Long live drama and the school play!

Friday, January 1, 2016 • Liverpool Arts Society

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So, last night after being traipsed round town shopping for last bits for Christmas, and then filling up on a delicious five guys, I headed to my old school to watch their Christmas show. I get the wrong bus and thus have to face a 30 minute walk but it’s all good. I’m feeling festively plump and I’m walking off that full stomach. When I arrive, the doors are yet to open so I’m stood outside in the surprisingly mild weather with a few arl ones. It’s 25 minutes until the doors open. The double doors at the entrance of the school hall are made of glass with a table set up just past it for tickets and what not. Looking through that window was like looking in to a snapshot of the past.

I’ve been here before in those exact shoes, warming up with my greasy long hair thinking I was the cats pyjamas and the absolute master of my own universe. I wasn’t of course and neither are these kids but they think they are and that holds a certain stupid annoyance for me. I’m finding myself tutting and cringing like I’ve just stepped out of a Bentley and have 6 mil in the bank. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a while that, this strange feeling and it’s not contempt obviously I don’t really know how to explain it but I just know I feel irritated by it. The caretaker steps up. He unlocks the first door and people actually started getting giddy. “oooo here he comes” somebody in the crowd said, “come on let us in mate”. He approaches the second door and the excitement has peaked, I don’t how I contained myself, I’m sure I seen at least 2 women wet themselves on the spot with anticipation. He turns that key and then… Nothing. Just a loud shrill beeping that wouldn’t stop. This went on for far too long like a show down in a western until somebody from inside walked up to the doors and they opened. The people around me start pouring in like we were going in to battle. Charrgeeeeeee!

 Anyway I sat down and eventually the play started. Jack and the Beanstalk. Now I’m watching it and I’m going through the motions, I’m laughing, I’m joking around and I’m even booing and cheering. Jesus. But then something happened towards the end of the first act that I wasn’t expecting at all. There was a moment where Jack was trying to decide how best to confess his feelings towards the love of his life, Jill. One of the members of the chorus suddenly produces a microphone from thin air and a backing track kicks in to life. Now it’s worth mentioning that by this point the sweat is dripping from the ceiling in our gargantuan school hall and it’s pissing off me and my forehead is soaked. I’ve even fashioned a little venetian style fan out of the programme and irritation is at all time high. So, ultimately, I’m thinking, “oh, here were fucking go. Another song. Is the interval soon because this is getting to be far too much.”

But then this little kid starts singing and it’s quite genuinely brought a tear to my eye. Now, the people who know me personally often regard me as a bit of an ‘ard bastard you see. Cock of our group and all that, so getting a tear out of me is like getting blood from a stone but this just did something to me. If i was feeling festive before then it had surely reached its peak now. After this lad had finished singing the whole room burst into rapturous applause and I looked down to find that my usually cold dead hands were clapping of their own accord. The look on his little face after his had finished and brought the house down was magic, he looked so taken aback by the audience reaction but also completely proud of himself. For me , that’s surely what it’s all about. Because you know what, you can say what you like about School plays, pantomimes and anything else in between but when all is said and done, you just cannot beat moments like that. The pure joy that was captured at that precise moment and right there in that moment, that little lad was the master of his own universe.

You smashed it kid and I hope you never lose that feeling you had last night. This is why I love what I do and the industry I want to further myself in. Because I took that feeling I had when I was a snotty nosed kid in school and I held on to it. It’s hard to keep going with Drama at the best of times. It was hard for me then and I know its just as hard now. But believe me when I say its all worth it and more because if doing this kind of thing gives you something to hold on for and work towards then what the fuck is wrong with that? So crack on kids, you are the dog’s bollocks and you are the masters of your own destiny. Love live Drama and long live the school play!