Happy October everyone! Can you believe the year is nearly over. Yikes. So many books on my nightstand and they are just sitting and slowly being read. (The story of my life, I know). Best think about something more pleasing (rather than unfinished books). How about a new book for a new month for a new prompt! This month it is something theatre or stage or acting-oriented. I am thinking more theatre than movies and my pile reflects that.
I am actually, just by chance, am reading a book that fits nicely into that category, but I think I will choose another book anyway. I am in the middle of Anthony Quinn's excellent Curtain Call. I have this idea that I want to read some other books by him and it seems I read somewhere that the books, while they can be read individually and on their own are also somewhat loosely connected. So, Curtain Call is an early novel. it is set in the mid-1930s in London's West End and is a bit of a thriller!
Now on to the business at hand. I had more theatre-setting novels than I realized.
Pretty Face by Lucy Parker -- It’s not actress Lily Lamprey’s fault that she’s all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that’s not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn’t so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy."
Town in Bloom by Dodie Smith -- A determined young Lancashire girl arrives in London intent on a stage career - this tale from the author of I Capture the Castle is told with the candour and authenticity that derives from Dodie Smith's own experience of the theatre world. "
Underfoot in Show Business by Helene Hanff -- "It's a book about show business, where fame is the stock in trade. Each year there are hundreds of stagestruck kids arrive in New York determined to crash the theatre, firmly convinced they're destined to be famous Broadway stars or playwrights."
Marking Time by Elizabeth Jane Howard -- I had been rereading this quintet of books (actually had only ever read three of them but now want to read them all ... alas, quite a while it has been since I reread the first book, but . . .). "The wonderful sequel to The Light Years returns readers to Britain in September, 1939, as war breaks out. Sheltered Louise, now 16, goes from cooking school to London parties. For 14-year-old Polly, the terrors of war cannot forestall the pangs of adolescence. And though Clary's father has been reported missing since Dunkirk, she holds to the belief that he's alive."
Fallout by Sadie Jones -- "Luke is a young playwright—intense, magnetic, and eager for life. He escapes a disastrous upbringing in the northeast and, arriving in London, meets Paul Driscoll, an aspiring producer, and the beautiful, fiery Leigh Radley, the woman Paul loves. The three set up a radical theater company, living and working together, forging a romantic connection in candlelit rehearsal rooms during power cuts and smoky late-night parties in Chelsea's run-down flats. The gritty rebellion of pub theater is fighting for its place against a West End dominated by racy revue shows and the giants of twentieth-century drama."
Stage by Stage by Jan Jones -- " . . .is about Beth (an English teacher and mother of two teenage children) whose husband leaves her after twenty-five years of marriage mainly because she is an English teacher and mother of two teenage children. In order to supplement her severely depleted income, Beth opens her Cambridge house to Bed & Breakfast visitors. Three of her guests are Cate - the young ASM-with-attitude of a touring musical theatre company, Seb - the newest actor in the company who happens to be staggeringly good-looking and with whom Beth's daughter Natalie immediately falls in love, and a character actor of about Beth's own age called Owen Pendragon..."
Shilling for a Candle by Josephine Tey -- "A woman's body is found on the English seacoast, and twisted in her hair is an article screaming murder. For Inspector Alan Grant, the case becomes a nightmare, as too many clues and too many motives arise."
Lucky Break by Esther Freud -- "Over a decade, three young actors grapple with haphazard tours, illogical auditions, unobtainable agents, deluxe trailers, rocky relationships, and red-carpet premieres. This dazzling new novel from Esther Freud uncovers a world of ruthless ambition, uncertain alliances, and the many-sided holy grail of Success."
The Stand-In by Deborah Moggach -- "From the bestselling author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Jules is an unknown English actress with a precarious career and a wayward but irresistible boyfriend, Trevor. But then she gets the break of a lifetime - a part as stand-in for Lila Dune, American film star and sex-symbol - and her world is transformed."
I know I have far too many to choose from as it is, but I cannot help but ask if you have a favorite novel (or nonfiction book) set in the theatre world? Do share. If I don't read it now, I always like to have titles in reserve! (Am nearly finished with last month's prompt and will be telling you about it soon!).