What a jaunty, hilarious and pantomime-esque adventure of a story Vivian’s book is! Full of charm, bubbly characters, theatrical melodrama (as per it’s title), evildoers, and a plot that centres around putting on a good show despite the odds. The Steam Whistle Theatre Company is a brilliant summer read for your kids!
Charlie and Rosie join their father and take their theatre company up north from London, to find fame and fortune. But, as expected, nothing goes to plan. The places they are meant to do their Shakespearean plays have been booked by a precocious child magician – called Baby Bubbles, who is so well-written as frustratingly awful – and they’re kicked out of their digs.
But fate leads them to stay at Uncaster Hall, a place heaving with debts and problems under the ownership of Lady Arabella. But a place that welcomes them with open arms. And they all work together – with the wondrous Edie Boiler, who is my most fave upbeat character in a children’s book for ages – to battle the creepy (and genuinely sinister) property-grabbing Olio Sleevery and put on an unforgettable show of King Lear the town will never forget.
Full of thespian madness, Shakespearean nods, nasty bully-boys, and a group of wonderful characters, this book is a genuinely enjoyable read. Highly recommend it!