WHETHER you love them or hate them, glowing GCSE grades, amusing anecdotes and happy holidays will be dropping through your door this Christmas in the form of round robins.
Fast turning into a traditional part of the British Christmas, the mass-mailed family letter is now the subject of a play by Bunbury writer Julia Edwards.
Around Robin, Julia's first play, saw sellout audiences this week when it premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.
It tells the story of the Pratt family through mum Katie's round robin letters, showing how each year she carefully chronicles the family's news.
Julia, development manager at the Hammond School, says she was inspired to write the story as a novel four years ago after receiving a bulk of round robins.
'Lots of my friends began writing these round robin letters and sending them with Christmas cards,' she said. 'It never failed to amaze me just how much personal information they gave away and how unintentionally hilarious they were.'
'Sometimes they would be telling wonderful success stories but there would be a human tragedy going on behind.
'What the play does is give people the opportunity to think about how funny this is and laugh out loud whereas when they have been receiving these letters they have been unable to do that.'
As yet unpublished, the novel was adapted for the stage this year after a commission by playwright Alan Ayckbourn, who runs the Stephen Joseph theatre and is committed to staging new writing.
Julia said she was given support and encouragement by the theatre and director Denise Gilfoyle.
She is now planning to write sequel to the story, called What Katy Did Next, but says friends and neighbours should not be too concerned about seeing their past round robins on stage in her work.
'I have taken elements of my own life and woven these in with other people's stories, but it is a work of fiction which I think has a lot of resonance for people today.'