Friday, 10 July 2009

I Live With Bill Sykes

12 Year Old Son came home from school two days ago delighted that he had got the part of Bill Sykes in the school play Oliver, to be performed next term. Lovely, I said. I did try, he told me, for Fagin and the Artful Dodger, but being one of the tallest in his year meant that he would have had to remain seated if he was Dodger, as the rest of the cast come up to his armpits.

Last night he came home with the script. During dinner he growled and tested his voice for meanness on me. Siddown, he barked when I got up. What? I said looking quizzical. He fixed me with a look of calculated malice and repied, Oi said Siddown. Bitch. He wiped his nose on the back of his hand and I sat down. Will that do? He said. Is that evil enough? I was relieved, 12 year old son hadn't taken mind altering drugs, he was In Character.

So as the meal progressed, 12 year old son swore, snarled and looked furious. When he stood up he hooked his thumbs into the top of his trousers and kicked the chair. It was wonderful, he was very Victorian Thug. I briefly wondered about his Nancy, and when Bill had retreated a bit and Son came back I asked him. The girl playing Nancy is a sweet talented tall and elegant child, with wonderful manners and possibly going to have a shock when confronted with my method acting son who, in the end, has to kill her. I will leave it to the teachers to apply some boundaries.

Later on, in the bath, it sounded as if 12 year old son was having an argument. In fact, he was reading the entire script, in character, and putting his all into it. I was very tired and went to read in bed. In comes Bill after the bath and says Can I sing you my song? Yes I said, feeling proud that he had no hangups about being the whole cast of Oliver at once. For his Mum.

I hear, this morning, that I fell asleep during his violent interpretation of Bill's song, Nobody Mentions My Name. I do remember just closing my eyes briefly while 12 year old son was experimenting with Intimidation and Threat in the song. I have a hazy memory of someone turning off my light and closing my door. Poor Bill.

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