Posts with the label Theatrical
Showing posts with label Theatrical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Theatrical. Show all posts

Thursday 26 July 2018

Theatrical, Maggie Harcourt (Book) | Things I Read Whilst Writing

A bit of a different post for you today, as you know I love theatre and books so when I heard about Maggie Harcourt's newest book release, Theatrical which is all about the stage, I was very excited to get my hands on it!

Maggie did a huge amount of research for this book, not only on shows but also a lot about what goes on behind the scenes as our lead character, Hope, is working as an intern backstage. This book is all things adorable and you can read my full review here, but without further ado lets set the stage for Maggie Harcourt's deep-dive into the DNA of Theatrical...

Maggie Harcourt: One of the best things about writing Theatrical was getting the chance to spend time completely immersed in the theatre world: not just writing about it but thinking about it, reading about it – and, of course, visiting it! 

Here’s my deep-dive list of everything that went on behind the scenes. Not everything is obviously part of the world of the finished book, but it’s still part of the story… 

Things I read: 
  • All About Theatre: the National Theatre
  • Unseen London (especially the ‘backstage’ section): Mark Daly and Peter Dazeley 
  • London Theatres: Michael Coveney, Peter Dazeley and Mark Rylance 
  • Stage Management – The Essential Handbook: Gail Pallin 
  • Stage Management and Theatre Administration: Pauline Menear, Amanda Saunders and Terry Hawkins 
  • Untold Stories: Alan Bennett 
  • Simon Stephens – A Working Diary: Simon Stephens 
  • The Oberon Glossary of Theatrical Terms: Colin Winslow 
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (black cover) souvenir brochure, which is full of detail about putting a big show together. 

I also read a lot of plays: not only for research, but because I was also taking a theatre writing class, and because I just enjoy reading them. Here’s a few of my favourites, which I know I was reading at the same time as writing the book. A couple of them make cameo appearances in Theatrical as Luke’s scripts or as things Hope has seen… 
  • Rope: Patrick Hamilton 
  • The History Boys: Alan Bennett 
  • And Then Come the Nightjars: Bea Roberts 
  • The Ferryman: Jez Butterworth 
  • Misterman: Enda Walsh 
  • The Hairy Ape: Eugene O’Neill 
  • The Dazzle: Richard Greenberg 
  • Sea Wall: Simon Stephens 
  • The Habit of Art: Alan Bennett 
  • Ink: James Graham 
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: JK Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne 

Like Hope, I also read The Stage, which is the weekly theatre trade paper– especially the technical columns, and particularly Jess Gow’s stage management columns. And Usborne’s Slot Together Theatre was an invaluable tool for helping me picture the Earl’s Theatre! 

I hope you enjoyed this amazing peek at all the research Maggie did for Theatrical, I know I'll definitely be picking up some of the books to fulfil my thirst for all things stagey. Theatrical is out now, more information can be found here and my full review can be read here.

This review for Theatrical is a part of the official blog tour, be sure to check out the other blog stops for more reviews, personal stories and guest posts from Maggie.

Post by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

Theatrical, Maggie Harcourt (Book) | Things I Read Whilst Writing

Thursday 26 July 2018

Theatrical, Maggie Harcourt (Book) | Review

Theatrical by Maggie Harcourt
Published: 28th June 2018 by Usborne Publishing ltd

Unless you've stumbled across this blog by an unexpected twister of fate (10 points if you get that reference) then I'm assuming you love or at least, like, theatre, so you'll more than likely be a fan of the book I'm talking about today: Theatrical.

The latest release from Maggie Harcourt, is Theatrical which takes us behind the scenes of the theatre and transports us to a world of romance and performance.

Our lead character Hope, dreams of working as a stage manager; her mother is a renowned costume designer who could easily get her daughter any job she wants but Hope wants to do it herself. When she lands an internship at the Earl's Theatre working on one of the biggest openings of the year, her secrets begin and she starts a journey she'll never forget. Now the story itself is fairly predictable and typical of contemporary novels but I'm a sucker for a cheesy romance so it's right up my street. What makes this book stand out is the theatre itself. Maggie highlights the world of theatre and makes it the heart of the story, showing the ups, downs and pressures of working on a production, especially one with a huge name attached and a lot of money invested into it! Of course the characters and their stories are crucial but throughout it feels as if the theatre is it's own character.

What I love about theatre is how it brings people together, not only the cast and crew, but audience members who know nothing about one another but are more than happy to launch into full conversations in the interval. There's also the pure magic of theatre when the perfect combination of great acting, stellar lighting, beautiful makeup, costumes and sets and every other aspect of a production come together to truly transport you to another world. As someone who goes to the theatre roughly 1-4 times a week I do find myself falling into a routine of going into London, picking my ticket up, watching the show and rushing home to write my review and I end up forgetting how special theatre is. Maggie has perfectly captured the magic of theatre and I found myself welling up towards the end when her writing reminded me of it and brought to the forefront why I put so much time into seeing as much theatre as I can. 

Now back to Theatrical! It's just so cute. The romance between Hope and Luke had me swooning and I really felt as though I was standing alongside Hope and she worked and worked to help get the show open. Hope's determination is inspiration for anyone hoping to get into theatre and she shows us just how much hard work goes on behind the scenes. So much of what makes a great production is the work that's gone on in the rehearsal room which of course an audience never see, so this book is not only a celebration of theatre but of the unsung hero's of the stage.

Theatrical is a brilliant read for any stagey, romance lover. You'll find yourself willing everything to run smoothly with the show and will definitely finish the book with a newfound appreciation for the crew who work tirelessly behind the scenes. If you want a swoon-filled summer read then pick up Theatrical and if you're not already a theatre fan then this might just be the book to make you truly stagey!

Theatrical is available now, more information can be found here.

Maggie gave us an exclusive and very interesting deep dive into her research for this book which can be found here.

Review by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

Theatrical, Maggie Harcourt (Book) | Review