The Play, The Protest and The Song

When my eldest strutted around his primary school hall as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the early nineties, little did I know that one day his passion for acting would become a career.

So it was with immense pride that I took my seat in the Lowry theatre in Manchester on Saturday night while I waited for him to enter the stage as Edgar in the Northern Broadsides production of Shakespeare’s King Lear.FullSizeRender(1)

When he walks out onto the stage, the audience see ‘Jack’. I see a boy who’s arse I’ve wiped and who’s tears I’ve dried. I see my little boy all grown up. It’s quite a surreal experience…

Despite seeing him perform numerous times, the thrill never gets old. I again had to resist the urge to whistle and shout “Ey up Son!” as he walked on. I believe such behaviour is frowned upon. As is wearing a T shirt with ‘I’m Jack’s mum’. I’ve been threatened with disownment if do..

Directed by Jonathan Miller (I’m a bit of a philistine when it comes to theatre but seems the bloke’s got a decent enough CV) it’s Lear but with a northern twist. Northern Broadsides was founded in 1992 by Barry Rutter (who plays Lear). He’s an actor/director and famously cast Lenny Henry as Othello in 2009.

A great cast, complete with some heaving bosoms and obligatory semi-nakedness (courtesy of my son) Yep, kit off, once again! His complex character of Edgar showcased his range and ability to switch flawlessly between roles. Obvious parental bias aside, he aint ‘alf good at this acting lark!

My son, K, is a photographer and the lad’s got a talent for it. Photography is his chosen career having graduated from university last year with some impressive grades. I am immensely proud of him and so pleased that another one of my children is making dollar from doing what they love. I hope he makes enough to put me in a decent old people’s home. Hint. Hint.anti-tory-protest-70 (401x600)

Unless you were visiting another planet last week, you’ll be aware of the general election and the Anti-Tory protest that happened the day after David Cameron snatched back the keys to Downing Street. My son was there in his capacity as a photographer and took shots from the start of the protest to it’s end. Somewhere along the way he found himself ‘kettled’ by riot police. He told me he’d been kettled and I envisioned a copper giving him a clout with the station kettle. Apparently not.. Kettling is a tactic police use for controlling large crowds, such as protests, but it’s seen as controversial because innocent bystanders (like my son) get detained alongside protesters.

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He put all his shots into a blog post and gave his honest account of the day as seen as a photographer. The media didn’t show people singing and dancing. They didn’t show the peaceful side to the protest. They didn’t always show the unnecessary force used by the police.

K’s photographs show how things can turn from the good, to the bad, to the downright ugly. This was a peaceful protest, marred by a few individual morons, one who defaced a war memorial. An unforgivable and disrespectful act which the media chose to focus on, giving the impression that the person who did that represented everybody else. Not so. K was genuinely shocked at some of the things he saw. I’m proud of him for speaking out and showing what really happened instead of what the media brainwashes us with.

His blog post has been shared over 700 times on social media.

And last (but in no way least) is my youngest son’s achievement this week.

I opened S’ school home-book to read that he’d sang a song in the hall.FullSizeRender(2)

What’s the big deal? I hear you ask.

Well, S is autistic and he struggles with noise. He doesn’t go into assemblies and hasn’t been able to take part in any of the concerts so far. However, sometimes, when he gets obsessed by something, he is able to override his discomfort for a brief time. The topic this month has been about Kenya and for some reason, he’s really taken to it, so much so that he was able to go into the hall with all his friends and sing the ‘Jambo Bwana’ song on Wednesday.

This is a MASSIVE accomplishment for him.

It doesn’t matter that he couldn’t do PE that afternoon or that he had to comfort himself with his numbers in order to come down from the excitement. Those few minutes where he chose to engage with everyone else made it a fantastic day!

Yesterday was recorded as a “tricky day” which means he’s struggled but this is how it goes with his autism. One step forward and a few steps back but we focus on his accomplishments, no matter how small.

Way to go, my little dude!

As parents, we’re all proud of our children’s achievements.

My biggest achievement has been my three boys. Each one an individual and each one leaving their mark on the world in their own special way. I couldn’t be any prouder of my boys.

Thank you Mama Owl for this opportunity to ‘big up’ my kids! 😉

The most splendid achievement of all is the constant striving to surpass yourself and to be worthy of your own approval ~ Denis Waitly

Protest Images by my son used with kind permission, as in, I asked and he said “Yeah, Ma, don’t worry, I’m hardly going to sue my own mother ha ha”

Mama Owl
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16 thoughts on “The Play, The Protest and The Song

  1. This was a joy to wake up to – the love and pride in your boys and the way they have all found to make their mark in the world, in such differing ways, is wonderful to read about 🙂

  2. Great stuff by everyone but particularly impressed by K. It is a shame that a tiny minority of morons provide the ammunition to tar the peaceful majority of protestors, allowing the media to skew the story and set a different agenda. Although I am left wondering how many of those who protested were among the 34% who didn’t actually bother to vote.

  3. What an utterly brilliant post, and what brave, wonderful, clever boys you have. I genuinely don’t know what to focus on so impressed am I with their achievements. I fully appreciate your excitement at S’s outstanding achievement as my middle son is autistic too & we’ve had these moments – to some it may seem like a small step but we know that it’s a giant leap. Well done xxx and thank you so much for linking up & sharing with us #loudnproud

  4. Such a proud blog from you Tracy on your 3 very different, yet all very special boys, my goodness you have the right to be swinging from the chandeliers. C, a talented actor, both tv & stage. K, a photographer who wants to get in and report with photographic evidence what real life is about. Then there is S, what a lad, to even be standing in assembly is an achievement but to take part and sing, well that’s just flipping outstanding. I truely believe being a parent is the hardest job in the world, we attempt to give birth in the best manner we can for our children and then the fun begins. While children, we nurture and make the best decisions we can. From a very early age, we are scared half to death about injections, we have to weigh up the pros & cons thereon after, until their adulthood and the worries don’t disappear then. This is a life job we take on, from the day the are conceived until the day we die, that’s pretty impressive for a CV in itself don’t you think. Your boys have all worked extremely hard to achieve what they have but no of it would have happened without you. You are a constant in their lives and I’m certain that the older ones would no doubt share the credit very happily for what they have achieved with you Tracy. Well done C. Well done K. Well done S……AND well done Tracy! I’m proud to be your friend. Xxxx

    • Blimey! That brought a tear to my eye, Sherrie. What beautiful words! Thank you so much!!
      I’d say they get their creativity from me but, thankfully, they have their father’s confidence to get out there and so something with it. Genetics are wonderful things lol..
      Hope you are feeling OK today…I’m so proud to be your friend too! 🙂 xXx

  5. What brilliant kids you have! No wonder you’re proud. It’s amazing to be able to make a career out of what you love – for two of your boys to have done that is fantastic.
    And, as for your littlest boy, what an absolute star!

    • Thanks Sarah 🙂
      I think it’s great too. I’ve just had jobs which have paid the bills but then, I only ever really wanted to be a mum…
      I hope little man gets to do something awesome with his life as well. I’m sure he will. X

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