Every week BARBARA FISHER looks at issues that affect us all – the issues that get you talking. You can join in by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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