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Break a Leg


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A very fun, very British book - celebratory and often hilarious - about amateur dramatics, combining memoir and social history

About the Author

Jenny Landreth is a script writer and editor. She has written for all sorts of publications, and was the main contributor to the Guardian's weekly swimming blog. Her last book, Swell- A Waterbiography, was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year and was a Sunday Times Book of the Year. Jenny comes from a family of devoted am dram fanatics, and lives in London.


An unputdownable, utterly delightful stroll through British amateur theatre and why it has a vital place for us all -- Shappi Khorsandi
Landreth's charming book is both a cultural history of amateur theatre and a loving look at am-dram and its role in British life -- Sarah Hughes * i *
This funny and interesting book makes you yearn for a long-lost sense of community, and then realise it's been there all along. Jenny Landreth, take an Am Dram style bow -- John O'Farrell
Amateur is not a dirty word, but implies disinterested love, dedication and a clubbable, community feeling . . . Landreth reminds us, importantly, that the word amateur includes student and community theatre, vital seed corn and support to the professional world -- Libby Purvis * The Times *
With spot-on injections of humour and a frequently raised sardonic eyebrow, joy and warmth shine from this fascinating and funny book -- Jo Brand
[An] honest account of the modest ambitions of most amateur theatre... entertaining... [and] her narrative feels completely authentic -- Martin Vander Weyer * Spectator *
[Landreth] affirms, overall, that we are a theatre-loving people. For that sentiment alone right now, it's worth shoving a copy of this under the Chancellor's door. -- Dominic Cavendish * The Telegraph *
An honest, educational and downright hilarious memoir. It's a deeply affectionate look at a much-maligned bit of Britishness that we simply couldn't live without -- Angela Barnes
A gorgeously funny, deeply affectionate and fully costumed swallow-dive into the great - and historic - amateur theatrical tradition. I loved it -- Alistair Petrie
A hilarious, informative amdramoir - a love-letter to her father and a fascinating insight into the much maligned minority: the amateur -- Doon Mackichan
Highly entertaining... [Landreth] has cleverly - and wittily - conflated memoir with the history of am-dram, its practical application and a close look at some of our most venerable companies." -- Nick Smurthwaite * Sardines Magazine *
I thoroughly enjoyed this beguiling ensemble of memoir, social history, interviews and manifesto, which tells the story of am-dram in Britain -- Caroline Sanderson * Bookseller *
Enjoyably exuberant * The Oldie *
An entertaining mix of memoir and social history, Break A Leg celebrates the joy of doing am-dram and the inclusive community it fosters -- Anne Marie Ryan * Big Issue, *Books of the Year* *
[A] joyous celebration of amateur theatre; a triumphant mix of memoir, social history, interviews and manifesto, Jenny Landreth opens our eyes to a vibrant world that is a crucial part of our culture... Break a Leg is an emphatic celebration and a rallying cry to appreciate how amateur theatre enriches communities and many people's lives -- Sita McIntosh * What's On Stage, *Christmas Gift Guide 2020* *
Revel in this joyous celebration of amateur theatre... Jenny Landreth opens our eyes to a vibrant world that is a crucial part of our culture. Break a Leg is an emphatic celebration and a rallying cry to appreciate how amateur theatre enriches communities and many people's lives. * What's On Stage *

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