One thing that I can remember quite well are the various Manland School Christmas concerts. The Twelve Days of Christmas in which I was one of the “Drummers Drumming” and the next year when I was “Duban, the King’s Advisor” were my two most significant roles.
The strangest concert – by far – was when I was in Mr Kingham’s class. The tradition in most, if not all primary schools, was that everybody in the class had a role in the concert. Some roles would be fairly minor, perhaps just saying a few words or perhaps singing as part of a big group, but everyone got something to do.
Except when Mr Kingham was running the show!He divided his class into two groups. Those in the choir (about 40) and the rest (about 10). I was in the smaller group and in the weeks leading up to the concert I noticed that I was spending a great deal of time watching the choir rehearse and virtually no time rehearsing myself. Nothing was done about costumes for our group either and with adult hindsight it is obvious that it was never Kingham's intention that our short play would get performed.
When the tickets were put on sale there was no mention of our play in the programme. I know that several parents complained – including mine – but nothing changed and although we were expected to attend we never went on stage. Unsurprisingly my Mum didn’t attend the concert which was pretty much par for the course because she seldom bothered with school events. Mum always seemed to have some “important” TWG event on which took priority over everything else.