Review: George – Don’t Do That by Joyce Grenfell

Own the book: YesJoyce Grenfell
Source: Charity shop
Format: Paperback
Price: £0.49
Published: 1992 by Warner Books (originally 1977 by Macmillan London Limited)
Date Read: 12th July 2014

I suspect (and hope) that many people will recognise the well-known and much loved phrase ‘George – don’t do that’. If you don’t, why not?! It is of course from the brilliant Joyce Grenfell’s set of Nursery School sketches. Joyce – who sadly died in 1979 – was a beloved English actress, comedienne, monologist and singer-songwriter. An extremely talented woman. I knew her best as Sergeant Ruby Gates in the original St Trinian’s films where she was marvellous. I discovered Joyce’s monologues after a YouTube search and was hooked. Finding the book with the scripts of many of them in was an added bonus.

I really enjoyed reading ‘George – Don’t Do That’ although it was best read aloud. My talents were nowhere near those of Joyce however – and occasionally rather embarrassing – so I shall keep my monologue reading to myself. The book was relatively short at 88 pages but did contain six Nursery School sketches; ‘Nativity Play’, ‘Flowers’, ‘Free Activity Period’, ‘Story Time’, ‘Sing-Song Time’ and ‘Going Home Time’ along with a monologue called ‘Writer of Children’s Books’ which was new to me. The book also contained a number of illustrations by John Ward which enabled me to picture some of the scenes even better.

I think this book will end up becoming one of my go-to escape books and I couldn’t have chosen better. Give it a go (or a watch!) and tell me what you think below.


Rating: ♥♥♥♥


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