Hickory Dickory Dock is one of Baby Faris's favourite songs in his Book of Noisy Nursery Rhymes. But, I have to tell you, the Noisy Nursery Rhymes Book's version was as a lullaby compared with last night's performance
by a dozen two and three year olds on stage at the Princes Theatre in Aldershot.
So loudly did they chant the words that they were on line three before I had worked out exactly what they were singing,
though the grandfather clock in the background should have been a giveaway.
We were in the audience to watch Jack and Hazel in the Loose Moose Theatre Arts production Showcase 2013. Tickets
were £14 each but children, students, senior citizens and the military were just £12. It's the first time I've seen a concession for military personnel - what a good idea - but then we were in Aldershot, I suppose. We made up quite a party,
what with the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and her fella, his mother, two young friends Zoe and Connor (Connor reads my blog every day so deserves a Special Mention for Consistency and Loyalty), Mr B and me. Mr B bought us a packet of fruit pastilles
between us - it was fortunate indeed that there were rather long gaps between items as this gave us the opportuity to pass the packet along the row, with all the consequent scrabbling noises as everyone tried to locate their favourite colour sweet, without
disturbing the performance.
I am forever amazed at how it is possible to create a show involving so many children - I counted the names on the cast list and it was 141. How do you even begin to put
together a programme which will showcase all 141 of them? I am all admiration.
There were no fewer than fifty of them on stage for the opening number with a circus theme. Jack was a clown in those
baggy trousers kept up, precariously, by stretchy braces. He then had to execute a swift costume change while the littl'uns were enchanting us all with Hickory Dickory Dock, before appearing on stage again, doing his Fred Astaire impression as a tap dancing
Mr Pinstripe Suit, with a gaggle of gorgeous girls including sister Hazel. As tap-dancing goes it was fast and furious and the whole audience loved it.
Oh, look, the littl'uns are back again,
singing The Tooth Fairy Loves Ballet. Occasionally they even remember their steps. I'm sure I saw a plie or two. The Tooth Fairy may love ballet but we all love these wannabe ballerinas.
first half finishes with the true life story of "The Newsies" - the newsboys who organised a strike in 1899 against the profiteering publishers. I am desperately trying to locate Hazel among the cast but miss her until the Youngest of the Darling Daughters
puts me right in the Interval. It's such a shame there are no Action Replays in the theatre.
What can I say about the second half, which started with a balletic Cinderella, moved on to Street
Dance, followed by Poppa Piccolino - which you must admit demonstrates considerable versatility.
The whole show was a triumph. Jack and Hazel were stars, we all agreed. We may be biassed
but we know a good thing when we see it. The finale was that wonderful Jubilee song "Sing" which always makes me cry.
That's what it's all about, isn't it? To put on a show which makes the audience
laugh, cry, say "aaah.." at the littl'uns and, occasionally, gasp in amazement at the talents of the young ones.
It's called show business!