Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Yesterday, I took the Cherub to see a show in a proper theatre. Which was extra exciting because he knew so many of the stars . And there were many, many stars in this production. You might not have heard about it; it sold out very quickly and was open only to the lucky people in the know.

Yes, it was the Prep through to Grade 2 Concert, and of course the big box office draw for us was the acting talents of The Climber, seen here trying out his costume in our kitchen.

Last year the theme was Fairytales, and Climber was a massive hit as one of the seven wolves - you know that fairy tale, surely? With the 15 pigs?

This year the theme was Celebrations and our class (1K) performed Halloween.

The concert was a guided tour through Melbourne's public holiday calendar, plus a few other special days that don't always guarantee a day off, such as birthdays and St. Valentine's. I notice they left out the Queen's Birthday celebration, though... is there a little pocket of republicanism happening in the Drama Department there? Or did they just think it wouldn't make for good theatre?

Actually the St. Valentine's Day piece was a complete heart-breaker, but not for romantic reasons. No, it was little blonde boy in glasses who became so overwhelmed by the whole concert thing that he had to leave the stage in sobs. Sobs, I tells ya. It was awful. He stayed just visible in the wings, shuddering and weeping while a teacher tried to talk him round. Meanwhile the whole flow of their piece stalled as the kids tried to work out what to do, seeing as the weeping boy hadn't said his bit. And as for the little girl with whom he was supposed to do his bit, I have never seen someone say so clearly, without making a single noise, using every inch of their body, "COME ON!! It's YOUR BIT!!" as this girl was clearly putting across just before he broke down. It was a little bit scary. No wonder he cried. Ah, but moments like these are what Little Kids' Concerts are all about, don't you think?

Anyway, it was a really great concert, and we got really great seats too, by virtue of having helped with the make-up backstage and avoiding the foyer altogether. Elda's report from the front-of-house compared the queue unfavourably with those at a Robbie Williams concert. Whereas Cherub and I bypassed the line and slid straight into the 3rd row, centre. Sometimes virtue is rewarded. Cherub really enjoyed it, although he was not so keen on the gaps between acts when the theatre was dark and the curtains were closed. He mentioned the dark quite a lot during those times. He also knew our friend Emma was sitting in the next row and when her child came on stage he got out of his seat to tell her so. Just in case she hadn't noticed. This is Emma's son next to the Climber, wearing red, during the finale.

This is K, our teacher. Seen here on the left, playing guitar with Tim, our teacher-from-last-year (as an aside, our school has a LOT of male teachers. And they can almost all play the guitar too.)

K is, I think, a bit unused to accepting help from parents. He came to our lovely little middle-class establishment from a much rougher, hard-knock school. So he was blown away by the fact that he had to do nothing about the costuming. A couple of very able parents made, borrowed or found everything needed, from make-up to broomsticks. Which, you know, was just as well, because all though K is a lovely man and a really good teacher and we love him to bits, organisation is NOT his strong suit.

Anyway, I'm just telling you about that because I feel that the Halloween piece might have been better with some choreographic input. (Which I offered.) Because really, our kids came on, repeated a chant 5 times, interspersed with some corny jokes (Where does a vampire keep his money? In the blood bank etc) AND each group of Halloween-ers coming forward, walking around and returning to the spot. Luckily their costumes looked fantastic. And of course the kids were all adorable and did well. But as a theatrical piece, it was a leetle bit ... bland?? Does that sound like sour grapes? I swear it's not. I just like for it to be a good show.

My favourite bit was the Climber unwittingly upstaging the class. They began the piece prone and jumped up to start. Everyone except Climber. Who lay face down with all his might. I could see him straining every nerve and particle of energy into the lying down. I thought one of the kids was going to have to kick him. But eventually he sneaked a look, saw shoes and jumped to his feet. Nothing like a late entrance!

Lack of choreography in 'our' number aside, I think the show as a whole was great. Even if the Principal made nearly the same speech as last year's.

Here is the star and the star's biggest fan being reunited at the stage door. So exciting.

Fixit and Nell are going on Thursday night.


  1. Wow, what an extravaganza! Those must be some very dedicated teachers! Climber looks super serious in his costume. We would get howls of disapproval about doing a halloween theme, for the longest time witches etc were banned - let's not encourage imagination.
    I love the photo of the two boys chatting over the fence.

  2. Jealousssssssssssss !!

    How good is this !?!? :) :)

    I can't wait until it's my turn. This kind of thing ( and library week ) were the highlight of all my days. Unfortunately, they didn't have night performances then, so my mother rarely got to see me, but OMG, stage mother, I will be ;)

    Like Tracey, I love the after-cast party reunion at the stage door :)

  3. Yeah, they're pretty fun, these gigs. I still don't understand how it is that you didn't get to choreograph it, though. Our guys always danced, it was the best bit. I will go to my grave with the memory of my daughter dressed as Bride of Frankenstein, doing the monster mash. Priceless.

  4. The things I have to look forward to! Love the costume :)

  5. Gorgeous!

    Love the costumes, and yes, why didn't you choreograph?

    (And of course, now that all us other primary mothers know where the male teachers have gone, expect some serious poaching action to take place!!)

  6. Waiting to stand up last.... he just wanted the spotlight to himself... future movie star, I say!

    We did the "Three Piggy Opera" last year. There were 9 pigs, 8 wolves, one narrator and tons of kids in chorus. My darling child was a wolf (which suits him perfectly since he always roots for the bad guys) and complained the whole way to the show that I had not put his ears on correctly... until we got there and he saw that the rest of the kids had crap halloween hand-band kitty cat ears while he had the genuine wolf ears attached to ball cap. A star is born.

  7. Wow! What a great school you have there! So many schools in the states seem to keep cutting the theatre-type stuff out for budgetary reasons.

    And love the costumes.

  8. Melbourne's public holiday calendar - what a great theme for a concert! (Although I'm a little miffed the Queen's birthday was omitted...that could have been a hoot)

    What a shame you weren't called on for choreography. I've had several years of kids concert experience now (seasoned stage-mum, I am) and a little choreography makes ALL the difference. :)

  9. Awww! I love a good bit of kiddy theatre - the tears, the tantrums, the cuteness, the costumes and forgotten lines. Pure theatrical gold!

  10. This is great stuff, a nice lively piece of writing.

  11. Stomper, how great does it feel to be a mother at times like these. The heart swells with pride.
    Our son was once Badjelly the witch!

  12. That's fantastic. I can't wait to sit in the audience and weep. Even when LC was little, I'd get him to perform and mouth the words and the actions. Oh yes, I'll be all "Sparkle, Shirley, sparkle!!"

    How cute do those two look in the reunion pic?! You just know Cherub thinks the world is Climber!

  13. Climber is gorgeous in that halloween get up. We really must get our kids together one of these days...


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