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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs Worthington? Who's she?!
Landmark revival "The Sound Of Music" at the London Palladium in 2006 may have chosen its leading lady by television vote, but the cast is larger than a single publicly-elected new star. With children a key feature of the show, how do producers find enough of them to keep Maria busy? Six-and-a-bit-year-old Dora Gee was one volunteer keen to become a Von Trapp... With...
Published on 4 July 2008 by theatremonkey

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3.0 out of 5 stars A nice little read
A very honest account of being a parent to a performing child. Showed both the highs and lows of theatre life.
Published 17 months ago by Katriona Methven


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs Worthington? Who's she?!, 4 July 2008
This review is from: Stage Mum (Paperback)
Landmark revival "The Sound Of Music" at the London Palladium in 2006 may have chosen its leading lady by television vote, but the cast is larger than a single publicly-elected new star. With children a key feature of the show, how do producers find enough of them to keep Maria busy? Six-and-a-bit-year-old Dora Gee was one volunteer keen to become a Von Trapp... With trepidation, "mother superior" Lisa agrees to let her audition; this is their tale.

Subtitling her book "When showbiz happens to your child" rather than "Connie Fisher, My Part in Her Triumph" demonstrates just how seriously Lisa Gee took keeping her daughter's first stage experience in perspective. Deeply scared by "child star burns out in adolescence" stories and without any knowledge of the business herself, she prepares for the worst but instead is often pleasantly surprised.

Much of the appeal of this book is the immediacy of Lisa's writing. Even though we know Dora bags the part, the earliest chapters - all titled with quotes from the show's lyric - are a measured mixture of mundane family life dappled with the pleasure of anticipation and shadows of potential failure. We live in the same moment as the author, where every meeting, letter and email could "make or break" the fantasy... and the laundry still needs doing.

Interlacing descriptions of audition and rehearsal processes, seeing her daughter on stage for the first time, opening-night parties and settling into the run; Lisa interviews many in the business and considers objectively just how wise it is allowing your child to join a dropout apprentice nun's adopted brood for six months.

It certainly isn't the money. Dora was paid far less than the price of a decent stalls ticket each night, while the parents counted themselves lucky to get even a proportion of their own travel expenses paid. The true gain, as Lisa concludes by chatting with parents and professionals, is building confidence by channelling youthful energy and creativity into something good.

Lisa's maternal thoughts and feelings, observations and reflections are an informative perspective for anybody with a stage-struck child. In the future, Dora may choose West End stars or NASA ones. Either way, in this book she will have a highly readable and entertaining record of a very special adventure; a pleasure we are lucky to share.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars buy it, 6 Oct 2008
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This review is from: Stage Mum (Paperback)
Ever thought of putting your promising child on the stage? Then buy this book before you do. A grippingly accurate account of the dos and don'ts of child acting from the point of view of a parent who initially had no idea that her darling daughter would make it to the West End stage.

Charting the rise of Dora's stardom with an incisive and thoughtful wit, Lisa Gee tells us how it is with a stunning self awareness and an honest eye trained on the pitfalls lurking in the wings.

A must read. Superb.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for parents of performing children, 1 Aug 2008
By 
Rachel Andrew - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stage Mum (Paperback)
Stage Mum is an honest, down to earth and entertaining read that also manages to touch on the serious issues that parents of "performing children" suddenly find themselves facing - often with very little support. I wish this book had been around when my daughter was cast in a West End show as I'd have been far better prepared for the chaos that took over our lives for 5 unforgettable months.

If your child has West End aspirations, or you have ever wondered about the lives of the children you see performing in professional theatre then do read this book. It is incredibly honest, both from the point of view of Lisa's feelings as a mother and in her descriptions of the day to day practicalities of having a child working in a show for half a year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stage Mum, 7 July 2008
This review is from: Stage Mum (Paperback)
Lisa has an honest and funny look at her experiences as a Stage Mum, writing about her daughter's run in the Sound of Music from auditions through to rehearsals, publicity, performances and "what Dora did next". She bravely analyses and confronts her fears about the industry's impact on child performers' lives long term, not settling for a glamorous celebrity filled description of the experience. Her humour, insight and frankness make this book a fascinating read for anyone, whether they have seen the BBC's "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria", Sound of Music on film or stage, or have contemplated and/or been a part of the world of stage parents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for parents of children with "jazz hands", 26 May 2009
This review is from: Stage Mum (Paperback)
Lisa Gee comes across as wholly likeable, in this charming, insightful and realistic romp through the audition, rehearsal and performance cycle of having a child in a big, West End, production.

So many of us having budding thespians amongst our children, or at least a child that gets up and dances, sings, juggles, or throws their voice into the pet cat during the commercial breaks in Britain's Got Talent, it is nice to know what is involved in parenting one of the spotlight lovers.

I recommend this to any parent who has a child with "jazz hands", it is as real as it gets and has lots of tips, whilst managing not to put you off the whole idea, and sign your children up for stamp collecting club after school.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 10 April 2014
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This review is from: Stage Mum (Kindle Edition)
I have no experience in the theatre industry so bought this book to find out what it was like for everyone who has someone performing in the West End. I loved reading about Dora's journey into The Sound of Music and even though I read the book 7 years after Dora was in it, I would have loved to have seen her on stage. The book is really interesting and mentions the highs and lows of theatre and performing life, as well as encounters with Julie Andrews. Stage Mums will truly adore this book, as well as people like me who know absolutely nothing about it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Stage Mum (Kindle Edition)
Having been a 'stage mum' I was keen to read this book and was not disappointed. It's a great read - funny, observant, insightful, thought-provoking, and soooo true to life, bringing back so many memories of my son's time in a West End musical!

Recommended to anyone who enjoys an entertaining read, and especially to anyone who has a young performer or aspiring performer in the family.

Bravo Lisa............a triumph!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for all parents with performing children, 5 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Stage Mum (Paperback)
Having found out about this book just yesterday, I downloaded it onto my Kindle and was up until 2.30am reading it from start to finish. It is compelling and everyone with a performing child, from Stage Coach through to Sylvia Young parents, should try it. It should also be read with Jo Hawes' own book, Children in Theatre. I wish I had read Lisa Gee's book a year ago. Honest, refreshing and amusing, it offers a healthy perspective on the pressures of being a 'stage mum'. I feel I've lived through the West End production of the Sound of Music and understand everything so much better now. Thank you Lisa for writing this, I am extremely grateful.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A nice little read, 27 Jan 2013
By 
Katriona Methven (Markyate, St. Albans) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stage Mum (Kindle Edition)
A very honest account of being a parent to a performing child. Showed both the highs and lows of theatre life.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Only for other stage mums, 26 Oct 2008
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This review is from: Stage Mum (Paperback)
I had high hopes of this book but actually I think the only people who would be truly interested in it are other stage mums, and that would be mostly for getting tips. Otherwise, it is somewhat tiresome and repetitive, and there is a limit to the interest the average reader can have in the (very) small potatoes of this family's lives. Mrs Gee constantly excuses her Stage Mom obsessions with the expression 'the stage mom inside me...'; but, frankly, that tiresome beast is not inside her enough. It's showing through at every point. And when a writer has to tell you the airports and times of flights and how many yellow lines they ended up parking on, you can't help but wonder whether the book wouldn't have done better as a few newspaper articles. But, to be fair, if you're another Mrs Worthington, you will adore it. And all stagestruck children would enjoy it too.
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Stage Mum
Stage Mum by Lisa Gee (Paperback - 5 Mar 2009)
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