Arabella has had her night on stage. Carl received a text from her a couple of hours before the performance advising he was not to sit up the front and he was not to make eye contact and could we both try not to look at her.
Desperate not to upset her and in great haste to secure our seats in the back row we arrived about 15 minutes before anyone else. I initially thought she might prefer it if we sat on the side of the theatre, not quite in the back row but so far on the side we were almost out the door. We sat there until I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was one of Arabella’s friends letting us know Arabella had seen us from her position backstage and we were too close. ’Would you mind moving further back?’ asked the nervous but polite friend.
By then there were only two seats in the back row remaining (it had filled up fast) and they dead centre stage and right beside the judges table under a spotlight. We hesitated and Carl said there was no way we could take those two seats. I said, ‘There’s nowhere else’.
‘But she’ll see us. Didn’t she want us in the dark?’
‘It’s sit here or stand. If we stand we’ll be even more obvious’.
‘Will they be turning out these lights?’
‘I don’t know, go ask the teacher’. So Arabella had us all worked up and petrified over where we should sit.
The judges came in. Two formidable looking creatures that had all the mothers quivering for their daughters. They were given bottled water and the lights went down, except the lights above the judges.
A lone figure came onto the stage all dressed up in riding breeches. It was Arabella. She had to look at the judges and give them her six digit student number. I looked at the floor. She took her position on stage and steadied herself to deliver her seven-minute monologue, Decadence by S Berkoff.
She was so good. Hysterically funny. She didn’t miss a beat and it was a flawless performance. Her friends sitting right down the front just an inch from the stage loved it too. How it wasn’t a problem to have them so close is not something I can understand.
Then came the group performances. Arabella’s group was again first. This is the piece they wrote themselves and while rehearsing had caused a domestic disturbance that brought the police. The group performance was also very good and quite funny so I’m sure she’ll get a good mark for that as well.
After the performances we had a chance to tell her how great we thought she was and had she thought about applying to drama schools. ’Don’t be silly mum’, she replied, ‘I couldn’t go through that again. Didn’t you see how much I was shaking? I haven’t even been able to sleep.’
And I didn’t say, ‘How could I see you shaking when I wasn’t allowed to look at you?’ I just said, ‘Well if you wanted to go to drama school, you’ve certainly got the talent’.
Of course I have no photos of the event. As all the girls were being marked for their HSC we weren’t allowed to do anything distracting like flash photography.
We’re still waiting for the results.
A few nights ago Archie and his mandolin player and his double bass player did a ‘guerilla performance’. They stood outside an Italian restaurant a few doors down from Phil’s place in Kings Cross and serenaded the patrons with a few songs. The owner of the restaurant came out and started clapping and two little girls dining alfresco with their parents jumped to their feet and started dancing.
Instagram seems to be a good tracking device for Archie. He phoned me earlier today to let me know he was on his way home. Well four hours later he still wasn’t home. I found he’d uploaded this photo. That’s not the view from my backyard. ’Oh sorry mum’, he said when he walked in after a two-day absence, ‘I was on my way home but you know my friend Lily? She invited me over for a coffee. So we sat on her roof-top terrace and enjoyed the view’.
And Arabella’s just walked in and she said, ‘I’m glad you sat in the back row mum. Thanks for listening.’
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