A stab at stardom beckons

Daughter #2 spends so much time at dance classes and play rehearsals that we're starting to think being a school pupil is just a part-time job.


Four nights a week dancing and at least one at school polishing her performance for the next production, it’s a wonder she’s got time for maths, physics, chemistry, RE, English, Spanish, history, PE and biology (apologies if I missed one out but it’s hard to keep track).

Me and the boss’ role has diminished over the years. Once we were parents, the go-to guys for everything. Now we’re chauffeurs, picking up and dropping off daughter #2 and her co-performers to lessons, rehearsals and shows.

Now and again all the hard work has a pay-off and it’s showtime. Which is how we ended up at the Octagon Theatre (pictured) to see daughter #2 and her drama friends from school perform the play The Snow Dragons as part of the National Theatre Connections Festival. From daughter #2’s grim updates about the fraught rehearsal process we were expecting a GCSE version of The Play That Goes Wrong. Massive last-minute changes, cry-offs, tantrums and anger.

So me and the boss sat in the audience not quite knowing what to expect, Acorn Antiques or Black Mirror.

The basic plot of The Snow Dragons is a bunch of kids are in a forest overlooking their town which is ransacked and taken over by an invading army. Gripping but not many chuckles to be had.

Anyway, it was magnificent. The kids were brilliant, the set was awesome, the music was eerie and they even shot some video, intercut between the live action to show the back story of the invasion. A lot of effort had gone into it and it showed. For someone who spends her time away from school, dance classes and rehearsals lying on the sofa watching Friends and Catfish, straight-batting every attempt at conversation by mumbling inaudibly, we heard daughter #2 as clear as a bell while on stage.

Funny, that. Like the rest of the crew, she wasn’t hammy, didn’t over-egg it and helped to tell an upsetting story well. Now she’s got the bug and wants to make a career of it. Watch this space.