Day 8: Thank you very much Tall Stories

If my last post on here found both Arlo and I flagging a little, thank you enormously Tall Stories theatre company for reviving us both. Their excellent production of 'Emily Brown and the Thing', begins with two actors on stage brushing teeth and getting ready for bed. 'There's no way I'll be able to sleep with all these people watching,' one complains and the other instructs the audience they will have to look away. It was a good few minutes into the ensuing story before I realised that Arlo had put both hands over his eyes. After whispered reassurance that he was allowed to look again, the hands dropped and his wide eyes remained transfixed on stage throughout, his whole body craning from side to side so he didn't miss any of the action and his grasp on my thumb tightening whenever the protagonists - the fantastic, tousle-haired, titular Emily and her companion Stanley the rabbit - faced any sort of peril, relaxing when it looked like they would be okay.

Arlo's post-show verdict, 'It was fabarooney!' (an expression he's picked up off TV which I normally find very irritating but which was probably apposite here). 'It was scary, but not too scary. And it made me laugh.'

And I really loved it too. I've been trying, and largely failing, to adequately capture exactly what it is I value so much about good live theatre (or music, or comedy, or dance) - something sort of exhilarating and inspiring that comes form recognising the talent and thought and commitment of all those involved in a great performance combined with the sense of connection you can feel if there is resonance in what they are using that performance to say.

Anyway, whatever it is, I swear I felt it yesterday (and this in spite of the fact that the three actors were having to perform both to and over the full house of noisy, chatting, crying, not-always-entirely-paying-attention, children). Who knows whether Arlo felt anything approaching the same. He will, however, have felt me pull him a little closer to me on my knee and give him an, 'I am ever so happy we are here together', squeeze.