Harefield Gazette - - YOUR SAY -

Ev­ery week BAR­BARA FISHER looks at is­sues that af­fect us all – the is­sues that get you talk­ing. You can join in by email­ing bmail­bar­

IT BEATS me how those re­spon­si­ble for the an­nual Beck Theatre Sum­mer Youth Sum­mer Project man­age to put on such a word-per­fect, song-per­fect, in fact ev­ery­thing-per­fect, show... in only a cou­ple of weeks.

This year it was Bring it On - new to me and per­haps to most of my fel­low - pre­dictably older - mat­inée au­di­ence mem­bers, but a per­fect choice for the young cast.

A mod­ern Amer­i­can mu­si­cal set in ri­val high schools, it is full of teen angst, first love, body im­age, not fit­ting in with peer groups. In fact, ev­ery­thing that dom­i­nates so­cial me­dia and nu­mer­ous ar­ti­cles on well-be­ing in the young to­day.

But this show, thank good­ness, wasn’t de­signed to con­vince the cast that all young­sters go­ing through the un­doubted mine­field of ado­les­cence must have se­ri­ous men­tal health prob­lems.

It was joy­ous, not only in the great dance rou­tines and sassy di­a­logue, but in send­ing pos­i­tive mes­sages, like many dif­fi­cul­ties can be over­come by a bit of soul-search­ing and look­ing beyond our­selves.

Sadly, it wasn’t a happy end­ing for poor Mimi in La Bo­heme, my favourite Puc­cini opera, which Mr F and I at­tended last week.

It was per­formed in the 700-year-old Great Barn in Ruis­lip where the acous­tics - I kid you not - are on a par with the best sym­phony halls in the coun­try.

This was also about young peo­ple – this time stu­dents in 19th cen­tury Paris - and was also a won­der­ful per­for­mance. The pow­er­ful story and beau­ti­ful mu­sic, which charts the doomed love of a poet and a seam­stress, couldn’t have been more dif­fer­ent to the Beck show. But they shared the same mes­sage - not just that life isn’t a bed of roses folks, but that love, friend­ship and loy­alty are all that mat­ters in the end.

If you can catch the ex­cel­lent Opera Vera pro­duc­tion any­where else - do. They even pro­vide sub-ti­tles for the Ital­ian words. Mr F was ahead of the game though, hav­ing stud­ied the lan­guage for many years at a Hilling­don adult ed­u­ca­tion class which he highly rec­om­mends.

That’s my last plug for to­day. We’re two very sat­is­fied cus­tomers. Three cheers for liv­ing in this bor­ough.

Talk­ing of which, sev­eral of you have asked if my book Tales from an Old Hack – Me­moir of a Lo­cal Re­porter, about be­ing a jour­nal­ist in Hilling­don, is ever go­ing to ma­te­ri­alise.

It’s out on Septem­ber 28 (see Ama­zon and Water­stones web­sites) and I’m just about to pre-or­der one!

A grem­lin clearly got into my key­board/head last week. Brox­bourne Close should have been Bray­bourne Close of course. Oops … sorry.

Bring it On at the Beck Theatre

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