Penelope Fitzgerald
At Freddie's
January 12, 2019 Comments.. 738
At Freddie s Freddie s is the familiar name of the Temple Stage School which supplies London s West End theaters with child actors for everything from Shakespeare to musicals to the Christmas pantomime Its propri

  • Title: At Freddie's
  • Author: Penelope Fitzgerald
  • ISBN: 9780395956182
  • Page: 445
  • Format: Paperback
  • Freddie s is the familiar name of the Temple Stage School, which supplies London s West End theaters with child actors for everything from Shakespeare to musicals to the Christmas pantomime Its proprietress, Freddie Wentworth, is a formidable woman of unknown age and murky background who brings anyone she encounters under her spell so common an occurrence that it is Freddie s is the familiar name of the Temple Stage School, which supplies London s West End theaters with child actors for everything from Shakespeare to musicals to the Christmas pantomime Its proprietress, Freddie Wentworth, is a formidable woman of unknown age and murky background who brings anyone she encounters under her spell so common an occurrence that it is known as being Freddied At her school, we meet dour Pierce, a teacher hopelessly smitten with enchanting Hannah Jonathan, a child actor of great promise, and his slick rival Mattie and Joey Blatt, who has wicked plans to rescue Freddie s from insolvency Up to its surprising conclusion, At Freddie s is thoroughly beguiling.

    • Unlimited [Memoir Book] ☆ At Freddie's - by Penelope Fitzgerald ✓
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      Posted by:Penelope Fitzgerald
      Published :2019-01-12T18:04:26+00:00

    1 Blog on “At Freddie's

    1. Petra X says:

      I loved The Bookshop and so I was eager to read another Penelope Fitzgerald book. But after weeks of trying I cannot get past page 50 and I cannot care about it either. The story is of a very fat old woman who was once well-known in theatre circles and now runs a decrepit stage school and her efforts to save it from financial ruin. So far she has hardly moved from her chair and doesn't seem to have made much of an effort. The other action is between two new Irish teachers neither of whom interes [...]

    2. Harriet says:

      This is an absolutely brilliant book. You really have to read it twice through, because the voice is so cagy, and the story so subtle that, first time through, you (or I, at any rate) missed what appears to be on the margins, but in fact is at the book's moral center. The story is about Freddie's, a school for children in theater; it's also about the profound but often invisible distinction between genuine art and commercialism. The sacrificial figure of the book is a small child who is a true a [...]

    3. Laurie Notaro says:

      Very funny and unexpected. A story about a crumbling children's theater school in London in the 1960's. Witty, witty writing. I will seek more of Fitzgerald's works. Four stars for making me laugh 20 times.

    4. David says:

      I thought this was going to be hilarious. It was wry, spry, crisp and dry and just a little bit flat.

    5. Richard Moss says:

      Based on Penelope Fitzgerald's own time teaching English at the Italia Conti Stage School, At Freddie's is a pitch perfect affectionate skewering (if you can skewer affectionately) of thespians young and old.It boasts lots of Fitzgerald's dry wit, and her usual cast of underdogs and the downtrodden.The most memorable of that cast is Freddie, the longstanding doyenne of her own stage school. She produces brilliant students, but barely seems to leave her couch. Her money troubles are legendary - a [...]

    6. Elena Sala says:

      At Freddie's is a brilliant, witty book. A group of people caught up in an institution, the foundering Temple Stage School, try to transcend the constraints of a squalid physical environment to attempt great things. Also, there's Freddie: a formidable, selfish, calculating, ruthless woman who is the school's headmistress. Of course, there are children. And children in Fitzgerald's books are always in danger, they always need adult protection.Like most of her novels, this one is about beauty and [...]

    7. Michael Burge says:

      This is a terrible book by a great writer. Terrible because there is NO STORY, just character sketches, albeit interesting ones, after each of which I was waiting for the story to start, but it never came. Novel fail.

    8. Diane C. says:

      Read anything by Penelope Fitzgerald!

    9. Bill Adams111 says:

      Freddie is an old woman in 1960’s London who has run a decrepit theater school for children since after WWII. She is charming, we are told repeatedly by the third-person narrator, though I saw little charm myself. The children are precocious and humorous in a hammy, theatrical way. People fall down and bump their heads. Funny.The main story is that Freddie’s is at the edge of insolvency so in the final pages Freddie decides to change the school’s emphasis from Shakespearean training to pre [...]

    10. Vincent Hernot says:

      In a way (in all ways), any book by Penelope Fitzgerald is a must-read, and this is no exception.A more subtle writing is hardly possible - a more mordantly ironic one, ditto.Fitzgerald had the uncanny (and very rare) ability to create a full-blown person - in the shape of a character - with one or two sentences: an aside in a few words reveal the world inside that character, and the worlds outside of him or her.But that's not all: she could re-create atmospheres too, and views on the world, and [...]

    11. Alarie says:

      The premise sounded like fun: a London acting school for children with an ancient, eccentric director (Freddie). It’s 1963, and Freddie is trying to keep things as they were done in the 20s. The building is falling apart, there’s no money, so corners are cut on getting good faculty. The children don’t want to be bothered learning anything except drama. Fortunately, the school does have a good track record for launching kids on stage, especially in Shakespeare and Peter Pan. What didn’t w [...]

    12. Susanne says:

      A second reading of this novel would undoubtedly raise my rating to five stars. So incredibly subtle and witty and mordant. All rare qualities. Many laughs here, too. It took me about half the book before I determined who was who (some characters having two different names in the same paragraph--that took a while to figure out). This will reward a second reading. Many long convoluted sentences which will make sense if read aloud.

    13. Zara says:

      Very British. Freddie is a pretty brilliant character, and some of the descriptions of actors and theaters in general are hilarious. Didn't feel that compelled to keep going back to it, though.

    14. Caroline says:

      Superb character sketches, the plot is not so engaging

    15. Dave Morris says:

      Fitzgerald is one of those authors whose every sentence reminds you what really good writing is. And sometimes a wordsmith like that might not also deliver a story, but she's the whole package.

    16. ShaunMS says:

      Enjoyed -- but then it just ends. I wanted an actual ending of some sort.

    17. Jill says:

      Penelope Fitzgerald is one of my favorite authors because of her smart, concise writing. She is another of those quirky British writers who can pack a lot of meaning into a few words. However, this book is not one of her best. The writing is excellent (especially if you can figure out exactly what the Britishisms mean), but the story itself is more disjointed and harder to follow than in her other novels. The plot and its resolution, like Freddie herself, are a bit of an enigma.

    18. Stephen Russell says:

      I vacillate between love and boredom for this book, as with most of the Fitzgerald I've read. She undoubtedly displays a mastery of the craft of lean writing, with sometimes breathtakingly beautiful descriptive phrases and emotionally charged scenes. But on the whole, the absence of any deep and resonant plot, conflict, and story in these humorous, sad little novels turns me back to bigger books filled with larger ideas about life, the universe, and the impossibly complex interactions of human b [...]

    19. Silvergirl354 says:

      What really makes me love Fitzgerald's books is that she uses characters that under normal circumstances you might pity or look down on, but she clearly loves them so much, and portrays them in such a positive light, that although you know they are pathetic losers, you love them anyway. Even ones with obnoxious traits you might find thoroughly annoying, you still see through to their inherent lovability, and fall for it. And so I found myself loving the title character, a theater school director [...]

    20. Morttel says:

      Fitzgerald is fabulous. I am now regarding the ones I haven't yet read as precious things to be treasured and savoured. The characters are pitch perfect and you can pretty much smell the setting. It's also a perfect #52books2017 book being profound, clever, funny and short.

    21. Jean-Luke says:

      “I’m afraid you’ll have to speak a little more clearly, dear. It comes with training you can’t have rung me up to complain about a joke, an actor’s joke, nothing like them to bring a little good luck, why do you think Mr O’Toole put ice in the dressing-room showers at the Vic? That was for his Hamlet, dear, to bring good luck for his Hamlet. I’m not sure how old O’Toole would be, Mattie will be twelve at the end of November, if you want to record his voice, by the way, you’d be [...]

    22. Cristina says:

      Londra, 1963. Interno di una scuola per giovani attori shakespiriani. Bambini, in verità, se mai l'ambizione che li divora, pur così giovani, ha mai permesso loro di essere tali.La scuola è gestita da Freddie (personaggio basato sull'attrice Italia Conti e sulla Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts dalla stessa fondata che, se non mente, ancora oggi è attiva e funzionante). Freddie è a metà strada tra la regina madre e lo stereotipo dell'italiano che si arrabatta. Non so come spiegarlo, [...]

    23. Lisa says:

      Penelope Fitzgerald's slender novels are so very brilliant that it is almost possible to miss their perfection. A subtle writer with a true understanding of human foibles and so full of compassion, she rarely misses her mark. At Freddie's, is true to her rare form. Centered around a children's acting school in London during the early 1960s, one meets characters as varied as the incompetent teacher hired to make sure the professional child actors have their state mandated hours of academics to a [...]

    24. Katie says:

      Freddie’s is the name by which the theatre school officially known as the Temple Stage School is referred to by anyone in the know in the 1960′s. Dilapidated and old fashioned, it is kept running by the machinations, scheming and sheer force of will of Freddie, the proprietress. However, but money is needed and times are changing and Freddie must choose either to change with them or remain true to what she knows.Penelope Fitzgerald has a very light touch. In the hands of a different author t [...]

    25. Tom says:

      This is the first Penelope Fitzgerald novel that I have read. In fact, I only recently heard of her - when I read a review of the new biography by Hermione Lee. Fitzgerald is a wonderful writer. Her style is hard to pin down, but it is notable as much for what she doesn't say as for what she does. If the first few pages do not make you laugh, I suggest you start over and try again.If the character of Freddie does not impress you, then I suggest you start over and try again.In the edition I read, [...]

    26. Colin says:

      Another perfectly formed Fitzgerald miniature, set this time in a somewhat seedy Covent Garden stage school in the early sixties. All,of the author's strengths are on display: the witty, somewhat sideways approach to storytelling, the beautifully developed characters from what might be considered the margins of society, the skilful revealing of deeper truths beneath the surface lives of her characters, and the somewhat ambiguous, but deeply telling conclusion. For me, this didn't quite come up t [...]

    27. Alena says:

      My personal theater history led me to this book, set in a London stage school in the 1960s. I'm also on a bit of a Penelope Fitzgerald kick. Given these two interests, At Freddie's did not disappoint. Fitzgerald's portrayals of the theater characters ring incredibly true. Freddie is indomitable, manipulating people around her while maintaining a smile and beguiling innocence. She keeps her school open through sheer force of will and longevity. (I have known this woman in many forms.)Fitzgerald's [...]

    28. Tim says:

      Fitzgerald is consistently excellent. This is another of her stories exploring institutions, here Freddie's school for young actors, and from that particular vantage the British stage. This book does not focus on one character, but a narrow cast that includes Freddie, and her overwhelming personality, a couple of new teachers at the school, a couple of gifted students, and an actor. As always Fitzgerald provides deep insights with the smallest comments and revelations made in brief scenes. A fun [...]

    29. Susan says:

      "He felt unwell. Weakmindedness makes one feel as poorly as any other over-indulgence." "Her devotion to Freddie, necessitating very long hours, was difficult to explain, even to herself. She was, perhaps, under some form of mild hypnosis." These two characters have each experienced Freddie, the somewhat obsessed proprietor of the Temple School, a children's acting school. The story encompasses Freddie, her assistant Miss Blewett, her accountant, a possible investor, two teachers hired for the s [...]

    30. Machlis says:

      Anything by Penelope Fitzgerald is head-and-shoulders better than the best of most writers, so perhaps I should give this five stars. But I found it less compelling, looser I think, than her three preceding novels (Book Shop, Offshore, Human Voices). Typically, this book features a couple of precocious children, a variety of befuddled but endearing adults, and the richness of Fitzgerald's intimate knowledge of a particular human society -- in this case the theatre, but in previous ones a village [...]

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