Mr B says I am a born performer. Somehow I am not sure he means this as a compliment.
It may be that he is thinking
of Gangnam Style as performed by Young Faris and me on Mothering Sunday. It had to be seen to be believed; indeed from henceforth we have renamed it Gangnanni Style. Faris's footwork was exemplary while my hand movements were, well, moving.
I don't actually like Gangnam Style particularly - prude that I am I hate hearing angelic three year olds chanting "Sexy Lady!" It comes, I suppose, from having reached A Great Age and
from remembering my dear Mum scolding me for using the word "Blimey!" Didn't I know, she chided me, that it was an abbreviation of "Blind me!" I never used it again.
we were watching grandkids Jack and Hazel in a production of West Side Story. It set me thinking about who they had inherited their undoubted talents at acting, singing and dancing from. Mr B reminds me that as a teenager he used to sing in a local pop group.
Apparently his rendition of Elvis Presley's "Teddy Bear" was legendary. I wasn't around to witness this but who am I, of the squeaky voice and lack of musicality, to argue the point?
I did once take the part of Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth in Form 2a's class production. I wish I could remember wringing my hands hysterically and declaiming "Out, damn spot!" like a Demented Soul but
- shallow as I am - all I can recall is that it gave me the opportunity to don the beautiful lilac bridesmaid's dress I had worn at my brother's wedding.
West Side Story was something completely different. Jack played Arab, one of the Jets, while Hazel was Velma, the girlfriend of gang leader Riff. I watched it twice. This was in line with one of my life's mantras which is: “why
see / do something once, when you could see / do it twice?" It has stood me in good stead on many occasions. It was fortunate, too, because if I had only seen the Tuesday evening performance I would have missed out on all the blood. Grandson Jack had told
me exactly what to expect from a particular fight scene in which he would end up with (fake) blood all down his tee-shirt. As it turned out the blood sac secreted beneath his shirt failed to burst on first night. Such a disappointment. Though his mother, the
Youngest of the Darling Daughters, being the person In Charge Of Laundry, was not nearly as sorry as I was.
was a real injury, though fortunately not involving blood, the following night when Hazel hurt her ribs while being lifted in one of the ballet sequences. When the Assistant Director came to see us at the end of the show to tell us the bad news, Mr B was somewhat
nonplussed. What was Our Hazel doing in a lift anyway, he wanted to know. Our Super Trouper carried on regardless through to the end of the show's run.
West Side Story, as you probably know, is loosely based on Romeo and Juliet - though it is rather more violent and certain graphic scenes are quite difficult to watch. Jack apologised profusely in advance for some of the upsetting
scenes in which his character was involved. He was clearly aware, bless him, that his grandmother is rather a Tender Plant.
Watching the show, my over-riding feeling was of immense pride. Not only pride in my two grandchildren - though, indeed, my heart bursts into (fortunately silent) song to see them on stage - but also pride in all their friends whom I have
watched blossom over the several years since Limelight, the youth theatre group, was formed. I cannot take even the tiniest piece of credit for all they have achieved - but haven't they done well? And how glad I am to have been around to watch and chart their
Born performers, every one of them.
Not at all like me.