facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
# I MISS THEATRE
Are you missing theatre as much as we are? Support us now with Theatre Tokens and see your favourite shows when they reopen.

Kids Week Interview: Jacqueline Wilson

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 5 September 2014

Jacqueline Wilson, the Children’s Laureate, and the author of some of the most loved children’s books ever, is currently enjoying the brand new experience of seeing an adaptation of one her stories play to a West End audience. Midnight, which is currently being staged at the Peacock theatre, is also one of the shows taking part in Kids Week 2005. Tom Bowtell caught up with Jacqueline to talk about life as a children’s author and her love of theatre.

Are you a fan of Kids Week?

“Of course! I was thinking how I would have loved it as a child if I’d had the chance to take part in Kids Week. As a child we weren’t very posh and the only time I can remember going to the theatre when I was a child was when I went to the Kingston Empire and saw Babes In The Wood. It had such an impact on me, I just thought it was the most magical, magical evening ever. And that stuck in my mind and turned me on to theatre…”

How does it feel to have a show on at the Peacock Theatre during Kids Week?

“It’s so magical, to say that I’ll have a play on in the West End – but it’s not my play, it has been wonderfully adapted by Vicky Ireland and Watershed are putting it on at the Peacock theatre. It’s got a brilliant cast and it features the most amazing, beautiful, gothic puppets.”

How involved were you with the production process for the show?

“I was very fortunate because I’ve worked with Vicky Ireland before [on shows including Bad Girls and Double Act] and I know that I’m in safe hands. Generally I get to go to the first read through and see who she’s cast, then I always go to one rehearsal, at least, but then I go away and leave them to it. The first night is just brilliant because I see how much work has been done during that time and it’s magical: I get all the fun of it without the hard work or the worry! Vicky is always very true to the book, which makes all authors love her, but she brings out all sorts pf lovely theatrical things, different ideas of how you can do things, that work a treat, so nobody could be luckier!”

How important do you think it is that we entice children into the theatre?

“We’ve always had a lovely theatrical tradition in Britain, and it’s very important, I think, to hook children in, show them how wonderful it is so that they can become theatregoers in the future.”

Can you tell us a little more about how you go about writing your books?

“I always start off with something that is going to appeal to me. When I’m writing the story first of all I think about things that are going to interest me. But when I come to rewrite it, I start to think about my audience and what they would like. But you’ve got be passionately involved, there’s no use thinking that ‘this would be a good commercial story’ or whatever, you’ve got to care about what you’re doing, and want to write it even if it wasn’t going to get published.”

Do you think that children’s books should be didactic or have morals?

“I think you really find that children pick up on quite subtle messages. I don’t think you have to wag your finger at children any more, I think it’s much more sophisticated to capture them into a story and try, for example, to show them how it might feel to be a child being bullied by others, make them understand, and not just tell them not to do it.”

Jacqueline Wilson’s Midnight, adapted for stage by Vicky Ireland, is playing at the Peacock Theatre until August 27.

Share

Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.