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Description - "The Lost Prince" by Stephen Poliakoff

The screenplay of Poliakoff's award-winning BBC drama about the forgotten son of King George V and Queen Mary The Lost Prince follows the life and times of Prince John, the forgotten youngest son of King George V and Queen Mary, who was born in 1905. Although remembered as a charming boy, he was diagnosed as epileptic and suffering from learning difficulties similar to autism and shut away at the age of twelve at the in Wood Farm near Sandringham to prevent the family from public embarrassment. He died there when he was just thirteen. Dramatising the historical facts, Poliakoff portrays with extraordinary sensitivity, a child's experience of the Royal Family in the late Edwardian period and during the First World War. Set against a backdrop of unprecedented upheaval in Britain, The Lost Prince tells the very human story of a unique family and an extraordinary boy. Published to tie in with the BBC's production, broadcast in two feature-length instalments in January 2003, The Lost Prince stars Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson, Gina McKee, Tom Hollander, John Sessions, Billy Nighy and Bibi Andersson.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780413773074
ISBN-10: 0413773078
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 16mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Methuen Drama
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 16-Jan-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - "The Lost Prince" by Stephen Poliakoff

UK Kirkus Review » The Lost Prince, a screenplay written for UK television, provides a subtle yet insightful glimpse into life in the early 20th century. It tells the tale of Johnnie, the epileptic sixth child of George V and Queen Mary, set against a backdrop of the historical events of the time. Johnnie not only suffers from severe epilepsy but has learning difficulties. Completely lacking in awareness of social norms, he nevertheless possesses considerable naive charm and the ability to make remarkably astute observations about both people and situations. When the royal family become aware of the severity of Johnnie's epilepsy, he is promptly shuffled out of sight, to all intents and purposes banished to a small house in the country with only his protective and loving nanny, Lalla, and his tutor. There they are kept in virtual isolation. The events preceding and during the First World War take place through the eyes of Johnnie and, to a lesser extent, his brother George. The Tsar of Russia and his family visit, and Johnnie is smitten by the Russian girls, who in turn are charmed by him. This idyllic and opulent prewar existence of country walks and elaborate banquets contrasts sharply with the palpable tensions of the war itself, and its effect on the royal family. The struggles that war brings parallel those of Johnnie for good health and acceptance. A good set of footnotes explains Poliakoff's motivation for including specific events and details in the screenplay and for making certain changes for dramatic effect, and the inclusion of 16 pages of photos from the TV drama helps put the words into images. It's the minute details that really make The Lost Prince; as simple a thing as a glance or a throwaway comment speaks volumes about the relationships within the royal family, and between them and the outside world. It is a perceptive portrayal of royal and political life a century ago, and of a little boy ostracized for being different. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Stephen Poliakoff

Stephen Poliakoff was appointed writer in residence at the National Theatre for 1976 and in the same year won the Evening Standard"s Most Promising Playwright award for "Hitting the Town" and "Sugar City". He won a BAFTA for best single play in 1980 for "Caught on a Train", the Evening Standard"s Best British Film Award for "Close My Eyes" in 1992 and the Critics Circle Best Play Award for "Blinded by the Sun" in 1996.

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