Marmalade Atkins – another sell out RGS drama production!

Marmalade Atkins was a TV series created by the genius satirist Andrew Davies in the 1980s. It starred Charlotte Coleman as the rebellious Marmalade and, alongside Why Don’t You?, Saturday Superstore and Dusty Bin, became vital viewing for me growing up in the early 80s. There were hard-backed annuals in addition to the TV broadcasts and a series of brilliant books: Educating Marmalade, Marmalade Atkins in Space and Marmalade on the Ball. It was still the joyous era of three TV channels. The explosion of MTV into my living room unleashed a whole string of neon pop stars, who, shared their shoulder-pads and leg-warmers, and screamed their synth-pop loudly at me whilst Thatcher was caught rubbing alongside Noel Edmunds in a geometric jumper. Marmalade had a mini-punk sensibility – a disinterested brand of mayhem- but she is still firmly grounded in the catapult-twanging naughtiness of Just William and Minnie the Minx. The japes and jaunts hold a strong link to the gentle comedy of the 60s and 70s. 

I feel very fortunate to have extremely skilled ex-students with a passion for theatrical adaptation. Izzy Radford has taken Davies’ books and the TV series and smashed out a new adaptation for us at RGS. This is a bespoke commission for the students at school. I could not have imagined a better human to adapt the best bits of the 25 Thames Television episodes and the books for a brand, new audience. This production is the parody of all things 80s – the references to Barbara Wodehouse, Grange Hill, Porridge, Star Trek are scattered throughout the show, as are the theme tunes from my childhood TV watching.

The show provided the audience a sprinkle of Crackerjack nostalgia and a splash of Tiswas mayhem.   

View more from the show here.

Sarah Branston 


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