Southbank Centre

Nicholas Allan talks about The Queen’s Knickers

Nicholas Allan’s children’s book The Queen’s Knickers has been turned into a play which will be performed at Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival 2013; we caught up with Nicholas to find out more.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I liked the idea of being able to imagine yourself as anything you like and doing anything you like without actually having to do it.

What was the inspiration behind The Queen’s Knickers?

When I was little my older brother used to point to an office block and say, ‘That room is the Queen’s Lavatory.’ I thought that was funny and I think it was on my mind when I thought of The Queen’s Knickers.

What is your favourite part of the story?

I like the way it changes from being about stolen knickers to suddenly becoming a factual account of a Royal Knicker Collection. I also like the parachute knickers and feel they should have been acknowledged by Danny Boyle in his Olympic open ceremony.

How does it feel to have your book turned into a play?

It’s very exciting. Suddenly you see the book in three dimensions and with sound. It’s as if you’d never written the book, that you were watching some new. I can’t wait to see it!

Did you read a lot as a child, and do you still read children’s books now?

I read as much as possible when a child as I didn’t get to be read to much by my mum and dad. At school I read books from the older children’s shelves and hid them behind the ones I was allowed to read. These books were much more exciting. I still read children’s as I like to see what other writers and illustrators do. I also read all those children’s books I missed when I was young. I read Mary Poppins recently. It is very different from the film. Mary Poppins is a much stricter person and extremely vain. I liked this much better.

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