Impossible! That's what you think!

Smiling through pain,’ she yelled, ‘Smiling through your tears! Smiling through your fears! Smiling through your ears.’ And then something snapped. ‘Smiling through your teeth! Smiling through your knees,’ she cried, thrusting a leg out. ‘Smiling through your feet, elbow, your head and,’ she added, turning her back on them and bowing, ‘smiling through your bum!’

When twelve-year-old Josie describes what is expected from the pupils at the stultifying stage school she has been attending, after being asked about it by the down to earth director Joan Littlewood, the response is applause and laughter. Josie and the man who has been protecting her, have been discovered by her hiding on the roof of her theatre in the rain, and she wants to know everything about them.

It is during the first week at this particular stage school, that tomboy Josie is informed firmly by the headmistress that it will be impossible for to be given any acting work for a very long time. The reason being is that she looks like a boy, has a working-class accent and even has the wrong number of freckles. Fortunately, being at the right place at the right time she is offered a role in a play. Unfortunately, being at the wrong place at the wrong time she is hurled into danger and while on the run from two thugs, she is rescued by a Mr Beauvoisin, a French African gentleman, who is fleeing from a gang of teddy boys.

Having happily hidden in the theatre, spying on Joan Littlewood’s revolutionary rehearsals, Mr Beauvoisin realises that because Josie’s whereabouts are now known to the criminals, she is in even more danger. Events escalate dramatically. Meanwhile, Auntie Win (her ex-army aunt), Mr Beauvoisin, Scotland Yard and the River Police are keeping an eye on her.

And Josie? All she wants to do, is spend time doing what she loves most, stepping inside the skin of other human beings and looking at the world through their eyes. In other words, act.   

Published on 16 October 2014

Format: Paperback, Age range: 11+
ISBN: 978-1-909991-04-0


A compelling story of London’s theatre world at the start of the 60s as Josie tries to find success as an actress.

12-year old Josie attends a finishing-style stage school. She dreams of being on stage, but is firmly told she has no acting ability. Fortunately she finds herself cast as a boy in an American comedy – but she is mistaken for the star and kidnapped and imprisoned in a dockside warehouse. Managing to escape, she and a fellow runaway take refuge in the Theatre Royal in Stratford. They are offered work by the legendary Joan Littlewood, founder of the Theatre Workshop Company. Much to Josie’s surprise this leads to a role in a Saturday-morning film. However, the kidnappers haven’t given up yet and they are on Josie’s trail… Impossible! is a story that will keep readers enthralled chapter by chapter as the drama unfolds- rather like the film that Josie is in.

'Take a bow, Ms Magorian, for a marvellous production'

A selection of new reviews for Impossible! are in:

A compelling story of London’s theatre world at the start of the 60s as Josie tries to find success as an actress. Impossible! packs in all the drama of a real-life stage production with its colourful cast of characters, authentic backdrop and nail-biting suspense. Take a bow, Ms Magorian, for a marvellous production…
Lancashire Evening Post

How I have waited for ‘the next’ Michelle Magorian novel! And here it is, and it is absolutely perfect and well worth the six-year wait, and I love it! (No apologies for the exclamation marks. There is one in the title of the book, too.) There is no need to be interested in acting. The story will make you want to know … This is feel-good excitement of the very best kind
Ann Giles (Bookwitch)
Part theatre story, part adventure and part homage to Joan Littlewood, the trail-blazing maverick director and founder of the Theatre Workshop … an immersive read, featuring a wonderful cast of characters and great dialogue, in a beautifully written novel, full of incident and humour.
The Guardian
A thrilling read as lead character Josie tackles adversity to follow her dream as a actress. Michelle Magorian is the author of Goodnight Mister Tom and a series of books for young teens that makes her one of the first authors to specialise in the genre. Her unflinching realistic approach and her warmth and humour makes her books unputdownable.
Sunday Express
Michelle Magorian brings the excitement of being part of a theatre company to life in this action-packed and rip-roaring adventure
Love Reading 4 Kids
Buy this teenage novel published by Troika … the backdrop is terrific!
The Stage