S and I once went to a film showing of one of the Harry Potter films. People had warned us against this, saying the kids in the audience would be awful. But the children were very well behaved, unlike one woman who answered her mobile in the middle of the performance and yelled “yeah, we’re in the middle of the Quidditch match” down it. I was reminded of this incident this weekend when E and I went to the Beanbag music club at the Royal Centre in town.
I’ve blogged before about the Beanbag music sessions at the Royal Centre but what the hell, I’m going to blog about them again. This weekend’s performer was Nick Cope, singer-songwriter and former performer with Oxford band The Candyskins . It was supposed to be a family day out for all three of us but S had to stay behind to look after the plumber who turned up late with a piece of equipment he hadn’t used for 2 years and wondered why it didn’t work. The waste pipe from the washing machine still leaks. Meh.
We were slightly sidetracked on the way in because E spotted the posters for Room on the Broom which is playing at the Theatre in July (ticket bought as a birthday present. Fingers crossed it goes well. Blog post to follow.)
Anyway, despite being initially shy and nervous, E soon warmed up to the performance and was dancing and waving as soon as it started. The songs were a nice mixture of non-gender specific fun topics including one about a pirate with crumbs in his beard, another about a dragon called Keith, and one E especially enjoyed about things that grow (you had to stand up and grow tall as you sang.)
I imagine it can’t be easy being a performer to small children – their short attention spans, general fidgeting and need for crisps at inappropriate moments must make it hard to concentrate. But again, this was nothing compared to the parents. The beanbags are in the centre with seat around three sides, all facing the stage. You can sit on the beanbags with your child if you want (I did) but otherwise the children go in the middle and the parents sit and watch. Or in this case chat. I couldn’t believe the noise some of them made. One woman was actually addressed by Nick Cope during one song and was oblivious each time. Some were on their phones, others were gossiping. So incredibly rude.
On behalf of parents who were paying attention and enjoyed the performance very much I would like to apologise to Nick Cope – we had a good time. He might be used to this kind of thing. I didn’t have any cash on me to buy any of the CDs on offer but have since bought two from his website for E’s birthday, although I may give them to her a little early so we can take them on holiday with us.
The performances last nearly an hour and once this had finished (with a song where all the children had to dress like Nick in glasses and play cardboard guitars) they were all allowed to go and make masks of Beany bear (who leads the sessions) and decorate them with stickers. E was well into the session by now and happily covered her mask with dinosaurs, stars and a jolly roger.
We phoned S when we came out and E told him all about how she’d been dancing. We even managed to remember some of the words to sing in the bath later on as well.
The next Beanbag music club is at the Royal Centre on 23 May
Nick Cope next performs in Nottingham on 27 September at Stapleford Community Centre
Details of Nick’s music and performances can be found at his website.