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Mr Elliott - Brazil Blog Week 4

December 2014

Mr Elliott - Brazil Blog Week 4

Blog 5 - Thoughts of a Christmas Show

Yesterday I watched a Friday night rehearsal of the Christmas show. I have to write about this as I loved it on many fronts, in many ways for many

different reasons.

Brazil does not feel like Christmas. It is hot and I cannot associate Christmas with being hot. In all the times I have travelled and lived abroad, I have always come home for Christmas. This year is different. I will spend it in a holiday resort In Natal, towards the North of Brazil. I am not complaining. I have never even stopped in a holiday resort before, never mind at Christmas, so this will be another experience off my bucket list. However, yesterday reminded me of something special that exists in the ‘Land of the Prince Bishops.’ Not that I needed reminding as I already know how special it is…….It is the land of the BATH Christmas Show….. ‘A Magical Kingdom’ full of many hopes and dreams. A time when the leaders give everything they’ve got and young people find something new in themselves.

Jo looked shattered yesterday. But as usual she was still positive and upbeat, barking orders knowing she was on the edge of the ‘Magical Kingdom.’ The team were all around her working music, filling in for those missing, organising the side of stage, prompting, generally organising. The shows have never worked without a good team and that is what BATH has. Many are home-grown, who have been through years of the ‘Magical Kingdom’ themselves. They know and understand how this is much more than a show. That this time provides strength and social awareness, discipline and commitment as much as any paper qualification. That this opportunity provides the understanding of how to communicate. Our young people are always excellent at being interviewed and that has allowed many of them to go on to be far more successful in their chosen field than might have been. That this show often is a catalyst to want to do well and have goals and aims in life. Many of the young people will be very tired. This can make them targets to be shot at in their general lives. But this builds resilience and understanding of how being part of something so positive can make others a little jealous or negative. It is a cultural thing. We do not always celebrate what is good and often as a people have to find fault.

Yesterday I could find no fault. I did not want to or need to. Joanne has written this show in record time. The cast have committed their evenings and weekends without complaint. The adult team put their lives on hold. I saw very happy young people on stage. I heard laughter. I saw teamwork. I saw strong relationships. I saw the ability to take critique. I saw dance. I saw confidence. I saw some people were still gaining their confidence. I saw that it was working. I saw that something very wonderful exists on that stage, in that place. I saw them practice the goodbyes to the year 13’s. I shed a tear. I have known many of those young people for seven/eight years or more. I saw the lights dance. This was the most moving and mind blowing. I know Ana Luisa would love to see this or be part of this. I know Ana Carolina loved her time with the Christmas Show as did my good old friend Ana Paula. Yesterday the lights dance took me back through many shows, many moments, many hopes and reminded me of community projects, international projects, festival shows and all the ‘Magical Kingdoms’ that have gone before…….don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy this show. You will love it, as I did. And to all the group back home I say enjoy your time in the ‘Magical Kingdom.’

So it is hot and it is nearly Christmas and I am loving life in Brazil. But today a part of me wishes I was there to enjoy the experience of The Christmas Show. As much for the happiness factor as anything. It is just a feeling you can’t explain, to be part of that special week and I wish Jo and all the team lots of good times and funny moments. And please keep a seat for me at the back of the hall……

Much love

Stephen

King James I Academy, South Church Road, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL14 7JZ