Titus Llewellyn-Gwlynne, actor/manager of the Red Lion Theatre, has lost a backer who
was going to fund a theatrical tour – when unexpected salvation appears.
Their home theatre in the East End of London having been bombed during the war,
The Red Lion Touring Company embarks on a tour of Britain to take a play written by
their new benefactress into the provinces.
This charming series transports the reader to a lost post-war world of touring rep
theatre and once-grand people who have fallen on harder times, smoggy streets, and
shared bonhomie over a steaming kettle.
The mood is whimsical, wistful, nostalgic, yet with danger and farce along the way
Love and Miss Harris is the first book in the Company of Fools series, and we find ourselves in the early 1950’s. This is where we first meet George – who refrains from introducing herself by her title of Lady Marjory Devonaire. She has written a play, a rather gentle and old fashioned romance named Love and Miss Harris.
Unfortunately, all of the well known London theatres have turned her away, and Titus Llewelyn-Gwynne – an actor/producer who has found himself in rather uncertain times has seen many plays like this, or so he claims as he hasn’t actually read it!. He makes it clear that he doesn’t believe there will be backers to finance her production, but that is no concern for George as she has her own money and is more than willing to fund her play herself.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the moment I picked it up. The storyline is one of which I haven’t encountered before, and it captivated me to the very end. There is a lot of history thrown in to this novel, something else I really enjoyed!.
The lead character George is an incredibly likeable woman. She is strong willed, and wants to do things in her own right, without throwing her title around to gain her an advantage – another respectable trait of hers. We are introduced to an array of colourful characters as the story progresses. The detail to each individual character we meet is delightful and really makes them all the more realistic to the reader.
The story flowed wonderfully from start to finish, and had plenty of drama laced throughout the pages to really keep you hooked to the very end. Peter Maughan has a remarkable way of making the characters and the setting leap out of the pages and come to life for the reader, making the experience of this beautiful book all the more enjoyable. I look forward to reading future releases by this author!.
About the Author
Peter Maughan’s early career covered many trades, working on building sites, in
wholesale markets, on fairground rides and in a circus. He studied at the Actor’s
Workshop in London, and worked as an actor in the UK and Ireland, subsequently
founding a fringe theatre in Barnes, London. He is married and lives currently in Wales.