Well, Theodore Brown’s secret actually. Bernard Ashley’s first play, The Secret of Theodore Brown, opens at the Unicorn Theatre, Great Newport Street, London WC2, on Saturday, 30 September. It runs till Firework Night with an intended age range of 9-13. ‘It’s a whodunnit with a serious theme,’ says Bernard. ‘And I now realise the truth of the saying that playwrights don’t write plays, they write plays for theatre companies. The Unicorn have done me proud.’ Knowing Bernard, we’d guess he’s done the Unicorn proud as well. His first play for the theatre, the script is published by Julia MacRae to coincide with the production. Full details from the Unicorn Box Office on 01-836 3334.
A New Treasure Islander
When Radio 4’s Treasure Islands starts again in October (Fridays, 11.47, repeated Sundays, 16.47, for twelve weeks), it’ll have a new presenter. After three series, Penelope Lively returns to the mainland and Mike Rosen takes over. Who could be better to host network radio’s only regular programme devoted entirely to children’s books? Our only complaint is that it’s far too short. Why not a full half-hour instead of a mere fifteen minutes? Michael Checkland, please note.
Mammoth and Little Mammoth
Who says they’re extinct? Not the Octopus Publishing Group who bring together both Methuen Children’s Books and Heinemann Young Books under this new paperback imprint. Paperback originals, previously offered under the Magnet label (together with the entire Magnet backlist), are also included – the new imprint, launched this month, aiming to be ‘second only to Puffin within the year’. And after that… ?
Mammoth are offering an Information Kit (plus a free book to the first 100 enquiries). Write to Andrea Reece, Mammoth Books, 38 Hans Crescent, London SW1X OLZ.
A Doubleday Debut
Also to be launched this Autumn is a new hardback list – new at any rate this side of the Atlantic. A division of Transworld Publishers, Doubleday Children’s Books reckon to be ‘strong on quality fiction and poetry with a popular appeal for children of all ages’. They could be right too, since their first season includes a new K M Peyton novel Darkling, Room 13 by Robert Swindells and an anthology of new poems and old favourites by, amongst others, Mervyn Peake,
Michael Rosen, Kit Wright, Jack Prelutsky, W H Auden and Edward Thomas. A Pot of Gold it’s called, edited by our very own Jill Bennett.
10 Golden Years
Not to be missed by anyone interested in children’s book illustration – the Mother Goose Retrospective is at the Commonwealth Institute, Kensington High Street, London W8, from 16-21 October, 10.00 am – 5.00 pm. On exhibition will be more than 300 paintings by 35 of the Mother Goose Award winners and runners-up. Many will be on sale … along with a full selection of the exhibitors’ books on an accompanying bookstall. Clodagh Corcoran, founder of the award, writes, ‘Look at Ten Golden Years and be dazzled by its colours, joy and sheer exuberance!’ Clodagh will be reflecting on the impact, and achievement, of the first ten years of the Mother Goose Award in November’s BfK.