On Friday 7th August I was lucky enough to be invited to go watch Hetty Feather at the Duke of York Theatre, which was written by my childhood favourite author Jacqueline Wilson. As I sat in the audience I re-lived my childhood experience of reading all the Jacqueline Wilson books. Sally Cookson and Emma Reeves brought to life this spectacular performance of Hetty Feather.
By all means I am no theatre critic or professional reviewer, I’m just wanting to share my personal experience of watching the fabulous Hetty Feather.
The story of Hetty Feather was brought to life with Benji Bower producing live music and songs, although with aerial and circus skills. This stage production is great for children and adults alike, my mother and I found ourselves on a emotional roller-coaster that we never wanted to end. Without giving too much of the story away the tale follows the journey of Hetty Feather a tiny blue eyed baby with fiery red hair that was left at the Foundling hospital. You are invited to follow Hetty’s triumphs and tribulations of searching for her real birth mother in the Victoria era.
Phoebe Thomas perfectly plays the role of Hetty Feather and gave such a great interpretation of the fiery red head character. Phoebe began performing as a child and was nominated for a BAFTA at the age of 8 years old for her first ever screen performance. Theatre credits- The Life and Times of Fanny Hill (Bristol Old Vic), Little Women (Duchess Theatre), Playing Fields (Soho Theatre) plus many more.
(Pictured with Phoebe Thomas & Nik Howden)
ROLL UP and join Hetty on her escape from the Foundling Hospital.
TREMBLE as she faces Matron Stinking Bottomly.
THRILL as she discovers the squirrel house and Tanglefields Travelling Circus.
GASP as she endures a night locked in the attic.
QUAKE as she braves the scary streets of Victorian London and
CHEER as she overcomes all in the search to find her real mother and a true family of her own.
After the performance my mother and I were so honoured to be invited to the After Show Tea Party at The Terrance Bar. Where we later discovered Jacqueline Wilson the legend herself came to watch the show and was doing an after show book signing. With the long line of small children and adults myself included, I really thought I would miss this amazing opportunity to meet one of my favourite authors. But I had nothing to worry about, Ms Wilson stayed till the very end to greet everyone who queued up so patiently for the chance to meet her. I actually got starstruck with a gush of nostalgia running through me. If only I could tell my younger self that one day I would meet the woman who was the cause of my many magical adventures.
Jacqueline Wilson is one of Britain’s most popular authors, selling over 38 million books in the UK. Her most successful and enduring creation is the Tracy Beaker series which we all know and love:-) In 2002 she was awarded an OBE for services to literacy in schools and in 2008 she became Dame Jacqueline Wilson, what an inspiration!
What I love most about the going to the theatre is that everyone’s interpretation is unique. So don’t just take my word on it, go and watch Hetty Feather yourself and experience your own journey.
Hetty Feather is playing in the Duke of York Theatre (London’s West End) 6 August – 6 September 2015. Click here to book tickets. The West End run will form part of a major national tour which began at Bristol Old Vic in July and continues through 2016, with an extended Christmas run at The Lowry, Salford.