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Wonder Boy

Wonder Boy

By Ross Willis
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781848429543, 96 pages, March 2022


Sonny is twelve. Living with a stammer, he is finding his way in a world ruled by vicious vowels, confusing consonants, and the biggest beast of all – small talk. His only escape is with a comic-book hero of his own creation, who helps Sonny soar above his reality.

But when he's cast by the headteacher in the school production of Hamlet, he soon discovers that language is power – and the real heroes are closer than he thinks.


"Few things in theatre can match the electricity of a first-night crowd that believes what they've just seen will join the canon. Wonder Boy, by rights, should be on the school curriculum tomorrow... Willis' writing has all the roguish energy of a Year 8 inner-city classroom... Willis has a terrific theatrical imagination and his dialogue also sizzles... a work designed to celebrate and find joy in overcoming adversity. You can't help but be washed along with it."

- WhatsOnStage

"Audaciously inventive, sparky yet sensitive, giddily enjoyable... an extraordinary exploration of adolescence... Willis can make quotidian detail startling... Even the stage directions ping... Willis's play unfolds itself in miraculous ways. It's some kind of wonderful."

- Guardian

"Boundingly imaginative."

- The Times

"A welcome treat... as heartwarming and as it is heartbreaking... impressive stuff."

- British Theatre Guide

"Exhilarating... Ross Willis has a terrific feel for words... inspiring, irrespective of age."

- Observer