Rosie Backstage


96 pages
ISBN 1-55074-209-4
DDC j792





Illustrations by Bill Slavin
Reviewed by David E. Kemp

David E. Kemp is chair of the Drama Department at Queen’s University
and the author of The Pleasures and Treasures of the United Kingdom.


Young Rosie, whose mother works at the Stratford Festival as props
mistress, finds herself at loose ends as she wanders around the theatre
backstage. She meets some actors and becomes involved in a production of
The Tempest (which is in rehearsal). Through this involvement, Rose
discovers the magical world of theatre.

This lavishly illustrated book not only provides lots of information
about the making of stage properties, costumes and set design, music and
stage direction, lighting, and sound, it also includes information about
Shakespeare and his theatre (prompted by Rosie’s meeting a mysterious
figure who turns out to be the “Bard of Avon” himself). It may be,
however, that the authors have tried to incorporate too much into this
book. Rosie’s contemporary adventure combined with all the technical
information, the mysterious Will Shakespeare, and the return to
Elizabethan times may be a little overwhelming for some readers to
follow, especially since the juxtapositions are sometimes uneasy.
Nonetheless, readers will enjoy this wonderfully theatrical book for its
highest possible production values and considerable box office appeal.


Lewis, Amanda, and Tim Wynne-Jones., “Rosie Backstage,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,