You all know I’m not the deepest of people, right? The longest publication I’ve ever read from cover to cover is Take a Break. When it comes to movies I’d much prefer a punchy, kicky Neeson or Statham abomination over some artsy, metaphysical droll. So you will understand that when asked to attend a school production of ‘original theatre,’ my bum dropped out of my balloon-seat joggers.

Let me give you a bit of background. When I was but an innocent pup I had grandiose dreams of starring in award- winning, multi-million-pound budget programmes alongside renowned actors – something like Emmerdale or Ex On The Beach. These dreams persuaded me to pursue several subjects, such as GCSE Drama and Theatre Studies at A-level – time that could have been better spent doing something important like learning how to print off documents double-sided in IT.

It crushed my soul to waste four years pretending to be a depressed tree or indulging in robot-style dancing that was choreographed to highlight the plight of vegans living in a world obsessed with fast food.

I’d begged my goddaughter NOT to study theatre lest the best she could hope for was performing monologues from Hamlet in the street while dressed as Hannibal Lecter (because luvvies think it’s ‘edgy’ to be cliché). Did she listen? Did she heck.

I arrived and found a seat next to a youngster clad in a black T-shirt, black pants and galoshes (remember those bad boys?). My heart sank. No other seats were available seeing as though I was late having spent 10 minutes arguing in the petrol station over the price of a wrap. £3.49?! Get out!

“Are you in the show?” I asked, wearily. “No, no.” He smiled as he was obviously preparing himself mentally by closing his eyes and taking deep breaths. “I’m just a typical teenager who’s passionate about theatre.”


The lights dimmed and suddenly a group of youngsters rushed to the stage and assumed some weird, yoga positions. The lights flashed back on and I watched with pursed lips as they pretended to fly like birds. “Wow! I can see everything!” one screeched.

The dancing stopped. The troupe bowed their heads, still, as one stepped forward:

“Yes!” he exclaimed. “But can you see race? Can you see poverty? The birds fly above it! So should we! Fly!”

The lighting changed and the production started slow dancing to I Believe I Can Fly. A bit inappropriate but there you go.

What followed were a series of tableaux about “not judging a book by its cover” and something to do with littering (I’m guessing that as one girl gave a monologue as a turtle trapped in some massive six pack rings as the others swirled cardboard rings around behind her).

It was coming to the end when one of the ‘actors’ addressed the audience directly: “Hey! Do YOU want to soar and make the world a better place?!” He screamed through tears as he pointed at us. I knew what was coming...

“I do! I believe…..I can FLY!” the lad beside me jumped up and pointed at the baffled observers. “I am... like you!”

The lights illuminated the two of us as he held out a hand for me to shake.

I’ll never live the shame down. I was forced against my will to be part of it – my free-will hijacked, dragged into a weird theatre experience by youngsters unaware of what a no-claims bonus is. In future, if I want to indulge in something cutting edge and mind-blowing I’ll stick to listening to Olly Murs while drunk.