This week, it’s all about the boys with the Christmas performances.
Yesterday was my favourite performance ‘of the season’ (to use an Americanised Gary Barlow-ism) – the Beavers and Cubs Christmas show. They haven’t done one in recent memory, but I really hope they consider doing one again because it was lovely. No frills entertainment by a lovely group of 6-11 year old boys. You can’t beat it.
The show kicked off with number 1 son on his violin playing Jingle Bells with his friend on the cornet. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough for me, and all the other parents and grandparents in the room. They stayed in time with each other and it most definitely sounded like Jingle Bells. I was one very proud mummy.
Between all the acts, we sang carols. Well, a couple of people sang loudly and the majority of the audience just mumbled in a vaguely tuneful way. And my daughter moaned because my son had nicked the book with the words in it. She’s a good reader for a 5 year old, but I’m not sure of her ability to follow a carol containing words such as ‘Lo he abhors not the virgin’s womb’.(I’m pleased to report that no-one asked what a virgin’s womb was.)
After the first carol was the Beavers’ performance. They were all in their pyjamas and dressing gowns with their slippers on (massive dogs, in my son’s case) – very cute. They performed a specially written poem about stockings and presents with the children delivering their lines in pairs – talking about Beast Quest books, Harry Potter, football and Puffles. Then they all went and lay on their pillows on the stage and sang Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
The Cubs then performed their acts, mainly in pairs, with a carol in between each one. There was a magic show, break dancing, a puppet show and jokes. The acts were all great and they had obviously worked very hard on them. And they will all go towards their entertainers’ badge, which I’m sure they will be very pleased with.
Possibly the highlight of the show was the comedy sketch at the end with four Cubs, including my eldest, called Radio mix-up. The ‘radio’ is on, but it keeps switching stations between a gardening programme, a cookery programme, a programme about newborn babies and one about mending cars. So it ended up with a baby put in the mincer and cakes dusted in baby powder and oil and grease on the baby’s face. The comedy effect was enhanced by my son, as the chef, who decided to perform the entire thing in a French(ish) accent. It was genuinely very funny and the Beavers were in complete hysterics.
The whole thing was rounded off with the Cubs and Beavers up on stage singing ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ and all the families singing along. What could be better? Cubs and Beavers is amazing and the kids are all lovely.
The week of performances was rounded off by the annual trek to a large church, in which the Key Stage 2 children perform their carol concert. It was the first time for my younger son. My eldest is a veteran, with it being his fourth and final time.
It’s a long day for them. My Dad dropped them off at the church first thing and they rehearsed all day. They did a performance at 2pm, which my Mum and Dad went to watch. Then Grandma and Grandpa took them home and fed them and back to the church at 6pm for their second performance. Which we watched.
I realised when I splashed through the puddles from my parking space five minutes away that it’s times like this when I wish I wasn’t a working mum. I do this every year – arrive minutes before the performance starts, park miles away and I can’t get a seat. I hate not being able to see properly. Note to self – take afternoon off work next year and get a decent seat.
But if I arrive late, there’s one person who always arrives later. Just as the first bars are striking. My husband. At least this year I wasn’t sat near anyone I knew so I could avoid the amused smiles.
There’s nothing quite like children singing to put a smile on your face. Children singing well, children singing badly, children singing quietly, children singing loudly, children not singing when they should be singing. It’s all good.
The years 3-6s, all eight classes of them, were in a big bank of red at the front of the church. It took me some time to locate my beautiful boys, what with me having a massive great pillar blocking my view.
The concert kicked off with the kids singing a couple of songs altogether. Then each year group did a song or two on their own. I was delighted when I saw my younger son stood really near to me to sing his song. But he was facing the wrong way! Well, he was facing the right way, but it was the wrong way for me. He was in a group of children up the side aisle of the church and they were facing inwards to the main body of seats. I was sat in the cheap seats on the other side of the aisle and didn’t get to see his face at all.
In between the year groups’ performances were some musical performances and some readings. My eldest played violin as part of the large music group playing Jingle Bells. He also did a reading – pretty well, if I do say it myself. It’s safe to say though that he never troubled himself by actually opening his mouth to sing. Surprising really, when he sings round the house all the time and has endless arguments with his sister over who is the best singer (their brother, actually). I forgave him though, because he looked so beautiful and gave us a few grins, which is not really a cool thing to do if you’re in year 6.
The vicar did a little festive/ religious story. Much to my husband’s disgust. A VICAR. TALKING IN CHURCH. AT CHRISTMAS. Shocking, really. Next thing he will be telling us Christmas isn’t all about Father Christmas and presents.
The year 6 song was an acapella version of the Flying Pickets’ Only You. It was pretty good. My son was literally as far away from me as possible for that one. I can guess what his mouth was doing (or wasn’t doing) though.
The concert ended with all of the kids singing a couple more songs together, including Slade’s Merry Christmas Everyone. For a rousing singalong, you really can’t beat it. I’m still singing it now.