In a week where I am about to tread the boards again for the first time in over a year, my sister was sorting out some of our parents’ documents, found this page and scanned/sent it to me this morning. It is nothing less than the “script” – if I may call it that – of what I had to learn as announcer (or perhaps, more accurately, narrator?) for a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves that our school was putting on. The wrinkle is, we were living in France at the time so it’s in French. Even better, we had only been living in Le Havre for a year, so I was still learning the native language.
From the first paragraph, I see that I was in la classe de 10e. Although the naming of class years in l’école élémentaire in France has changed from those days, this used to be the year for 7-8 year olds. Since I was kept down a class year when I started school there because I didn’t know the language, I would have been 8.
The production was in three scenes, and I would walk on stage in between each and lay the scene for the next part for the audience. This particular section in particular, I’m drawing the audience in with some banter followed by chut!
I seem to remember that I was also dressed as a nain: the eighth dwarf. Dad was into Super-8 at the time and filmed each of my bits. Somewhere at my sister’s is a canister containing no-doubt-decaying film with this on it, although I’m fairly positive my photographically-inclined uncle kindly transferred it to VHS at some point 30-odd years ago.
I would guess that this … adventure … did not put me off acting or appearing on stage. Indeed my (very) vague memories of it was that I enjoyed myself hugely: solo and center stage.
Mind you, looking at the script now, holy cow. There are some big words in there for an 8-year-old Brit in France. “funestes”? (I just had to look that one up.) A weird abbreviation: “1Er” for “premier”, and so on. And beautifully typed on a typewriter, correctly accented and all, with only one typo right at the end. (If that had been me? Arrrrrrgh and typewriter out the window.)