By Maureen6002

The Show Must Go On

Yesterday’s blip focused on one form of musical performance; today’s focuses on another. Today we are blessed to experience the sheer joyousness of young people singing, dancing and performing on the stage of Theatr Clwyd in Mold. 

Tip Top Theatre group are based in Chester and over the years we’ve enjoyed the most wonderful performances of musicals from their talented members. Of course, they have been silenced by Covid, but now they are able to join together, rehearse and perform once more in their compilation ‘The Show Must Go On’. 

On an empty stage - no scenery or costumes other than their own carefully chosen outfits - they sing, dance and act their hearts out for us, performing numbers from a wide range of musicals new and old. Their sheer joy and exuberance is infectious, and - for both of us - really moving. Some of our happiest times as educators were spent working with youngsters on performances - G with music, me with acting and dance - and we know only too well the massive benefits that come from such endeavours. It is obvious they absolutely love being together on the stage and each and every one gives the performance their all. 

Of course, photography in the theatre is prohibited. I hope  to capture their final ‘curtain call’, but they end with the heart-rending You Will Be Found  from Dear Evan Hansen, and then simply leave the stage to thunderous applause. To return to take a bow would probably destroy the atmosphere created, and they’re far too professional for that. 

And so I’m left with a photo of an empty stage, glowing warm and bright in the stage lighting - which, together with a wonderful live band, has added even more to the performance. 

But as we leave, the excited cast members rush to meet proud parents and friends and I stop to congratulate those I see. Then, just before we head for our car, I turn to two of the girls who I’ve been chatting with and ask if they mind me photographing them. Of course they don’t, and they immediately pose in the way I never could but that comes as second nature to the selfie generation. The sun is in their eyes and my shadow falls on them - in many ways it really is an awful photograph, but they are radiant and I’m sure their infectious joy is evident. And so I have my extra. 

I’m ending today with an extract from the lyrics of their final song, chosen I’m sure because it embodies the loneliness of recent times together with the affirmation of the joy the companionship their tight-knit group provides. (If you like this sort of thing - and I realise it’s not everyone’s cup of tea - it’s worth looking up one of the YouTube versions)

You Will be Found ( from Dear Evan Hansen) 

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?
Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
Maybe there's a reason to believe you'll be okay
'Cause when you don't feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your hand
And oh, someone will come running
And I know, they'll take you home
Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you're broken on the ground
You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in
'Cause you'll reach up and you'll rise again
Lift your head and look around
You will be found

There's a place where we don't have to feel unknown
And every time that you call out
You're a little less alone
If you only say the word
From across the silence your voice is heard

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
When you're broken on the ground
You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in
'Cause you'll reach up and you'll rise again
If you only look around
You will be found

Out of the shadows
The morning is breaking
And all is new, all is new
It's filling up the empty
And suddenly I see that
All is new, all is new
You are not alone

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