A book for every parent who has ever wondered whether to put, encourage or push their children onto stage, television or celluloid
When Lisa Gee took her 6-year-old daughter along to an open audition in London, it was just a fun way to occupy some time in the Easter holidays. But Dora triumphed, despite having no previous stage experience – and a few months later she was appearing on stage in the West End with Connie Fisher in The Sound of Music.
Part fairy-tale, part cautionary tale, this is the most engaging account you will ever read of a child's encounter with showbusiness, told from her mother's perspective. How do you stop fame going to your child's head? How do you quell your pride and avoid turning into a nightmare Stage Mother? And most importantly, how much chocolate can you eat at rehearsals?
Stage Mum is a book for every parent who has wondered whether to put, encourage or push their children onto stage, television or celluloid; for every grown-up child who wanted to audition and wasn't allowed to, and for anyone interested in the consequences when showbiz happens to nice – or just ordinary – people.
“Gee's balanced and amiable traveller's guide to theatreland takes us from the lengthy auditions right through to the 'This is my cousin, she used to be famous' aftermath ... The good news is that Stage Mum proves that having a child in a show may be possible in a way that is not ruinous.”
“An honest, well-observed and very funny account of Gee's adventures in theatreland - it could equally be called "How I Learned to be Constructive and Encouraging Without Being Pushy"”
“Articulating the bizarre struggle between her rational self and the pushy, over ambitious demeanour of a Stage Mum (Hutchinson £14.99, out July 3rd) Lisa Gee's in-depth account of life as the parent of a budding starlet makes for an enlightening read. Reveals the hard graft behind the lights.”
“Gee tells the story of child stardom from the other side: waiting outside stage doors on cold winter nights; reading Harry Potter aloud on the train; complying with all the regulations concerning child actors; and worrying about what impression a young girl appearing in The Sound of Music will get about Nazism. It's an interesting view of the theatre from the perspective of domestic practicalities and parental fears, and along the way there are tantrums, bouts of self-importance and even a brief meeting with Julie Andrews.”
“A balanced and amiable guide ... contains a great deal of information you couldn't know unless you had lived this life yourself”
“This is an engaging and revealing read for anyone who loves the theatre”