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The Machine Gunners

The Machine Gunners

Robert Westall, adapted by Ali Taylor

Nick Hern Books

“An imaginative and realistic interpretation.” — The Stage

An adaptation of the beloved, award-winning children's novel.

It's 1940, and Britain is at war. Young Chas McGill has the second-best collection of war souvenirs in town, but desparately wants it to be the best. Amidst the bombs and air raids, Chas and his friends plan their own war effort in their newly built bunker. Friendships are forged and loyalties tested, in the adventure of a lifetime...

Robert Westall's The Machine Gunners has been read, studied—and loved—by successive generations of younger readers. It won the Carnegie Medal and was voted one of the most important children's novels of the past seventy years.

This thrilling stage adaptation comes from the award-winning playwright Ali Taylor, and premiered at the Polka Theatre, London. It provides rich opportunities for discussion in the classroom, and for staging by schools, youth theatres and amateur companies.

Ali Taylor trained at the Royal Court Young Writers’ Programme. His first play Cotton Wool (Theatre503, London, 2008) won the 18th Meyer Whitworth Award. He was one of the winners of ‘Metamorphosis08’, a new play competition run by the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, for his play Overspill (Churchill, Bromley, & Soho Theatre, London, 2008). His writing for young people includes two plays for Polka Theatre: Sticks and Stones and an adaptation of The Machine Gunners (shortlisted for the Brian Way Award). Other plays include Conspiracy (RWCMD/Gate); Under My Skin (Pegasus); Fault Lines (Hampstead Theatre, 2013); Cathy (Cardboard Citizens, 2016) and several radio plays for BBC Radio 4.

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