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Notes from a Small Island (stage version)

Notes from a Small Island (stage version)

By Bill Bryson
Adapted by Tim Whitnall
Series: NHB Modern Plays
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781839042201, 120 pages, March 2023


It's 1973, and a young man from Des Moines, Iowa, has arrived on the ferry at Dover. He intends to conquer the whole of the island, like Caesar attempted before him.

But Caesar didn't have to deal with counterpanes, kippers, Cadbury's Curly Wurlies, or Mrs Smegma the landlady's eccentric house rules. As Bill travels the length and breadth of Britain, through villages with names like Titsey and Little Dribbling, something strange starts to happen. Can it be true? Is he really starting to feel at home?

Bill Bryson's smash-hit memoir Notes from a Small Island spent three years in The Sunday Times bestseller list, sold over two million copies, and was voted the book which best represents the UK.

Tim Whitnall's hilarious stage adaptation was first produced at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury, in 2023. Written for an ensemble cast of seven (but suitable for a cast of dozens), it will appeal to amateur drama groups as a glorious celebration of one of the nation's most beloved books, and a brilliant dissection of the enduring quirks of our small island.


'A comic pleasure... has a revue-like charm... abounds in nostalgia and warmth'

- Telegraph

'A thoroughly enjoyable piece of theatre... With more than 80 characters and incorporating almost as many cities, Tim Whitnall's adaptation [is] a hugely ambitious project... it manages to capture the spirit of the novel... This tour of Britain has been lovingly recreated... with a strong, diverse ensemble, gradually building up a picture of Britain over the decades... hilarious'

- The Stage

'A pilgrimage of delight... Delicious fun... wonderfully vivid cameos, to great comic effect and always affectionate rather than simply caricature'

- WhatsOnStage

'A whirlwind of adventure... lovingly evokes images of Britain in times gone by... ignites an unexpected surge of patriotism'

- West End Best Friend