Adelaide Fringe Festival Tour Diary: A Personal Lifetime Highlight

Backstage before the show.

Not much comedy in this post, but I just want to share it for what it is. Anybody who has seen “An Unexpected Variety Show” will understand why the prospect of having my daughter in the audience for the very first time was one that filled me with a plethora of emotions, from anxiety to sappiness and just about everything in between.

Despite feeling incredibly tense onstage for the first half of the show (despite my suggestions that a side seat might be a little less confronting for her strutting show-pony of a mother, she stuck to her guns and sat front row, centre stage), having my girl there was just…overwhelming.

Whenever I sing “World’s Greatest Love Song”, I sing it to her every night, but last night, I did so literally. My beautiful little girl.

I should interrupt this by saying that I do not think my show is suitable for kids in general! The only reason I let Ella come along last night is because:

a) she already knows the full story and I’d already talked through some of the challenging themes in it with her;
b) she understands that if she comes to a show with some bad language in it, of which there is a bit in mine, she has to prove that she’s mature enough to handle that without thinking it means she can go around spouting it from her own mouth; and
c) it felt right.

Anyhoo, at the end of the show, I said to the audience “This is a monumental night for me because my daughter is actually here in the audience.” As I spoke it out loud I really started to break up and the crowd clapped even louder. I looked down at her beautiful little face looking up at me, and put my arm out to see if she wanted to join me; after a moment’s hesitation she jumped up onstage and in a scene not unlike that of a finale of any number of romantic comedies, we threw our arms around each other with wondrous love from the crowd.

It was perfect.

We then went backstage and proceeded to bawl our eyes out…and laugh…and bawl some more together.

It was one of the most magical times ever.

We then ventured out for a Mummy daughter date in Adelaide, down through the Garden of Unearthly Delights…

The Garden.

…and then off into the city for a gelato and a hot chocolate.

The luscious array of choccies we DIDN'T succumb to on our quest for liquid heaven.

We rang my hubby and told him all about it in the middle of our girly night. I told him that I’ve just realised that really, whatever the heck happens from this point onwards, in the Fringe and in life, just having shared tonight with Ella is really the pinnacle.


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  1. Laurel
    March 6, 2012

    Sitting in the Child Health Centre waiting room with my 18 day old daughter bawling Jenny!! Can’t even comprehend what’s ahead for us. Except for tonight of course, when I know she’ll scream the house down with wind pain!!

  2. March 6, 2012

    Oh sweetie! First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!! A gorgeous little Laurel girl, how wondrous! So happy for you. And thank you for your tears, it is my mission to make new mothers weep wherever possible. For I know if there’s nothing else they need, it’s more emotion.

    Big love darling. To you and your little one! xxx

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