Death by School performance

As the festivities are in full swing and we are having a lazy day, it gives me time to reflect on probably the part of Christmas that I truly detest. The school Christmas play. This year, even my children told me not to bother to come and see it. Luckily, I was able to protest and say how much I would have love to have come, but it clashed with parents’ evening at the college. What a hard-hearted cow, you must be thinking, but please let me enlighten you as to why I find it an annual form of torture.
Each year we enter the school hall. It is over-crowded with pushy, loud parents, clambering for the front seats. All of them have camcorders and want the best view. Anyone who is not seated in the front two rows, rarely sees or hears anything. It doesn’t help that my children, who are pretty short, are also placed at the back of the stage behind a really large kid. So we resign ourselves to seeing and hearing nothing for the next hour. The snatches of the performance that we do catch tend to be the songs that they sing every year e.g. Alexandra Burke’s Hallelujah (a song which I have grown to detest). For some reason the children sing all the songs in American accents. Despite rehearsing for weeks, the children rarely seem to have any idea what they are supposed to be doing and look as bored as we do. Invariably, at least three people have not had the courtesy to turn off their mobiles and have a chat on their phone during the performance.
I have resigned myself to taking a book with me. I wave enthusiastically at the beginning to my kids and then sit quietly at the back, ensuring I take in key elements of the performance so that I can chat to them about it, as though worldly wise, at the end.
There was only one performance that was memorable. My husband and I were somewhere in the midst of the audience, reading our books, when a horrific noise assaulted our ears. We looked up to see a kid in the middle row of the choir, projectile vomit on to the kids in the row in front. We closed our books, as it looked like a good variation from the year before’s performance. The children in the front row were covered and had to be escorted off to be changed. Their disgusted faces were pretty amusing. The row behind vomiting child, all held their noses and went varying shades of green.
‘This is the best one we’ve been to. I don’t think anything will top this,’ whispered my husband, in delight, as the teachers ran around with buckets and mops, in a very Benny Hill-like fashion. The head teacher put on some upbeat music in the background, to try and distract our attention from the pantomime unfolding in front of us. I must admit, it was one of their better performances.

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~ by envisioningutopia on December 27, 2011.

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