The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

9:15am on Friday, 11th February, 2005:

School Plays


Yesterday, I went to my elder daughter's school play (Fame — they seem to prefer musicals over dramas). In common with practically everyone else in the audience, I was there for one reason only: to watch my own child perform. I had my eyes locked on her the whole time she was on stage (which is probably just as well, given how alarming some of the other kids looked in leotards), so I won't therefore be reviewing the production as a whole here. Come to that, I won't be reviewing it in part, either.

However, as a veteran of several of these evenings, here is my general advice should you ever find yourself going to one yourself:

  1. Take a cushion to sit on. School seating the world over is designed for discomfort. You may feel a fool walking in with a cushion, but who's going to feel foolish two hours later when their backside is a slab of pain and yours isn't?

  2. Take a drink. It gets hot in those auditoria, except if they have the air conditioning on, in which case it gets dry. This is a deliberate ploy to make you buy over-priced orange juice during the interval: don't fall for it.

  3. Buy a programme. Ostensibly, this is so you have a memento of your child's performance; actually, it's so you can criticise all the other performers by name when you discuss the show on the way home.

  4. Arrive early. For some reason, it's always the case that more tickets have been sold than there are seats in the hall.

  5. Leave younger kids at home if you can. These things never start on time, and always overrun. For a 2-hour production, count on its taking 3½ hours from leaving your car to getting back into it.

  6. Never go on the last night. They always have presentations afterwards, which means an additional 30 minutes of grinding tedium punctuated by half-hearted applause. Just let us out, you heartless creatures!

  7. Make a will. If there were a fire, you would be burnt alive before you even got to the end of your row of seats. There may be enough fire exits, there just aren't enough ways to get to them.

Follow these simple rules, and you too can enjoy your child's moment of glory while yet retaining much of your sanity.

Referenced by Dark Thoughts.

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).