Every year at our school the kids perform in a Grade Concert, singing and dancing with their class. It is gorgeous to watch the kids each year, and also fascinating to see their improvement and development over time. When they are Preppies they are outrageously cute but slightly chaotic; by the time they reach grade 6 they are seasoned and capable performers. It is really quite wonderful watching how much cleverer they get year by year, and I feel very lucky to live in an age where recording their efforts, either by concert dvds, digital cameras and even blogging, is so easy. It means that I can look back and chart the development, and boy, they've come a long way, those babies.
Last year, Climber really got the performance bug. Grade 5/6 is the first year where the kids work with a script, which means speaking parts for some of the kids. He'd been too shy to audition for a speaking part that year, but was regretting this by the time the show went on and was absolutely set on winning a speaking part this year. When the time came to audition he learned his monologue and even got the guts up to sing (he did Consider Yourself from Oliver! and sang both Oliver and the Artful Dodger's parts), thereby putting himself in contention for a 'lead role' rather then just a class speaking role.
He was very excited when he heard that he'd got a [small] lead role and immediately asked if he could text the professional actor in his life, who replied with delighted congratulations and the sage observation that there was no such thing as a small lead role.
After 10 weeks of rehearsal, it was finally time for the Big Night. The show was called Pandora's Box and the basic plot was: Pandora brings together 5 other misunderstood female characters from Fairy Tales / Mythology to help her engineer the re-opening of the box of sins; three geeky boys are the unwitting openers of the box, and with help from The Greek Gods, must get the sins back in the box to save the world.
Climber was cast as Hephaestus. This is him in his toga, ready to leave for the show. I had to go out and specially buy a white sheet, all the single sheets in our house are either colourful or covered in motorbikes or spiderman. Disastrously, as I applied his make-up I accidentally dropped an enormous splodge of liquid foundation on to it and we had to turn it round and re-tie it in a massive panic, with the splodge on the underside at the back and only seconds to go before he needed to be at the theatre. But we made it, he took it all very calmly, and I only swore twice. Here he is in his immortal finery.
Here he is on stage with the other Gods, acting up a storm.
He was so good, if I do say so myself. He really got into character and delivered his lines with confidence and great timing, verve and energy.
Fixit and I completely burst with pride.
As well as the acting scenes, each class performed their own song & dance routine, based on the 7 deadly sins. (Well, most of them - lust was understandably glossed over, this is primary school after all!) Greed featured a medley of Money songs, Vanity was One Singular Sensation from A Chorus Line, Pride (the teacher's routine) was I Am A Pirate King from the Pirates of Penzance, (awesome fun, you really can't go wrong with some G&S!)
Climber's class did Sloth, to a song called I'm Waiting For the World to Change, dressed as Gen Y - the shirts I helped print looked fab! - and they performed most of their routine sitting down. Climber was also a knock-out in this, and in fact I have no idea what any other child did in that routine when he was in the front row because we couldn't take our eyes off him!
His years of dance training stood him in good stead, but his stage
presence was excellent too. Stage Mother Pride Dial had pretty much
exploded past maximum by the end of that routine.
The final sin, Wrath, was a war song (Seven Nations Army), but at its close
the geeky boys released Hope and the production ended with The Age of Aquarius and Let The Sun Shine In. Happy endings, beautiful inspiring children.
It was such a good night, such a wonderful show. The thing I liked
the best about it was the commitment from the children. Every single
one of them was up there giving it everything and they all looked like
they were enjoying their moment.
The audience was glowing and buzzing with delight afterwards. Fantastic. And such a lovely high note for Climber's last year at Primary School.
3 hours ago