Photos are used with the kind consent of the author.
The Arthur Ransome Society
This uplifting memoir by Sophie Neville tells us how a schoolgirl’s life was transformed by unexpectedly starring in a major film adaptation of the world famous classic tale by Arthur Ransome.
A minor role as author Laurie Lee’s childhood sweetheart led to her winning the role of Ransome’s much-loved tomboy Titty Walker.
Interspersed with the narrative are charming diary entries twelve-year-old Sophie made of her day-to-day experiences.
The book captures the demanding work required of child actors and the additional pressures they faced of discomfort and school work.
The narrative also opens a window onto the detailed process of film making and the many skills involved. Photographs include examples of call sheets.
However, the book’s greatest asset is how it communicates a sense of camaraderie between players and crew.
In a profession notorious for back-stabbing it is refreshing to read how such a community worked with mutual respect for each other on a highly commercial enterprise. Claude Whatham, the director particularly comes across as a kindly and empathetic influence.
This production you feel had heart and its success was deserved.
This work is a treat with an afterward not to be missed!