An esteemed theatre critic, writing about our Hazel Bagel's stunning performance as Penny Pingleton in "Hairspray" described her as demonstrating the character's "demented innocence"
to perfection. Someone's dad, in the interval (or, as the Eldest of the Darling Daughters would term it "half time") confessed to being totally exhausted just watching her manic manoeuvrings on stage. We, who know her so well, nodded wisely and said:"That's
our girl!" Or words to that effect.
At the end of the show, waiting in the foyer for Mr B, who was visiting the facilities, I overheard a gaggle of girls enthusing that: "The girl who played Penny was amazing!"
I wished I had a large badge saying "I am Penny's Nan". I could have swanned around ensuring that everyone saw it and could comment appropriately.
An example for those who don't know the musical: plans are
afoot for a protest march in a bid to force the producers of the Corny Collins TV dance show to allow the integration of black and white dancers, the musical being set in the less enlightened early Sixties Baltimore. Everyone should carry signs, someone suggested.
"And we'll have WORDS on them!" exclaimed the irrepressible Penny aka Our Hazel. Laugh? I nearly cried with laughter. Hazel's portrayal of Penny reminded me of dippy Alice in the Vicar of Dibley though, as Hazel has never seen the programme, it has to be said
that this particular characterisation was Pure Hazel.
How lucky we have been to watch Team Baldwin in so many stellar performances over the years. As the unofficial adopted Nanna to the talented Limelighters,
I have also had the pleasure to get to know the whole team of young people as they have grown and developed their theatrical skills. For this production they joined the adult company but more than held their own. Indeed so tall has my young friend Coonor,
who played Link Larkin with his customary flair, grown that Mr B did not recognise him. It may have been the kiss curl on his forehead of course. Connor's that is, not Mr B's.
Young Jack, who provided his
own brand of brilliant dancing and acting as part of the Corny Collins Gang, found the After Show party went on a bit too long. By the time he found his way to bed at 3 a.m. he was so over tired that every time he almost nodded off to sleep his over-active
mind took him back to the party. It sounded exhausting. Mr B and I sympathised, comfortable in the knowledge that we had retired to our beds at the Almost Reasonable Time of 11.30 p.m.
Today, the day after
the final performance of Hairspray, was our second Mothering Sunday. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters, unable to make our get-together last weekend, had decreed that the date of this year's event had been moved. Why have one Mothering Sunday, when you
could have two? It's the kind of logic that would make perfect sense to Penny Pingleton.
A late lie-in, a leisurely breakfast, a walk in the sunshine, a delicious dinner. Small pleasures.
But precious with it.