Friday, 25 July 2014


I’m not saying I’ve won the summer holidays, but, well, I am, I am saying I’ve won the summer holidays. On the first day. 

Admittedly, I may be crowing a little early. After all, there are 40 days to go. Yes, I may possibly be counting.

So just how did I come to be temporarily wearing the Tour De Vacances’s Maillot Jaune?
It’s simple: it was down to a giant metal man, a teenage girl with an infectious giggle, and a woman who is making a sacrifice beyond comprehension.

The 16ft tall silver fellow was the star of a brilliant outdoor theatre show I took the kids to today: Graeae Theatre’s adaptation of Ted Hughes’ ‘The Iron Man’. We sat on our picnic rugs in the glorious sunshine in a lakeside park, and watched as with the aid of pedals, pulleys, wheelchair power, and imagination, the clanking, charming giant was brought to life.

[Graeae Theatre is an amazing company, by the way. Their aim is to provide a platform for the talents of deaf and disabled actors and musicians (which they did to brilliant effect with the London Paralympics opening ceremony, which was co-produced by Graeae’s artistic director and included a riotous and rousing version of Ian Dury’s Spasticus Autisticus from their theatre show Reasons To Be Cheerful). Graeae take their productions out into communities and perform great spectacles that just happen to make the idea of a lad in a wheelchair operating a giant robot, and a deaf chap getting a crowd to learn the sign for ‘Spacebat’, normal, entrancing, and fun. As a consequence of today’s entertainment, if just one of the kids watching in pyromaniac awe when some Real Fire was used in the production thinks twice in the future about patronising, teasing, or ignoring someone with a disability, then Graeae's work here was worth it. (Yes, of course, my boy was one of the pocket-sized flame-worshippers, and no, League Of Gentlemen fans, Graeae are absolutely NOTHING like Legs Akimbo)].

The teenage girl was my daughter’s PWSBFF (Prader-Willi Syndrome Best Friend Forever - come on, you should know this by now). I did what I usually do when they get together: watch them watching. There’s something amazing about these two teenagers; these unique, rare, unusual, idiosyncratic, original, out of the ordinary girls. Who despite being unique, rare, unusual, idiosyncratic, original, and out of the ordinary - or perhaps because of it - are like peas in pod. An odd pod. But our pod. 

“And what about the woman making the sacrifice?”, I hear you ask, or perhaps I don’t, because I mentioned that ages ago before I Led Zepped this post and rambled on.

Well, that’s PWSBFF’s mum, who took both girls home for a sleepover, and, more importantly, is taking them to see the film Pudsey tomorrow morning. You know, the one starring the dancing dog that won Britain’s Got Talent (no, me neither). All I know about it is that it is supposed to be truly, monumentally, mind-bogglingly awful. 


Like I said, I've won. Well, peaked, at least. 


Click on link for today's song: The Primevals - Hit The Peaks

Graeae's The Iron Man production is part of the International Festival Milton Keynes, which continues until Sunday. There are two more free performances on Friday July 25.

Graeae is a dangerous name, you know. Try and write it down: you'll be lost in A & E before you know it. Thangyouverymuch, try the veal, I'm here all week.

1 comment:

  1. The Graeaes are completely amazeballs. Their Threepenny Opera was the best theatre show I've seen in twenty years, or at least since the one they toutred the previous year.