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The Fantastic Diary of Bathsheba Clarice de Trop
Doughnuts, dreams and drama queens
by Leila Rasheed
Bathsheba can’t wait to go to Dramarama camp with her best friend Keisha. But when Keisha’s granny falls ill, Bathsheba has to go by herself. Luckily, lovable Bath soon makes friends, and uses her budding talent to fight off stiff competition from an ambitious camp clique of returning pupils – landing a starring role in the final cabaret! But when Dramarama Camp’s director breaks her leg, the special guest-tutor, Hollywood starlet Avocado Dieppe (and Bath’s arch-nemesis!) turns directorial diva and steals Bath’s role in the show! It looks like Bath’s chances of fame are doomed – until a disaster of dramatic proportions gives our heroine a chance to truly shine…
“Magically moving and brilliantly funny”
Having survived an earthquake, house fire and being bombed all before the age of 11, Leila Rasheed moved from Libya back to the UK. Leila has an MA in Children's Literature and Creative Writing. She started working at Reading Is Fundamental, a children's literacy charity, before moving to Belgium, and now works as the children's bookseller for Waterstone's in Brussels.
DOUGHNUTS, DREAMS AND DRAMA QUEENS
Two Days Before What Will Definitely Be The Most Fabulous Experience Of My Life!
Dear new Diary, which Mummy sent me all the way from America...
Howdy! Welcome to Clotborough, UK.
You must be so excited to be abroad, dear Diary. And maybe a bit scared, too, because of being in a strange country, where tomato is not said “tomato”, but “tomato”. Oh, that doesn’t really work when you write it down. I mean, I say “tomato”, you say “to-may-toe”. Only you don’t, since you are a diary and can’t talk.
Anyway! Don’t be scared, dear Diary – I will look after you. And so will my dad, Bill, and my best friend, Keisha, and her mum, Bev. Just think of us all as your new, happy family! Yay!
But who am I, you may be wondering? Well, it is no ordinary hand that writes in you. I am the famous Diary-Writer, and Almost-Film-Star, Bathsheba Clarice de Trop. Ta-dah!
Actually to be totally completely honest, I am not very famous yet. In fact, I am not famous at all yet. But! That is all going to change, because the day after tomorrow I am going somewhere very special and exciting.
Guess where I’m going! I’ll give you a clue – it’s a place where dreams are made and stars are born and fame is just a photograph away (tra la!).
No, not Hollywood. Although that’s where Mummy is right now, and where the film Bathsheba Superstar, which is sort of about me, is being made. Actually it is more about the not-real Bathsheba, who is the magnificent heroine of all the books that Mummy writes. What I mean is, although that Bathsheba is named after me, the film is really entirely about her and actually not about me at all. Sigh.
Maybe I should tell you a bit about me, DD (aka Dear Diary), since you’re new. Well, I myself am just ordinary. But my mother is a super-successful writer of children’s books! Yes, that’s right. She writes the BATHSHEBA series. These – as you probably know if you have ever been anywhere near a bookshop – are all about a character, as I said, with the same name as me: Bathsheba Clarice de Trop. But the fictional Bathsheba is not ordinary at all. She is Highly Glam, and head of everything in her super-posh school, and she is always having sophisticated sleepovers with her royal best friends, or else saving the world, if it’s daytime.
Last year, a Hollywood film company decided to make a film of Mummy’s books. It is called BATHSHEBA SUPERSTAR! I did think that they might let me play Bathsheba – since my Destiny is to be a famous Film Star – but they gave the part to a horrible show-offy actress called Avocado Dieppe instead.
Because of the film, Mummy went to live in Hollywood for a year, to Network. I was going to go with her, but then…well, everything changed. I wrote about it in the first diary I ever had, which I actually called Chips, Beans and Limousines, but basically my Long-Lost Dad turned up, and I ended up going to live with him instead. He was Long-Lost for six years, and I only really got to know him properly this year, so sometimes I call him Bill, which is his first name, instead of Dad. But I love him the same whatever I call him!
Oh, and Bill and Mummy aren’t together. Which is a very good thing really since they would be sure to split up instantly if they were together, because they are TOTALLY different people. They are actually so different that I sometimes wonder how they managed to have me in the first place!
Anyway. Where was I?
THE MOST FABULOUS EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!!
So, it’s not Hollywood. But it’s the next best place to Hollywood.
No, not Bollywood either! Give up guessing? Okay, I’ll tell you.
Dear Diary, you and me are on our way to DRAMARAMA CAMP!!!
Dramarama ta-dah tra-la-la camp!!!
Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!
Oh, hang on, maybe you don’t know what that is, because you have only just arrived from Over The Pond (which means the Atlantic Ocean, which is quite a big pond with whales in it). Luckily, I know the brochure off by heart, because I’ve read it so many times. This is what it says:
Dramarama camp is a prestigious (that means “important”, dear Diary) holiday academy for aspiring actors and actresses aged between 11 and 16. The children taking part in Dramarama camp come from all over the world for two weeks of hard work, fun and new experiences. As a grand finale they stage an evening show, directed by the Dramarama Director.
The camp is split into two phases.
Week One: intensive drama training from Britain’s best performers, supported by young and enthusiastic drama students (the Dramarama Assistants). Working on a theme chosen by the Dramarama Director, the students learn new skills and gain confidence as performers.
Week Two: the public get to see what goes on at Dramarama camp, as TV cameras for the hit reality show, Dramarama Diaries, arrive, together with a mystery guest star. (Squeeee!) The mystery guest star is from the world of showbusiness and helps the students prepare for their final show, which will be staged in the camp theatre. Dramarama Diaries has launched the careers of many young stars of stage and screen. (Eek! That could be me, this year, dear Diary!)
A typical day at Dramarama camp starts with breakfast at 8 a.m., before the children go on to activities from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., with a mid-morning break and snack. At 1 p.m. there is lunch, followed by activities from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m., again with a mid-afternoon break and snack. The children have a chance to relax for an hour before dinner at 6 p.m. This may be followed by meetings to organize the final performance, or the children may choose to relax, or work on preparing for the final performance. Bedtime – with lights strictly out! – is at 9 p.m. for younger children, 10 p.m. for older ones.
The second week of camp, when the Dramarama Diaries cameras and the mystery guest star are present, is usually geared towards rehearsals for the all-important final performance. This traditionally takes place on the last Saturday evening. Parents are very welcome to attend, and may take their children home after the performance or on Sunday as convenient.
On the front of the brochure is a big picture of Thespia Hall, which is the castle where Dramarama camp happens. Well, it’s not really a castle – it’s a big old house, but made to look like a castle. Right behind it is a new building with curved walls, which is the theatre. Ooh, dear Diary, I am so EXCITED I can hardly sit still! I can’t believe I’m really going to spend two whole weeks there!
Bill keeps telling me to just relax and enjoy myself, but dear Diary, this is my Big Chance! If I’m good, then Dramarama Diaries will show me on television, and I might even get talent-spotted! How can anyone relax when they know their entire future depends on the next two weeks?!
And do you know what the most brilliciously excellent part of all is? I’m not going on my own! And not even just with you, dear Diary – though of course you are very important too. No, my best friend is coming with me! Keisha!
With the delightful comic style of Louise Rennison meeting the insightful empathetic writing of Jacqueline Wilson, this is an absolute must for any 9+ wannabe film stars. Magically moving and brilliantly funny, this novel written in diary form is full of glamorous tall tales and touching home truths.
The third diary of Bathsheba Clarice de Trop, the real life daughter of a famous author whose stories star a fabulous, fictional version of her daughter. However there's a big shock in store for her in this very entertaining story. Follow her highs and lows in her letters and diary extracts that are really involving.
Primary Times September 2009
I thought this book was amazing! I have read the previous two and they were also brilliant. I would give this one full marks - it's very exciting and makes you want to keep reading.This book was easy to read and should definitely appeal to other girls my age. Enjoy!
Teen Titles 46 - review by Amanda Kostryckyg
Do you agree or disagree with the reviews below? Why not write your own?
Bathsheba, you are the most amazing person ever. Me and my friends can't put your books down. Leila Rasheed PLEASE WRITE ANOTHER BOOK FOR THE BATHSHEBA SERIES!!
Sasha, 28th February 2013
Bathsheba Clarice De Trop
WOW! I LOVE you Bath!!! you are soo amazing and your books are brilliant. Once I read the first one I couldn't put it down at all. And the 2nd is fabulous too! Cant wait to read the 3rd. More of the same please!!!
Leyla, 16th August 2009
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