When you live with two teenage daughters and the same woman you’ve been with since 1995, drama queens are never in short supply.
Which is ironic because daughter #2, who sits her GCSEs next summer, doesn’t want to do A-levels. Her dream is to go to a performing arts school and train to be an actress.
She’s deadly serious. We’ve been to open days, filled in incredibly detailed application forms and arranged an audition with the National Youth Theatre next year.
Last week daughter #2’s school invited parents to watch their GCSE Drama: Devised pieces. There were five, all written by the students on topics which have been in the news.
The thing is, the news over the last few years has been like the most harrowing episode of Black Mirror you’ve ever seen – and the plays were pitched somewhere between that and the 1980s nuclear war drama Threads.
So we had 10 minutes each on the last days of Amy Winehouse, pictured, missing RAF airman Corrie Mckeague, Hillsborough, post-traumatic stress disorder and the First World War. Not many chuckles to be had there but lots of good performances.
We’ve been watching daughter #2’s plays and dance shows for years and, because they’re children’s performances, it’s generally all sweetness and light. Daughter #2 and her pal were up first in a two-woman performance about what might have been going through Amy Winehouse’s head in the days before her death. In everyday life you’re lucky to get three words out of daughter #2, but put her on stage and she changes into a cross between Sheridan Smith and, er, Amy Winehouse.
For one scene she’d reserved a seat in the audience plonking herself down next to a terrified-looking young lad and delivered her monologue to him at the top of her voice. An experience he won’t forget in a hurry and neither will we.
Next up is her dance school’s annual show, where her solo performance involves spinning around a hoop six feet off the ground dressed as a lady of the night. Times change.