Saturday, August 06, 2022

If you think I'm obsessed with Malcolm Saville...

I made an extraordinary discovery on YouTube the other evening. 

Hinckley's Red River Theatre Group has posted two plays that each show us the current-day lives of the characters from one of Malcolm Saville's lesser-known and gentler series of children's books.

Return to Nettleford catches up with Elizabeth the vicar's daughter, Sally and Paul at the Wise Owl bookshop and the rest of the gang.

But things are not going well in Nettleford. No one goes to church any more and the Wise Owl is on its last legs.

This reminds me of Flip Chart Rick's sobering account of what will have happened to Camberwick Green, Trumpton and Chigley since their television heyday.

I've not finished it yet, but I hope there will be a happy ending. Malcolm Saville would certainly have given us one.

I'm also halfway through Susan and Bill Refreshed.

The Susan and Bill books were set in a new town, but the attempt to be up to date was rather undercut by the illustrations. They were drawn by E.H. Shepherd, Saville's neighbour and walking partner in Guildford, so recall children's classics rather than anything modern.

Again, I am halfway through this and hopeful that things will turn out well.

I've no idea who wrote these plays, but they know their Malcolm Saville. When two characters in Return to Nettleford discuss possible honeymoon destinations, they reel off the locations of the Lone Pine books.

No comments: