguing and in places incredibly poignant. We follow the story of Mary Adams, a young mother to be, pregnant and unmarried - and her experiences in the mother and baby homes of the early sixties.

What Whittington weaves is an emotional story, full of highs and lows, moments of high tension and reckless humour. Mary is placed in a room with Queenie, a working class girl, and their relationship becomes one of the central themes of the play.

It is one of the best all female plays available and I cannot recommend it highly enough. The subject matter is ideal for those studying A-level or possibly GCSE and there are some fantastic duologues contained within the script. The play is relatively easy to stage and should be performed with supporting 60's songs; inlcuding of course The Ronnettes classic 'Be My Baby' from which the play takes it's name.

You could find no better modern play than this for an all girl group and it requires a cast of six. Definitely give it a read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 26, 2010 8:57 PM BST


Fat
Fat
by Rob Grant
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Book - Disappointing Structure, 6 Feb 2007
This review is from: Fat (Hardcover)
I was both pleased and disappointed by this book. Pleased because it has been a while since I have read any Rob Grant and find his zany style of humour invigorating and amusing. I wasn't disappointed by the writing style in this book, he captures the flavour of the three main characters almost immediately and you begin to see the events of the book from their distinctive point of view. The book is amusing, touching and thought provoking but sadly this is just not enough.

Rather than saying what this book is, I shall say what it isn't...It isn't a complete story, the book can be considered almost three character studies with no real discernible plot line. All through the book I was waiting for something clever to happen, for the plots to entwine and as I got to the last chapter I realised that it simply wasn't going to happen. I was left feeling that Grant had missed a perfect opportunity to write a superb book. If you like Grant's humour then you'll like this book but for me it was several chapters and a carefully constructed plot line short of being excellent.


Les Miserables
Les Miserables

85 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Look Down! Look Down! And find your debit card!, 15 Jan 2007
This review is from: Les Miserables (Audio CD)
If you've got to this page, then chances are you've heard of Les Miserables and if you're a wise person indeed then you will have gone to see it in London or on Broadway. This CD is the original cast recording and has excellent vocal work from household names Colm Wilkinson, Michael Ball and rather bizarrely Caroline Quentin of Men Behaving Badly fame.

This CD however is no replacement for seeing the musical live - it misses out pieces of linking material. This means that if you are listening to this as a substitute for seeing the musical, you may become confused by the jumpy plot. My recommendation to you is go and see the musical, then buy the CD and sing along all you like. A CD like this one can only give you the audio, and nothing your imagination can conjure up will be as good as visual feast that is the production in the flesh.

In summary - buy this if you've seen the musical. If you haven't - hold out until you have and it will be a much more worthwhile buy.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 15, 2012 10:29 AM GMT


For One More Day
For One More Day
by Mitch Albom
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relaxingly Emotional, 15 Jan 2007
This review is from: For One More Day (Hardcover)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, read it from cover to cover in one sitting on a coach journey between London and Gloucester. It has a quiet charm and is very easy reading. I was a little disappointed with this book after reading the 'Five People you meet in Heaven'. It did not seem to create the same emotional resonance within me but I was glad to see this does not seem true of other reviewers.

If you enjoy a catharctic read, love your mother dearly and are looking for the literary equivalent of a massage and a facial then this might just be the book for you....enjoy.


The Methuen Book of Duologues for Young Actors (Audition Books) (Audition Speeches)
The Methuen Book of Duologues for Young Actors (Audition Books) (Audition Speeches)
by Anne Harvey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.79

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good diverse book, 10 Jan 2007
I'm a freelance drama teacher who sometimes struggles to find work for a range of pupils, of varying abilities. This book has been excellent; there are pieces in it to suit many different age groups and each piece has its own particular merits and discussion points. If you can get hold of two copies, as I have done - then you can use it as a regular feature of lessons. Getting youngsters to learn and perform pieces as though it were an audition. For those of you who provide LAMDA or Trinity training in duologue work then this book will be an excellent resource for the non-set texts. A worthwhile investment.


Mirror Dreams: Number 1 in series (Leanan Kite)
Mirror Dreams: Number 1 in series (Leanan Kite)
by Catherine Webb
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamily Magical, 10 Jan 2007
Magic, mayhem, dreaming and the limitless potential of a dream state. This book is absolutely fantastic. I was sceptical at first and initially hestitant when thrown into a imaginative universe parallel to our own, but this soon gave way to wonder as the author's skillful narrative weaves between worlds. The book follows a highly sardonic Laenan Kite, a legendary mage, who once faught for the Kingdom of Dreams and who has been recalled to face another great adversary. This book has everything a teenager could want - and not just teenagers. I'm a good half a decade clear of my teens and loved every word. I simply couldn't put this book down - and I believe it was probably done with magic. If you're still reading this reveiw, I've failed! Click 'buy now' you won't be disappointed. Promise.


The Cuckoo Sister
The Cuckoo Sister
by Vivien Alcock
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cuckootastic, 15 Dec 2006
This review is from: The Cuckoo Sister (Hardcover)
This is an excellent book. I ordered it and read it because I saw an extract in a drama duologues book and that left me wanting to know more. I am a drama teacher and this book is excellent for that rather strange pre-teen age group. The characters are deep, the plot is fast paced and there is some good dialogue. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end, and because I'm a little older than the target age it took just under an hour and a half to read from cover to cover. If you're a child, pick this book up - you'll love it. If you're an adult - pick this book up because you'll love it too. Then sheepishly give it to a suitably young relative!


The World According to Clarkson
The World According to Clarkson
by Jeremy Clarkson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clarkson at his best, 4 Dec 2006
I have never been a huge fan of Mr Clarkson, we disagree fundamentally on how interesting cars can be and as such I've never been into Top Gear. I was thrown this book because my housemate decided that Jeremy Clarkson was the only man in Britain more appalled with modern life than I am.

From page one through to the end, this book is fantastically funny. I can imagine it is a bonus to know a bit about the man, but you can hear the voice in the writing. Angry ranting blends wonderfully with sarcastic caustic observations that left me laughing outloud on more than one occasion. I highly recommend this book if you feel annoyed with life in general.Sadly I haven't cultured an interest in cars - but I do now watch Top Gear (begrudgingly though)


Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About
Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About
by Mil Millington
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellently funny, disappointly structured, 23 Nov 2006
I had great hopes for this book, particularly as I'd just read 'Love and other Near Death Experiences' - unfortunately for me, I read them in the wrong order (I made the same mistake with Angels and Demons / The Da Vinci Code) and when compared with its successor 'Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About' quite simply doesn't stand up to much scrutiny.

Mil Millington has an excellent eye for comedy, he can create witty dialogue that made me laugh out loud; the situations the protagonist finds himself in are jaw achingly amusing and this book is highly comparable to the Wilt series by Tom Sharpe.

Where this book lets itself down is in the plotting. It is a series of very well written sketches, but unlike Sharpe who finishes by tying up all the loose ends, Millington just stops. I became increasingly worried as I giggled my way towards the end that there weren't enough pages left to tie everything up satisfactorily. Sadly my giggling and amusement gave way to disappointment and frustration when I realised I was right.

As a series of funny sketches and witty argument based dialogues this book will have you rolling about the floor but as a story it simply doesn't hit the mark.


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