What do you get when a former lighting technician, a gospel choir singer and a medical student all come together? ….
…. A living room full of glitter, arts and crafts, projectors, glasses of champagne and a stage fit to perform a stick puppet version of “The Scarecrows' Wedding!"
I really wish that someone would say to me: “No, Helen, don’t be ridiculous! How can we ever make that happen?” The trouble is, with three eccentric brains, and even bigger personalities, we can make anything happen, especially for James.
As James approaches his 17th birthday, it has given us all time to pause and reflect on the year he has had, taking us all the way back to his 16th birthday and the present we, as a day team, made for him! No idea is impossible and out of reach, with the right scissors, glue stick and glass or two of motivational bubbly!!
Enter three willing carers, into Andrea’s living room. The confetti still needs making, the lollipop sticks still need attaching to the hand drawn and hand-made puppets (suddenly we realise that perhaps only one us should have made the puppets as our giant paper cigar is as taller than Reginald Rake and the vibrant, crepe paper bumblebee, lovingly and unwittingly made by James' younger sister, takes up half of the shoe box stage. Someone definitely didn’t suffer with stage fright) and where on earth do get a tractor from? - God bless You Tube!
The stage is set and the camera angles are rehearsed again and again and again – Andrea’s mobile phone precariously balanced on the end of her table for the best shot. The filming gets rather wobbly as we have to press pause/play on the phone in order to slide my tablet in front of the screen to play the tractor clip. The finished product is seamless ;-D
Jess did her best to control her rehearsal giggles as she narrates the story as Andrea and I do our best to bring the characters to life with convincing accents. We couldn’t leave her out though, and we believe that her buzzing bee is the most realistic you will ever hear! BBzzzzzzzzzz.
The entire experience made us feel like we were back in primary school, preparing for the school play – parents, proudly and with eager anticipation awaiting their child’s dazzling performance.
The play was performed on the day of James' birthday to his entire family, extended family, school tutors and teaching assistants, neighbours and friends, once we had overcome the significant technological glitch of not understanding how James' dad’s supersonic television works.
The piece was received with rapturous applause and, if I’m honest, a few looks of concern about whether the three of us had finally lost our marbles.
But anything is worth life-long humiliation for us; anything is possible; for James.
Watch our performance of Julia Donaldson's "The Scarecrows' Wedding" here: