A triumphant last night
Director's Dispatch No 9: by Chris Rafferty, Bowness on Solway
Our final performance last night. They gave it everything. It was fantastic!
I am absolutely delighted for them. They certainly saved the best ‘til last.
A lot of dads close to tears, mums and grandmas not being so stoical.
Molly, who played the lead part Poppy, was devastated at the end, inevitably.
A recently retired head teacher who came along with her grandchild said she thought we had surpassed our previous efforts.
I am well known among the staff for being the glass half empty. But I was so proud of the kids’ last night.
I only wish our video man had been there. He was at an earlier show, but the cast grew hugely in confidence over the week, and the final performance trumped them all.
On the cast side, our understudy policy again stood us in good stead.
The boy who played PC Bosun was at his birthday bash, so Fred (at a loose end in Act 2) played the part.
I also had understudies in place for Guillemot and the newspaper seller.
At ten to seven, it was clear that Parker was also a ‘no show’.
Beakworthy offered to take on the role and spent the final ten minutes before curtain-up with script in hand, learning the part.
When she came on stage, you would never have known.
The Parents’ Association pre-show drinks and nibbles went down well. With an events licence acquired, we were able to serve wine.
And the team came up with an inspired Fairground-flavoured menu - pictured left.
There is no doubt that Dazzle makes a fabulous leavers’ show.
The theme of growing up, setting out on life’s journey and learning to face the world, is written through it – like the words “Dazzle” and “Bowness” in our seaside rock.
The final couple of songs, with their lilting melodies and hope for a better future, are almost unbearably moving.
Particularly when sung by young people you have watched grow up, and who are now on the point of leaving to make their futures.
I have listened to the magnificent songs from Dazzle! on a daily basis for months now… I never skip my daily dose.
We had the tracks playing today when we wistfully took down the stage, fairground stalls and Big Wheel.
Thank you to Andrew Bailey for writing Dazzle!, and for his help and support throughout.
For the children, staff and everyone involved, it has been an amazing roller-coaster ride!
Hear what the children say about Dazzle!