Here we are on the train to Brighton with my husband Stuart, Philip's The Illustrated World of Mortal Engines co-author Jeremy Levett, and artist Valisa Higman, who's from the town of Seldovia, Alaska, the real-life inspiration for Snowdovia in our story.
And it was terrific!!! The Pugs of the Frozen North story has a huge cast of characters, but in the show, they're all played by just THREE actors, which works remarkably well and makes the show even funnier. And who plays the necessary SIXTY-SIX PUGS? Why, the audience, of course! Yip yip!
Photos by Louise Clarkson, knitted pug by Lauren O'Farrell (aka Deadly Knitshade)
I knew two of the actors, Brian Mitchell and Amy Sutton, from their earlier play with Philip, The Ministry of Biscuits. (Brian co-wrote both plays with Philip and composed the music.)
This time they were joined by Joshua Crisp, who played Shen, a yeti, a Snowdovia sports commentator, and possibly quite a few other things. And two solid chairs did a lot of hard work as a sled, a bed, and a shedload of snow.
They used some of my drawings for props! Here's Helga Hammerfest with her two polar bears, Snowdrop and Slushpuppy.
(I only drew this last week - they were fast!)
Here's Amy, playing a magnificent Helga. (She's so strong, she can lift a polar bear! We're not sure if it's Snowdrop or Slushpuppy.)
And here are my people! These are children from '3 McIntyre', a class that for two years has been named after me at nearby Glebe Primary School. The librarian Kate Gieler and teachers really took on board the idea of children coming to books through illustration and learning about the work of illustrators, so they named all their classes after children's book illustrators. (How cool is that!)
Thanks so much for all your support, Glebe Primary! It was great to see you!
And big thanks to Julia and Vanessa at The Book Nook in Hove, who hosted the show, publicised it, and sold books before and after.
Thanks so much to Brian, Amy and Joshua for all your hard work! If you missed out on the show today, you can still catch it on tour! Click over to The Foundry Group's website for links to get tickets.