Saturday, 28 February 2015


"How perfectly composed this photo is," I thought.
Until I realised the back of the programme makes
it look like they went to see The Lion King.
It’s been a perfect day.

Apart from the start of the train journey, when I took off my daughter’s coat as she sat down, and she flapped her flappy hands a little too flappily, knocking my coffee cup over and sending it flying up in the air. I stretched my arms out to catch the now plummeting coffee missile, showing the reflexes of a cat. A dyspraxic one. I ended up juggling the java, with some of it going up my sleeve, and the rest splashing onto the trousers of the man sitting next to the coffee-bomber.

“I’m so sorry,” I spluttered. 
“It could be worse,” my daughter told him, nodding philosophically. 

We were on our way to London to see Matilda The Musical. Thankfully, there were no more dangerous incidents with hot liquid. We met up with Prader-Willi Syndrome Best Friend Forever (PWSBFF) and her mum (, now that’s getting silly) for a lunchtime salad in a Pret A Manger (tuna nicoise, 174 calories, don’t add the dressing, that’s 231 more). 

She won't be smiling when I tell her she's paying that bloke's dry-cleaning bill.
Next we headed to the theatre, stopping off at Covent Garden on the way to see a woman street performer hang upside down by her feet from some wobbly scaffolding, juggling knives. As you do.

We ensconced ourselves into our spectacularly good seats armed with programmes, diet coke, and low calorie popcorn for the girls, plus ridiculously-expensive-but-bloody-lovely G & Ts for the mums. The tickets had been my daughter’s main Christmas present - secured at half price with a phone call asking for ‘access tickets’ for children with special needs. (WHY did no-one tell me about this before?). 

The show was fantastic. Imaginatively staged, with a brilliant cast, swinging high on composer Tim Minchin’s smart, inventive lyrics and catchy melodies. The gin was pretty good, too.

I alternated watching the stage with looking at my daughter and her pal: wide-eyed at the actors; gasping as Miss Trunchbull swung a girl round by her pigtails (that took some explaining about stage trickery afterwards); and giggling with glee as Mr Wormwood’s hat was superglued to his head.

An aftershow Mexican feast at Wahacas was shared out in suitably small portions for the Prader-Willi pair, with my spice-loving daughter adding the extra hot sauce to the already sizzling platters, and the adults partaking in some major mojito action (can you see a pattern emerging?)

And all too soon it was time to catch the train home, wave goodbye to our girly compadres, and head home to see what havoc had been wreaked by little brother and dad in our absence.

“Mum, that was the best Christmas present ever,” my girl beamed at me as we sat on the train, elbowing me in the ribs every now and again to check whether I was still awake.

I beamed back. We’re looking into Charlie & The Chocolate Factory for her birthday.

When I Grow Up - Matilda The Musical

Even if you're little you can do a lot, you
Mustn't let a little thing like 'little' stop you.
If you sit around and let them get on top, you
Won’t change a thing…
Just because you find that life's not fair, it
Doesn't mean that you just have to grin and bear it.
If you always take it on the chin and wear it, nothing will change.
Just because I find myself in this story,
It doesn't mean that everything is written for me.
If I think the ending is fixed already,
I might as well be saying I think that it's OK,
And that's not right!

Video is Mexican Institute Of Sound - Alocatel. Because songs from musicals always sound and look naff out of context. Actually, a lot of them sound naff in context. I'd rather share something different with you. Yes, it also happens to be naff. What of it?

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