WERE you involved in your school’s drama department? If so, you almost certainly starred in a terrible version of one of these shows.
The Pirates of Penzance
Singing opera is notoriously difficult and a chorus line of puberty-addled, broken-voiced teenagers singing with Cornish accents probably wasn’t what Gilbert & Sullivan had in mind for their show. But you were more interested in feeling up Mitzi from 9C in the wings anyway, so you didn’t give a toss that the audience was wincing.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
You had absolutely no idea what Shakespeare was wanging on about in this play, but did that stop your GCSE drama teacher from forcing you to perform it? Absolutely not. She regretted it though, as you and your immature mates refused to stop laughing because one of the characters is called ‘Bottom’.
The Importance of Being Earnest
Humour doesn’t tend to age well, so having an entire A-level drama class trying their best to make this 19th century comedy funny was difficult, to say the least. Oscar Wilde would be spinning in his grave listening to a surly youth endlessly mangle the inflection on the classic, yet simple, line: ‘A handbag?’
Nobody wants to hear a dozen 14-year-olds attempt to sing show tunes in a terrible New York accent, yet that’s what your school saw fit to inflict on your parents. The film is excellent, but this shoddy rendition of it wasn’t, especially after the children-with-guns element was removed due to it not being 1976 anymore.
Are teenage pregnancy, illegal car races and unprotected sex suitable themes for a secondary school production? Who cares, the songs are brilliant! Unfortunately, your school was a billion miles away from producing a talent like John Travolta or Olivia Newton John, so your family had to sit through some embarrassed teenagers shuffling and mumbling their way through ‘Summer Nights’ instead.