Friday, 27 March 2009

Why I like Musical Theatre Part 1- Where did the music come from?

So, after much deliberation I'm finally getting round to it. Why do I like musical theatre? This is going to be a huge post possibly split over many entries (as I have a lecture in less than half an hour), this is also not going to be pretty- a journey of realisation that's not a bundle of laughs. But I feel it is time to explore how I became the musical theatre geek I am and who knows? Perhaps it'll do me some good.

A friend once lent me the book "What would Barbara do?", she promised me it was one of the best books she'd ever read. She lied, it was shit. The author had decided that she spoke for everyone who had ever liked musical theatre and apparently the reason we liked it was because our mothers had brought us up on old musical comedies and Fred Astaire. That is definitely not the case for me. My mother just doesn't get music and finds it difficult to understand how the rest of us can have such a passion for "noise". In our family of five you will encounter in one room some crappy pop stuff courtesy of older sister, country and western from my now obsessed younger sister and either Jethro Tull, folk rock or Shania Twain/The Corrs from my Dad (lets just say he has a rather eclectic taste in music). If anything it is my Dad who introduced me to music. As a child birthday games of pass the parcel were punctuated by Status Quo, car journeys would be accompanied by Jethro Tull (who I still hate) and so on. At the age of eight he introduced me to the recently released movie of Evita and we bought the sheet music. Dad's side of the family were always the musicians; my three great-uncles were all semi professional musicians and Grandma sang and played piano, Dad plays guitar and piano and used to play the flute (badly). In our generation two out of the three sisters are musical, I play piano, keyboard, bass guitar, glockenspiel and sing and my sister sings, songwrites and plays guitar. So back to Evita, I never liked Don't Cry for Me Argentina as its such a simple yet boring song. I was always attracted to Buenos Aries and Another Suitcase in Another Hall. It was also around then that I suffered a big blow, Dad told me I couldn't sing (yeah, look who's talking now Dad!). So for most of my time at Middle School I was turned off this type of music and became a fan of Steps, Spice Girls and all that poppy crap. Perhaps this is why I was so miserable at Middle School.

In Bedfordshire we have the three tier system of Lower, Middle and Upper school, for me each of this tiers has a different memory- Lower school was lovely, everybody got along, I was probably a bit of a bitch but I loved it. Upper school was when I realised that being smart is not bad and I had a small base of close friends. Middle school was hell. My main memory is being bullied the entire time I was there, strangely I can't remember what they did I just remember having a really bad time and no friends. It all started by my best friend (who later became a drug addict, had a child, got chucked out by her mother, lived in a hostel and so on...) turning on me, it was strange because we were probably the closest out of our group of four. Everything just spiralled downhill from there, I got fat (something I only got rid of when I came to Uni) thus providing the bullies with more ammunition. It wasn't just one or two people though, it was sometimes the whole class which made the "just ignore it and it'll go away" idea completely impossible.

The beginning of Upper School was a tad better, I had a friend or two but I was still taunted a lot and had trouble finding my place.

Thus ends life before Musical Theatre, next installment to come, I have to dash to a problems class about Solvents and Solvent Effects now, funsies!

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