Forgive me. This blog could be mistaken for a shameful plug. Generally I don’t write about my other life but I’m about to. Actually these days I have three lives: my pursuit of motherhood life which includes this blog; my swimming life which includes the spectre of the Channel; and my work life. I do occasionally mention swimming (partly because it’s becoming increasingly intertwined with my pursuit of motherhood but more of that in my new book which will come out next year). However, I rarely write about my job. I’ve tried to keep things separate. It’s silly really because all my lives are me.
So forgive this shameful plug for my work life but as it tangentially involves children I thought, perhaps, it wasn’t too off topic. This month the theatre I run in London re-opens after a £20m redevelopment (it’s the closest I’ve ever come to giving birth and has been nine years in gestation). We are organising a host of celebrations including a new stage production of the oscar-winning film Bugsy Malone. For those of you who don’t know the film, it was directed by Alan Parker and based on a seemingly crazy premise – a musical gangster movie starring children set in prohibition America. It was one of my favourite films as a child and has the most memorable soundtrack by the genius composer Paul Williams. There hasn’t been a professional production of it on the London stage in over a decade and last night was the first night and I just had to write and tell you that it was astonishing.
Sometimes I catch myself watching other people’s children and thinking what might have been. Sometimes it’s hard. But, last night the talent of other people’s children blew me away. For some reason it reminded me of the Noel Coward song which starts like this:
Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington.
Don’t put your daughter on the stage.
The profession is overcrowded,
And the struggle’s pretty tough,
And admitting the fact
She’s burning to act,
That isn’t quite enough.
Noel Coward was another genius composer. One of the very best. And as someone who has worked in theatre for over 20 years, I know that never a truer word has been sung. But sod him and that. If I ever have a daughter and she can sing, dance and act like the Bugsy Malone cast did last night, she’s going on the stage.
So if you don’t live too far away, you must come and see it. And if you do, let me know because if I’m around I’ll come and say hello. Just ask for me – Mrs Worthington – at the Box Office.