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For the School Colours is an interestingly educational piece of theatre about a forgotten pioneer of school-based children’s literature made popular by Enid Blyton and J.K. Rowling. You probably haven’t heard of her. I doubt many people have, which is precisely what makes Not Cricket’s latest devised offering a rewarding viewing. Angela Brazil was, we discover, a pretty interesting woman, and you go away feeling as though you have learnt something.

a fun hour, complete with enjoyably creative stagecraft, an entertaining and often heartfelt script, live music and an intimate, engaging atmosphere.

The minimal set of three colourful wooden chairs and a blackboard doubling as a coat-stand turns the auditorium into a makeshift classroom. As the audience become pupils, they’re led by a five-strong ensemble cast through a lesson about Angela Brazil.

It is far better than school though, as the play is in no way boring. Each of the characters from Brazil’s life and works are brought energetically and vividly to life by some superb multi-roling in scenes depicting her life and extracts from her books which parallel it. It’s such a speedy presentation, however, that there isn’t enough time to get a feel for the people involved; you know exactly when and where everything in her life happened, but not completely what it felt like to live as or with Brazil. The hints and suggestions of the unknown aspects of her life, coupled with the ‘gung-ho spiffing’ type of characterisation throughout also leaves you wondering quite how historically accurate – if possible – the show is. The suspicion is that the play is as rose-tinted a depiction of Brazil’s life as her books are of children’s experience.

Nevertheless, it is a fun hour, complete with enjoyably creative stagecraft, an entertaining and often heartfelt script, live music and an intimate, engaging atmosphere.

Whether your interest is in original, imaginative theatre, forgotten women from history, children’s literature, or you just want a diverting hour of an engaging play, this is a show definitely worth seeing.


25th Jul 20177:00pmThe Shed
Parliament St York York

The Blurb

Prolific children’s author, conservationist, believer in fairies – Angela Brazil was a complicated and determined woman with a tendency to write her personal life into her books. Now largely forgotten, she developed and popularised the schoolgirl tale, and her work paved the way for names such as Enid Blyton, Elinor Brent-Dyer and even JK Rowling. Well-researched, irreverent and insightful, this show seeks to restore Angela and her schoolgirl creations to their rightful place in literary history. This is her story. ‘High-energy, gleeful and self-deprecating’ (Fest).



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