The Kids are Alright (April 21st 2009)
Never let it be said that the kids of Herne Bay are lacking in talent or courage.
On Saturday, in the company of City Councillor Sharron Sonnex, I attended the tenth anniversary gala evening presented by the Belles Stage School at the Kings Hall.
Apart from the fact that the venue did not actually burn down I think that Belles` Principal, Belinda Witton, would probably agree that just about every technical thing that could go wrong did go wrong. Shortly before curtain-up the main fuse box blew and not one of the dozen or so microphones was working. There was no walkie-talkie communication between those on stage and the music system located at the back of the theatre and as a result sound and cues were almost impossible to co-ordinate. The event had all the ingredients needed for a total disaster.
With the installation of a temporary lighting system and scene-changes indicated with the laborious hand-closing of the main front of house curtains the show went on about twenty minutes late. Undaunted by seemingly insuperable challenges and with no amplification the young stars of the show performed their way through the first two acts, collected their awards and headed into part three.
Then came the finale.
The cast were on stage. The lights were more or less on. The curtains opened. Silence. At this unkindest moment of all even the sound system went down!
Give up? Not these young people. On they came and did a full dance and song routine unaccompanied save for a beat clapped out by a growingly enthusiastic audience - and it worked. At the end the House, with good reason, came down.
I have shared some of the grandest theatres and stages with some of the biggest stars in the business and I have spent years working with and supporting the best of amateur theatre companies as well. But I have never, ever, seen anything like that finale before and I doubt if anyone will ever see anything quite like it again. It was, quite simply, magnificent. So a huge bouquet to the cast of the Belles Stage School Tenth Anniversary Gala Show. The Kids are Alright!