Sunshine in a bottle from start to finish

School plays have come a long way since our daughters were in primary school.

Back then we were delighted to see them in their nativity plays dressed in giant star costumes that made them look like Partick Thistle’s mascot Kingsley.

All they had to do was stand there and mouth the words to a few carols while hundreds of giddy, weeping parents in the audience recorded the entire show on camcorders the side of breeze blocks.

How times have changed.

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On Tuesday night me, the boss and daughter #1 went to see daughter #2 in her school’s production of Beauty And The Beast.

Put it this way, they had an orchestra.

And not only that, it sounded as good as anything you’ll hear in a West End show.

Everyone in the show was magnificent. The singing was outstanding, the acting was great and the costumes were brilliant. Everything about it was mesmeric.

It’s no coincidence that it was so wonderful because of the rehearsals the cast had done.

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We have a rehearsal and performance timetable taped to our fridge door and the hours on it look like the rota at Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct workhouse.

Daughter #2 choreographed a dance routine for part of the Be Our Guest showstopper.

She got us to video her trying out the steps and gradually it all came together.

But during the interval we got a text from her that all was not well.

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Why was the audience just sitting there staring and not making much noise?

The reason for that was we were dumbstruck at how good it was.

These were kids who have turned up at our house for lifts to stage shows and birthday parties and here they were, on stage belting out Disney classics while dressed as Belle and the Silly Girls.

Everyone involved should take a bow because there was fairy dust sprinkled in the school hall that night.

It looked and sounded triumphant.

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But of course the audience just turn up on the night, buy a programme and take our seats. We don’t see the hard work backstage that makes it run so smoothly.

The whole thing was sunshine in a bottle from start to finish.

And judging by the kids’ beaming faces as they took they bows, they loved it too.