At Freddie's

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Freddie's is the familiar name of the Temple Stage School, which supplies London's West End theaters with child actors for everything from Shakespeare to musicals to the Christmas pantomime. Its proprietress, Freddie Wentworth, is a formidable woman of unknown age and murky background who brings anyone she encounters under her spell -- so common an occurrence that it is known as being Freddied. At her school, we meet dour Pierce, a teacher hopelessly smitten with enchanting Hannah; Jonathan, a child actor of great promise, ...

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frances h

Sep 2, 2014

an extraordinary account of acting as a life force

The 'Freddies' of the title is a stage school, and Freddie herself a formidable character who runs the ramshackle edifice, where some pupils have no proper home or family and scavenge in the Old Covent garden market for their food. But the book is really a study of what it is to be an actor to the core, even if you are only nine or 12 years old. The writing is wonderful and the content profound and disturbing - and funny too.

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