Sunday evening I went to see my first and third daughters in a show they did with their Theatre Train (TT) group. I took my second with me, who was very excited.It was annoying that we couldn’t take pictures or videos of the performance but that was by-the-by, especially when I saw that the staff was standing by the aisles, torches in hand, shining it in the face of anyone who was trying to be smart.
The atmosphere was tense and it could be cut with a knife. The audience that was filled with friends and family must have been more nervous than the children.
I know I was.
Then, the curtains came up and the show began.
My daughter sitting next to me jumped in excitement.
Some of the children came on stage and the show began. My seat was fairly decent even though I had a huge hair bun from the seat in front blocking some of my view.
The curtains came up and the scene was set. The older group did their bit, then the rest of them came on.
There was my eldest, happy, proud and giving it her all. She knew the words to the songs and danced to the choreography without having to look at her friends.
My daughter and I couldn’t stop smiling.
Everyone left the stage and along came the TT minis being held by hand in a row by some of the older kids.
‘Hi!’ They said in unison.
And amongst them was my third. She looked nervous and was looking around for anyone she recognised.
I waved, but the bun was in the way.
She did her bit, then was taken off stage.
A couple more songs were sung to the theme of Friendship and the minis came out again with their ‘hi!’
My daughter was hiding behind one of the older kids.
Oh no, she was tired and cranky.
The other kids did their lines and she didn’t speak when it was her turn.
It was the longest few seconds of silence I had ever experienced.
We had our interval and the show started once more.
They did a few more songs and then my eldest came out on her own.
She did a little introduction then started her scene.
I was enthralled and her sister was in awe.
She had a small lead and she was performing like a professional actress.
She did not miss a cue and she knew all her lines even though she was not allowed to bring them home.
The minis came out once more and I braced myself.
She wasn’t hiding this time, but she still didn’t look happy.
They started talking and this time she said her lines…
Sorry, let me correct myself, she whispered her lines.
I was glad she had moved her lips.
The whole lot of TT came out with cardboard instruments and front centre of was my eldest giving it all she had like a real rock star.
Then came the final song.
TT and the minis came out. My youngest on stage still didn’t look happy, but when she realised what song it was, that it had been played countless times at home, she started singing dancing and jumping like nothing had happened during the whole performance. She had lost herself in this performance and my happy girl was back.
They took their bow as the audience frantically applauded their children and the lady that runs the program came out to give her speech and give her thanks.
She was happy and proud of her students and teaching staff.
Then the magic words came out of her mouth, ‘ you can pic your children up outside the doors of the auditorium.’
We all rushed out, it was half eight in the evening and smiling, the children came out, tired yet beaming.
TT had been there since half ten in the morning and the minis since two in the afternoon, rehearsing for their show.
All I had for my kids was praise, I felt like the proudest dad in the world. I’m sure all the other parents felt the same.
My mini is used to going to bed by half six, seven the latest, so to be up an extra hour and a half and to perform the way she did was a great accomplishment.
She’s the type of child to be sitting on the couch, relaxing, by half five, so even with her little silent tantrum, I was incredibly proud of her.
I was amazed by my eldest, she committed at everything she does, but to be given such a big role and to perform it so well shows what hard work can achieve.
Normally, TT shows are preformed at big theatres in London, like the Palladium, with other factions round the country, but this year it was only our lot in a local theatre so that the minis could perform as well.
It was a sort of experiment because they had only started the minis last year and I do believe it went better than expected.
I love seeing my children perform, but this was amazing and to see my TT perform so well that it seemed effortless was out of this world.
I do hope they do it again and my for my mini to perform like she did during the last song.
And here is song they sang as a finale: