Sunday, 20 March 2011

Chess !

I think, if I hadn't been a teacher, I would love to have studied performing arts!

When I'm in the house alone, I love to sing!

When I was little, I loved ballet.

Desperate to dance, I was, instead, forced to have piano lessons!

I was quite musical so did enjoy those lessons really...

but, had it been my choice... ;-)

However, I was allowed a pair of red ballet shoes

and an LP record...Swan Lake on one side

and The Nutcracker, on the other.

I can well remember the little 'performances' that

my sister and myself would give my mum.

And I can well recall spending many, happy

visits to the very theatre, where I sat yesterday, watching :


This is a story about passion.

Oh, well okay, it's a story about other things too...

like loyalty, deceit... and relationships.

But it's mainly about passion.

That is, passion for another human being... and passion for a game.

The game of Chess.

It's a new production which is touring the country at the moment

and luckily for me it came to Torquay, this week!

With lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, formerly of ABBA, the story involves a romantic triangle between two top chess players, one an American, the other a Russian.They are taking part in a world chess championship.

The woman who manages one of the players, falls in love with the other. Having defected to the west, he just happens to have a wife and children,whom he has left behind in Russia.

The story is set in the context of a Cold War struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union, both countries wanting to win international chess tournaments for propaganda purposes.

I wasn't disappointed. In fact, it was a superb musical. I found the quality of the singing exceptional and indeed the whole show was put together in a very unique and effective way.

The cast were outstanding. The leading roles excelled.

Yesterday, I was able to sit and enjoy this because someone, somewhere,

taught these people how to read and play music; how to sing;

how to dance the right steps; how to act;

how to perform and entertain.

The art of performing does not just happen!!

Therefore, I have very strong feelings about the teaching

of drama and music in our schools and it grieves me to read that many schools

could be making their drama and music teachers redundant!

There's far too much of this squeezing the creativity out of our children;

it's not good it?!!

The performing arts plays a vital role in our children's education,

in inspiring and helping them to gain the confidence needed to

reach their full potential in their lives.

I hope that there will always be such fine shows as this and I hope that

our children will always be encouraged to be creative and imaginative

because even the great Albert Einstein once said:

'Logic will get you from A to B.

Imagination will take you everywhere'

And that is certainly true...

Torquay and Bangkok, in the same afternoon, can't be bad,can it?


(Photos courtesy of )


KC'sCourt! said...

I totally agree with you Sal. Our son Robert went to university to learn performing arts. I think he would have gone even if we discouraged it. I'm glad we didn't!
Julie xxxxxxx

Linda Gilbert said...

Hear, Hear!! Encore,Encore! Bravo,Bravo !!! Well said Sal x

Andi's English Attic said...

It is the biggest regret of my life that I didn't pursue my acting to professional level, so I sympathise completely.
Re The Nutcracker. I heard an unforgettable exchange on Classic FM a few months ago between the presenter and a boy on Kids' Call:
'Now, you've requested something from The Nutcracker - any particular reason?'
'Yes. I like nuts.'
Tears of laughter down my face whenever I recall it. xx

KC'sCourt! said...

Meant to say translated above - well said!
Julie xxxxxxx

Annie said...

I quite agree with everything you say Sal, and thanks for sharing the information about this new production of Chess. I have never seen Chess but love musicals so will look out for this now when it comes to our area of the country.
Ann x

Thecraftytrundler said...

Sounds like a great musical, and can see why you enjoyed it!! It's such a pity to see that children may miss the chance of this important, creative side of their education.
Any am dram groups locally for you, I wonder?
Sharon xx

Felicity said...

thats the one thing i miss that i dont do as much, before we had the boiys we saw every show going! i love it! u always spent the next month singing snippets that i can remember badly and loud -poor neighbours! fliss xxx

Menopausal musing said...

NOTHING beats live performance. It totally brings a story to life. I love the Einstein quote (having sat and transcribed it partially and then........ hang head in shame....... cheated via Google). Now, did I read it right that you were in Torquay and Bangkok in one afternoon? Does Mr Snippets know what you get up to? ;O))))

Sal said...

Well Cathy... 'One night in Bangkok' is a song from the show! And what one gets up to in Bangkok does not bear thinking about!!;-)