Book – Dreadful Drama
Author – Rachel Wright
Year – 2000
Genre – Children’s Non-Fiction
Pages – 142
I don’t know if any of you have seen it, but there is a brilliant show on children’s television called Horrible Histories. The kids at my school love it. It is an educational sketch show based on the children’s books of the same name. It involves things such as a rap about all of the King Georges, or a Elizabethan Wife Swap scene. Not only is it brilliantly educational – the number of intelligent things I have heard the kids say about history that has come simply from this programme is incredible – but it is also one of the most genuinely funny shows I have seen on the TV for quite a while.
It was this that inspired me to try a book along the same lines. There are loads in the series about history, but I happened to spot this, and as drama is my thing, I thought it must be worth a read. As it goes, it is a very clever little book with a lot of useful information. Everything that a child would need to know about the theatre at such a young age – a history of theatre, how we light the stage, what an actor does in his average day – is there, and nicely explained. As a book to introduce kids to drama, I could give nothing to this but a 10/10.
However, as a grown up (!), I don’t think I could. Whilst the TV programme mentioned above has managed to find a way to make an educational show that is quite genuinely just as funny to adults and children, this particular book comes nowhere near. I can put myself in a child’s mindset unsurprisingly easily, but I still didn’t think that it was anywhere near as funny as the show. This may be my fault for having too high expectations from what is – at the end of the day – a kids book, or possibly Horrible Histories on the TV for being too good to follow, but I was still disappointed, and the book that would have been an easy 10/10 when I was 10, loses several marks.