Young hearts, run free...

>> Thursday, 4 December 2008

So tell me... what do waiters carrying oversized papiermache bottles, little boys dressed as sheep with white bowler hats on, angels with fluffy pink hair, and 3 pint-sized Elvis Presley's all have in common?

Nothing, obviously.

Unless, that is, you happen to have been at my son's Christmas show this afternoon, in which case you would have seen all of the above plus dancing snowflakes (with sparkly silver wigs - of course), shepherds, and a very glamorous Mary - complete with tiara and party dress, though missing the baby Jesus (who I imagine was home with the nanny, this was Chelsea after all) - and Joseph all on one stage at the same time...

It was, dear reader, fab-u-lous. After 3 years of nursery school festive extravaganzas, where Boy #1 spent the first two productions sitting on the edge of the stage weeping in his teacher's arms, and the last enjoying himself but being hissed at by an over-excited drama teacher in the wings to stay in time during the Scottish reel, I must admit that our expectations were not high.

This, though, was a whole different ballgame.

The children had been working on the play since the middle of October, and it showed. I don't think I would ever have expected to see fifty 5 year-olds so comfortable with themselves when faced with a hall filled with waving gibbering adults, sniffing loudly, and firing off cameras at the slightest chance their child might speak. And yes, I'm afraid I probably should include myself in that description, by the way. I didn't actually cry with pride, but it was a close thing. I even went so far as to pull out a hanky, ostensibly for a still-snotty Boy #2, but really for myself. Just in case, you understand...

For those of you hoping for some kind of coherent plot though, forget it. There was one - sort of - but it didn't bear much relation to any kind of nativity I've ever seen.

What? You want to know anyway?

Right... Joseph and Mary were having dinner out - as you do, in Bethlehem-sur-Chelsea - surrounded by other diners, being served by waiters, when all of a sudden a bevy of pink-haired angels arrived. The angels did a dance, everyone sang a song, one little angel - Whoops-a-Daisy - was singled out as always being in trouble, and instead of doing an important job (cue song from the other angels), was only allowed to count snowflakes. The snowflakes arrived and did a dance. Cue song. 3 shepherds and their sheep turned up, followed by the 3 kings, dressed fantastically as Elvis all in white (his 'Las Vegas years' wardrobe, I believe), and sashayed around to 'A little Less Conversation, a Little More Action'. (They brought the house down. Obviously). Then another song (by this time the stage was quite crowded), celebrating that Whoops-a-Daisy had finally got it right, and End. Tumultuous applause. Another song - in French, apparantly, though not like any Francais that I had ever heard - and then after yet more tumultous applause, the cast danced to 'Young Hearts, Run Free', and then it was home in time for tea...

Whew.

Unfortunately the reports of front-trotting had been exaggerated and it didn't make the final cut (if indeed it was ever included in the first place), but even without that Boy #1 was a revelation to us. He was bouncing around on the stage, singing along (even when he perhaps shouldn't have been, but you can't have everything), shimmying down to the beat, and putting expression and feeling into every phrase.

All joking aside, I have to say that the way that all the children behaved - self-posessed and confident without being in the slightest bit precious or arrogant - and the relaxed and happy atmosphere did more to convince us that we had chosen the right school for our son than any end of term report could ever do.

So I will leave you with the song that has refused to leave me since this afternoon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFhi0fRiQzA

9 comments:

Iota 4 December 2008 at 23:05  

Wot, no front trot?

But it sounds as if the disappointment was minimal. Glad you had a fab show, but that's so funny about Mary and Joseph going out to dinner - it's just so Chelsea!

sharon 5 December 2008 at 02:06  

Awwww. I've gone all misty-eyed now. Shame about the absence of front trotting though!

Mud in the City 5 December 2008 at 09:08  

That sounds like quite a show. Were the small Elvi allowed to keep their jump suits and will they be performing in Chelsea anytime soon? As a local I think I'd pay decent money to see that!

Potty Mummy 5 December 2008 at 14:18  

Iota, I know, what a shame. And yes - it was definitely the Chelsea version of the Christmas story!

Sharon, apologies again for the lack of front trotting!

Mud, not sure. I particularly liked the one with the big sunglasses with sideburns stuck on... (you see now I'm just teasing you)

nappy valley girl 5 December 2008 at 14:20  

It sounds fantastic, (despite the absence of front trotting, which must have been a blow). There must be an excellent music/drama teacher behind that somewhere. I was lucky enough to have someone like that at my primary school, and I think she inspired many of us into a lifelong love of the theatre....

The Guider 5 December 2008 at 16:46  

That sounds fantastic, and just how these things should be. My son is going to be a shepherd next week and I can't wait.

Thames 5 December 2008 at 19:22  

Sounds like it was quite a show...

Ours is next week, which mean one more weekend of rehersals -- the teacher told them to close the door and shout their lines at the top of their little lungs.

Work at home daddy really did not appreciate this.

Potty Mummy 5 December 2008 at 21:12  

NVG, an excellent drama teacher, a school with a strong musical heritage, and some really off-the-wall class teachers it seems...

Hi Guider, thanks for visiting and good luck with the shepherd's debut!

Thames - I so know how you feel being caught in the middle!

The Finely Tuned Woman 6 December 2008 at 05:33  

Oh, it sounds wonderful. Even I would have gotten teary eyed at the sight of that spectacle. Wish I had been there, really!

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