Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kisses on a Postcard, by Terence Frisby, reviewed by CP James

Playwright, actor and director Terence Frisby’s most famous play is There’s a Girl in My Soup, the West End’s longest running comedy. He and older brother Jack, aged seven and eleven respectively, were WWII evacuees, in the Cornish hamlet of Doublebois, where they lived with ‘Uncle Jack’, a former Welsh miner with good old-Labour views, and his warm-hearted wife ‘Auntie Rose’.

The brothers remained in Cornwall for three years, and fully entered the rural life there, whose outstanding personalities ranged from Miss Polmanor, a starchy Wesleyan Methodist, to Miss Polmanor’s charge Elsie, a highly sexualised teenager, who succeeded in getting herself impregnated by one of the many American GI’s billeted here throughout the course of the war.

As a kind of watermark permeating the whole living texture of this charming wartime memoir is the benign presence of Uncle Jack and Auntie Rose, two very warm-hearted, gentle and generous people, for whom Jack and Terry’s well-being is uppermost – one imagines not automatically the fate of child evacuees in wartime.

The story has previous incarnations as a play, Just Remember Two Things: It’s Not Fair and Don’t Be Late, and as a stage musical based on that play.

What critics and bloggers have said:

‘Terence Frisby has done something difficult: he has made good times and good people more fun to read about than any melodrama, in a book that leaves one feeling grateful and happy.’ Diana Athill

‘I will say it again, a lovely lovely lovely book.’ Random Jottings of a Book and Opera Lover

‘Frisby’s book is an antidote to those misery memoirs which crop up everywhere.’ Stuck in a Book

‘Perhaps the best sign of how enchanting this book was to me, I didn't want it to end.’ Banter Basement

The video promo was put together from the first ever production of the musical, performed at the Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple in 2004.

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