Unpublished adventures

As always seemed to happen to the Famous Five, having unravelled one mystery I immediately found myself stumbling into further adventures!  Another of the lots we purchased was identified as Cheer Up, Little Noddy, and did indeed include a complete typescript draft of that title.  But that was not all – the lot also included drafts of two plays, both entitled Noddy in Toyland.  One of these was certainly published as Enid Blyton’s Book of Her Famous Play Noddy in Toyland, but the other may well be unpublished.

Another lot, a play entitled Famous Five Adventure, may also be unpublished.  Although more research is needed before we can say for certain that either of these are unpublished works, it is always exciting to find such material in a writer’s papers.  These are works which may have been seen by only one or two people previously, besides Blyton herself.  Works which were perhaps entirely unknown to the wider public, until now, and which we plan to make available for anyone and everyone to read and enjoy.

Although Seven Stories will not be publishing this material in book form, once the collection is catalogued it will be open to public access at our collection office, by appointment.  We are also hoping to digitise all of these typescripts in full, subject to copyright approval, to allow visitors to our website the opportunity to explore the typescripts online.  So even if you aren’t able to visit us in Newcastle, you will be able to enjoy the next best thing.

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4 Responses to Unpublished adventures

  1. It is interesting that you have two different versions of Noddy in Toyland. It was first performed at the Stoll Theatre in London in 1954, and was subsequently produced at various different theatres at Christmastime for the next eight years or so. I would imagine that Enid Blyton may well have wanted to update it at some time during that period and this is possibly the reason that you have two different scripts for it. The other play that you mention, Famous Five Adventure, was published in 2000 by Norman Wright and it is therefore commercially available.

  2. That’s really helpful, Tony, thank you. I had been trying, without much success, to track down any information on whether Famous Five Adventure had been published. I don’t suppose you know if it was ever performed during Enid Blyton’s lifetime?

  3. Yes, Hannah, it was put on in London. Enid wrote it specifically for that purpose. It was first performed at the Princes Theatre in December 1955, where it shared the venue with the Noddy play. Noddy was on in the afternoon and the Famous Five in the evening. It was performed again the following year at the London Hippodrome, but this time it didn’t share a theatre with the Noddy play as that had moved back to the Stoll Theatre. The Noddy play was actually filmed and the film was shown round the country, but sadly the Famous Five play never made it onto the big screen. One day I will get round to putting a Stage and Film section onto our website!

  4. Sarah Briffett says:

    I actually had a part in Noddy in Toyland at the Stoll Theatre in December 1954, when I was 12 years old, as a Toy Soldier. I have a copy of the original programme and can remember the words to several of the songs. Enid Blyton came to see us and signed a first edition of a Famous Five book for me – To Sarah – Love from Enid Blyton. She also wrote her autograph in my album. She visited us with her daughter Gillian, who also signed my autograph book. Bunny May played Noddy and Oscar Quitak was Mr. Noah.

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