Jaqui's Daily Blog

A Leavers' Concert and a New Curtain Up

The Youngest of the Darling Daughters has reluctantly agreed that she will take responsibility for video recording "Seize the Day", the latest production by the Limelight Theatre Group, of which my grandchildren Jack and Hazel are founder members. This will be Jack's final performance with Limelight, being now officially an adult - so it seems even more important than ever to record the happy scene.

Nobody else has come forward to take on the task and the Y of the DDs is well aware that her father (that's Mr B to you, of course) will be anxious to watch the recording of the show as he is unable to attend the actual performance. Besides, she says, even if a young Limelight supporter came forward with an offer of help, would we really trust him / her with the task? Not because he or she would not be far advanced, technologically speaking, than either of us - but would they be able to resist the temptation of (i) zooming in and out at speed; (ii) swopping people's heads over; or (iii) adding whiskers and rabbit's ears to various performers' faces? As one whose photos have been doctored thus, I take her point.

While the final dress rehearsal is underway in the Community College, I repair to a nearby Costa Coffee with my sister and her fella. I am probably well out of it as there are quite a few last minute catastrophes to be resolved. Things like a shortage of cardboard cups for the interval refreshments, a lack of milk and sugar, a deficiency in the black plastic sack department (refuse for the collection in) and a missing tripod on which to perch the video camera. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters sends a list of Missing Items to her husband who will, she feels sure, Come To The Rescue.

As it happens her Knight in Shining Armour has other pressing concerns at home, due to the fact that the alarm on my car, parked untidily on the front garden, keeps going off at frequent intervals, disturbing the neighbours. I, enjoying my egg and mayo sandwich and large latte, fail to hear the urgent pinging of messages on my mobile phone entreating me to return and deal with this Alarming Situation. It is not until we arrive back at the concert venue that I am acquainted with the problem and by then it's too late to do anything about it.

It is five years since Limelight was formed and I have been one of its supporters since the beginning, doing my bit where I could to help promote each concert, show and theatrical production. All through the years I have watched all the Limelighters - not just our own twosome - grow and flourish. I chat to Ollie's mum, who is sitting next to me, as we wait for the concert to begin. Haven't they all come such a long way? we say. There's nothing quite like musical theatre for involvement - unless it's sport? we agree.

The first act allows lots of Limelighters, old and new, to have their own Special Moment on the stage. Our Hazel sings about her One Perfect Moment in Time. Tears fall. Mine that is. I am wishing not one, but lots and lots of perfect moments for my Golden Girl. At the end of the concert, she will pay her own tribute to Jack. More tears will fall. Sometimes we can underestimate the bond between a brother and a sister, especially one forged through treading the boards together, sharing the fun, the challenges, the occasional disappointments, the starry triumphs.

I love the photographic record of Limelight's first five years beamed onto a large screen before the start of the second Act. It says it all about a young people's theatre group based on friendship, fun and taking part - not just about being a star.

The two "leavers", Jack and his talented friend Philippa, take over the first half of the second act with two amazing solos apiece and a hilarious duet - "This Song That Goes Like This" from Spamalot - perfectly executed for maximum humour. We are all getting very emotional as we build towards the end of the show.

And so to that finale - the brainwave of Jack's lovely girlfriend Zoë who has choreographed a poignant but rousing rendition of "Five Hundred Miles." It's a song about friendship and how far we would be prepared to travel to keep in touch with each other - the perfect end to the concert. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters comments later that perhaps it should become the accepted finale to all Limelight Leavers' Concerts in future. I agree. I'm all for introducing new traditions, as you know.

"All the world's a stage," someone rather more famous than I once memorably said. Thanks in no small part to the self-confidence, inspiration and friendship Limelight has given him, I reckon Our Jack is well ready for his next Curtain Up.




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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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