Review also includes:
Bombs and Blackberries: A World War Two play, ill. Philippe Dupasquier, 978-0750241250
The Head in the Sand is a clever play based on a true story about two Edwardian children who find a Roman bronze head, which they whitewash and sell for 5 shillings. The play opens in 1907 with a young Arthur Godbold discovering a bronze head of the Roman Emperor Claudius. As he tries to figure out how the head ended up in a Suffolk river, the dramatic story of the Roman invasion of Britain unfolds in front of his very own eyes. Emperor Claudius, British Queen Boudicca, ordinary Roman soldiers and British slave girls are all involved in this exciting play which takes us back to 43AD and forwards to 1965 when the actual head was indeed auctioned for £15,500 at Sotheby’s.
Bombs and Blackberries opens as World War Two has been declared with the Chivers children being sent to the safety of the countryside. They are delighted to be brought back home as the Phoney War drags on. When the air-raid siren goes off to signal a real air raid, events take a dramatic and frightening turn. This touching play brings to life Manchester during the Second World War in a very accessible way for junior children.
These simply illustrated plays each take 45 minutes to perform either by a small group or whole class. Props and costumes can be kept to a minimum. There are useful suggestions at the back of each script about how to keep the productions as manageable and simple as possible. Bombs and Blackberries has three well-known and notated songs for the cast and audience to sing along to. Donaldson is a highly experienced children’s dramatist, storywriter and songwriter as well as the author of the award winning picture book, The Gruffalo.