Not So Private Lives by Alan Shelley

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Amongst others, Noël Coward is said to have told aspiring actors that all they need to do is: 'To speak out the lines and do not bump into the furniture.' The amateur thespians in Alan Shelley's amusing new novel, Not so Private Lives, find it rather more difficult than the Master suggests. For their 25th Anniversary production, the Great Selsdon Amateur Dramatic Society decides to give their audience Noël Coward's Private Lives and the progress of this is recorded from the choosing of the play to the last night, through the process of the casting procedure, the first read-through, rehearsals, technical matters and a fateful dress rehearsal. The narrator describing these events is May Twining, a young lady with a passion for the theatre even though she suffers from a severe case of stage fright. Her account is a mixture of what actually happened together with a considerable amount of embroidery as she reveals the strengths and weaknesses of a fascinating cross-section of the members of the Great Selsdon Amateur Dramatics Society These include the Director, the mercurial Ambrose Percy, the society's two leading stars, Roger and Brenda Scotland, the Thurston Browns, the demure Ruth and the precocious Alison Street, who achieved the little fame she has because of her performance as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. The novel is also, in part, a tribute to the genius of Mr Coward.

About Alan Shelley

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Alan Shelley, born 1931, is the author of two novels, The Colour was Red and I Never Met Ernest Hemingway, and also a textbook on the South African dramatist entitled Athol Fugard. His Plays, People and Politics. He is a Chartered Surveyor and retired in 1993 as the Senior Partner of international property consultants, Knight Frank. He was awarded a PhD in 2006 and lives in Rutland. There are six grandchildren.   The Colour was Red is partly autobiographical and concerns the massacre in Amritsar in 1919, the Biafran War – the author spent twenty five years of his working life in Nigeria – and apartheid in South Africa. The second novel is the story of a pastry cook/chef, who served during the First World War and is in Paris at the time of the 1919 Peace Treaty negotiations. The book then recounts his subsequent experiences during the 1926 General Strike, the rise of Fascism in Europe and his success as a writer of detective fiction. During the Second World War he works in the film industry and attempts to write for the stage.
Published July 9, 2009 by AuthorHouse. 164 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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