An Awfully Big Adventure (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
An Awfully Big Adventure
An Awfully Big Adventure.jpg
Author Beryl Bainbridge
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Psychological Fiction
Publisher Duckworth
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-0-7531-5120-4
Preceded by Watson's Apology
Followed by The Birthday Boys

An Awfully Big Adventure is a novel written by Beryl Bainbridge. It was short listed for the Booker Prize in 1990 and adapted as a movie in 1995. The story was inspired by Bainbridge's own experiences working at the Liverpool Playhouse in her youth.


Set in working-class England right after World War II, the story observes sexual politics amongst a troupe of actors working at a shabby regional playhouse. During a Christmas production of Peter Pan, the play turns into a dark metaphor for youth when Stella Bradshaw, an ambitious teenage girl from the slums of Liverpool, joins the company and gets entangled in the backstage intrigue.

The title is an ironic reference to the original Peter Pan story, in which Peter says "To die will be an awfully big adventure."

Film Adaptation[edit]

In 1995, Fine Line Features released a motion picture adaptation starring Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant and then-unknown actress Georgina Cates in the central role. The film was directed by Mike Newell and is one of the only film versions of Bainbridge's works.