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The Steam Whistle Theatre Company

Written by Vivian French

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The Steam Whistle Theatre Company Review

Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers

Utterly delightful Victorian drama drama

Viv French is a wonderful storyteller and her new tale of a family theatre company struggling to put on a show in the provinces is a delight from start to finish. Times are hard for the Pringles, but Pa Pringle, Mr Micawber style, is certain ‘something will come up’ and decides to take the family via train to Uncaster to dazzle its residents with his Lear. Meanwhile, in Uncaster the recently widowed Lady Poskett has money troubles too, a mountain of debts to pay off. When indefatigable scullery maid Edie suggests they take in lodgers the two storylines combine. Both sets of protagonists face more challenges in the shape of unscrupulous fellow theatricals Little Baby Bubbles and his manager mother, and Olio Sleevery crooked landlord, but when the curtains come down the good have ended happily. It’s a bravura performance – irresistible characters, a plot full of drama and a wonderful sense of community and companionship. Encore, encore!

Andrea Reece

The Steam Whistle Theatre Company Synopsis

The wonderful adventures of a family theatre-troupe, touring Victorian England by train - a high-octane, high-drama romp, with a colourful company of characters. Dark and deadly deeds, piratical plots, lost heiresses and poor little orphans - Vivian French conjures up the very spirit of Victorian theatre in a fabulous new novel for middle-grade readers. To avoid financial ruin, the Bottle family's theatre-troupe has left London behind, travelling to the north of England by train. With new audiences to play to, and less competition, they hope to make enough money to pay off their debts back home. But will their plans be foiled by the odious Olio Sleevery? It's time for young actors Rosie and Charlie to save the day, and, with the help of their new friend Edie Boiler, ensure the thunderous success of the company's first performance.

A wonderful gallery of eccentric characters and an exuberant plot with a twist at the end ... this is storytelling at its theatrical best!

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781406376319
Publication date: 07/02/2019
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781406376319
Publication date: 7th February 2019
Author: Vivian French
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 304 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers

About Vivian French

Vivian French is a highly acclaimed children's author who has written more than 250 books during the course of  her career, including Caterpillar, Butterfly, The Tales from the Five Kingdoms series and Yucky Worms. Her recent work includes the critically acclaimed picture  book The Most Wonderful Thing in the World. Vivian teaches on the  illustration course at Edinburgh School of Art, and helped to found the  mentoring scheme Picture Hooks for aspiring young illustrators. She  lives in Edinburgh. Read further information about Vivian French here.  

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