A dreamcoat performance

30th March 2007 at 01:00
There are two things I now know about organising a school drama: number one, pre-Ofsted jitters are minor compared to the stress hell that is experienced during dress rehearsals; and number two, never force a genuinely sick member of your chorus to go on stage, even if they are equipped with a sick bag.

Despite these revelations, Wednesday's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was a hit with the audience, which largely comprised of zealous parents, wrigg-ling pupils and an assort-ment of important school types - governors, senior managers and interview candidates.

I even think I saw the local vicar nodding in the back row. It's hard to remember. By that time, the potent mix of nervous tension and exhaustion had brought me to near hysteria.

What a show it was. Singing, dancing, dramatic climaxes, and some fine comic timing, to boot. Even the technology worked and since I seem to have a jinx effect on ICT rooms (hard drives have been known to melt), this was joyful. The technology involved pre-recorded video clips of our singing efforts, played to great effect on a giant screen above the stage - a sort of Andrew Lloyd Webber karaoke. I'm sure he would have been proud. It certainly provided a solution to the nagging fear that during the live performance, the piano chords would start and then be accompanied by...


Those who have heard my piano playing would probably agree it is at its best when drowned out by loud vocals.

After the show came a wave of euphoria, followed by a deep and quite fathomless tiredness unlike any I have ever known.

Nevertheless, once the half-chewed song sheets had been cleared away, I managed to muster the energy to join colleagues for a post-performance drink. And, of course, we all wanted to talk about the next one. I think we're ready for something braver. Chekhov anyone?

Louisa Leaman is a London teacher

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today