I’ve had a deep and enduring love of musical theatre ever since I was a little girl and was taken by my dad to see a West End show, it instilled in me a deep love of live music and live performance and I’ve been fortunate enough to see many shows over the years and even the ones that are not overly emotional have me in floods of tears. There is just something hugely emotive about live performance that gets lost via recordings.
I take the kids to see their favourite pop stars (pretend it’s a bind but I love it more than they do) last year we went to see Rihanna 60,000 of us in Cardiff and when she came onto the stage I burst into tears… crazy fan girl haha. It’s not that I just think it is amazing, I imagine the feeling of coming onto a stage with 60,000 people going crazy, 60,000 people who have paid money and traveled long journeys to see you do your job. I can only imagine how amazing that must feel and I just find it very moving.
My son is a real lover of old school rock and when I took him to see Slash last year I positively shook with excitement for my son as he saw his guitar hero appear on stage, in real life, right in front of him, his mouth wide open and eyes the same, in sheer wonder at being so close to his idol. Again last year when my daughter and I went to spend a couple of days in London and went to the iconic Hammersmith Apollo to see Emeli Sande… or rather to hear her. What a tremendous voice and she created such an amazing atmosphere of togetherness, love, unity, peace and happiness in that venue the like of which I have never felt before as her tiny diminutive figure sang her heart out with the voice of an angel, sharing her incredible talent for song writing and musical composition with us. My daughter, the emotionless one, reduced to tears by the tremendously overwhelming sense of well being which felt as if it was seeping from every fiber of that well worn music hall.
Some of my most precious moments and memories are embedded in live music experiences and now the children are old enough to both be a part of that too we are building solid family memories through our shared experiences.
They know they are very lucky to have been to shows in London’s West End and see actors and actresses people only dream of seeing in live action, they know they are even more lucky to have been to shows on Broadway, the first was a peach when we went to see Sister Act and were fortunate enough early in January when New York was ‘quiet’ to get top price super tickets at a bargain price for that amazingly brilliant, funny and moving show.
But it’s not all about the big names and the bright lights, we love to support local bands and tribute acts and local amateur theatre productions too. Just a couple of months ago we went to see a local guitarist/composer who sang songs he had composed about local heroes and it was hugely uplifting, an intimate evening in a lovely venue with a real family atmosphere and some inspiring examples of the little things people do which make them special.
Tonight I’ve had a little trip down memory lane and I have spent some wonderful down time reliving some of the moments from shows that I have loved and which are etched in my memory and in my heart for all time and having witnessed the amazing Steve Belsamo sing Gethsemane from Jesus Christ Superstar in person and to have heard the late amazing Bernie Nolan belt out the tunes from Blood Brothers I can now relive those memories and moments through the medium of TV and still feel that emotion of the live performance. It’s been an emotional night but a joyous one where I’ve felt blessed to have done some of the things I’ve done and to have seen some of the things I’ve seen. I’m a lucky girl, even though sometimes I don’t feel I am and this little step down memory lane has reminded me of that.
My kids have developed a real passion for Shakespeare and we are so lucky to have seen many productions, professional and amateur around the country but we have a short while to wait yet until we experience Shakespeare as it was intended, in the round, at the restored Globe Theatre in London… my son was the one who asked if we could please go there and I was so proud of him, my little 14 year old rocker able to balance out his love of Guns and Roses with a desire to see Shakespeare at The Globe.
Sometimes life is about balance, it’s about not restricting yourself to just one way because if you do you miss all the other ways. I see my journey to a healthier me like this too, it’s not about focusing on one thing, it’s not about numbers going down, it’s about all of the things that are changing positively, if I focus on the weight I miss out on the mental gains, the fitness gains, the health gains, the social gains, the confidence gains… we have to open up our minds and enjoy everything about the changes and revel in them.
Life is good, it really is because it is better than the alternative. It can be hard but build yourself a little arsenal of weapons to fight the dark days, even if some of those weapons are just things which make you release a few tears and shed some stress, fear, anxiety, hurt.. let it go and be happy because we are here and while we are here anything is possible. I do believe that.
One live performance I wish I’d seen to lull me off to a perfect end to a really lovely weekend.