Almost everyone would probably say that they love their mum and that she is the best but honestly, my mum and I just get one another. I think our relationship is kind of different to other people I know who say that their mother is their best friend. I always remember one of my school friends saying “oh I tell my Mum everything! We gossip about all the school drama” etc etc. and I just thought why would my Mum care? I don’t really tell her about people she doesn’t know unless they are people I intend to introduce her to or if they’ve really bugged me. What makes our mother-daughter relationship so good is our joint love of the theatre. Generally I could map out my year of plans based on the tours of plays and musicals, taking the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as a personal challenge to see as much as possible in the space of a few days and our apparently annual trip to London because we just can’t get enough. I’m really grateful that I have my mum to share this obsession with because we can always count on one another to want to go and see these shows.
I suppose it all goes back to when I started dancing as a little 3 year old with too much energy which soon developed into an intense foray into the ‘hobby’ or part time career of competitive dance. My mum supported me through a decade of competing, driving me to classes 4/5 days a week, as well as driving all the way up and down the country to competitions, spending thousands over the years on dance costumes and hair extensions and fake tan, caring for me (or just putting up with my moaning) when I was tired and sore, and generally just being a dance mum who wasn’t mental. Spending all this time with my mum made us really close and I will forever be grateful for the amount of time and money she dedicated to my dancing.
As I went into my teen years I realised that as well as dancing I also liked to sing and act as well and this was probably due to our more frequent visits to His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen. I got involved in school musicals, Rock Challenge, and a Youth Musical Theatre group in Aberdeen and through this, Lynn followed along turning her amazing hands to creating stunning costumes and assisting with hair for the shows. She continues to amaze my fellow performers with her mad sewing skills.
I think since I was about 13 we have seen almost every show that ever came to HMT in Aberdeen but that wasn’t enough for our theatrical appetite and spending a few days in London has become part of the annual plans. The West End is always calling! My first trip to London was three years ago in 2013 and we went with the whole family, of course seeing some shows (Les Misérables and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Globe) but mainly hitting up the tourist attractions of the capital. The following year I tagged along with the trip that my parents took with one of Dad’s work friend’s and his wife. They had tickets to see the American football but I definitely was not interested in that and was given the freedom to spend the weekend either in a theatre or at Pineapple Dance Studios. On that trip I saw matinées of The Phantom of the Opera and Matilda: The Musical all by myself after a morning of jazz and musical theatre classes at Pineapple whilst meeting my parents in the evening for The Cherry Orchard and Miss Saigon, I was loving my life. It got to the Sunday evening and they were all done with their football and we were just sitting in a pub, mum and I (obviously with our priorities right) were thinking oh yes, we could definitely squeeze in another show but obviously there is a limited choice on a Sunday evening, we ended up buying last minute tickets to see The Commitments. This summer we headed back for my 18th Birthday and saw Funny Girl, Wicked, Blue/Orange, and The Railway Children and it was such a good trip filled purely with shows, theatre tours and theatre exhibitions in the V&A museum.
Next year we’re going crazy and having TWO London trips! The first in my Easter break where we have booked to see An American In Paris, The Glass Menagerie, Kinky Boots, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Dreamgirls! It’s gonna be the best time and I can’t wait for it to come around, we’re also hoping to get in tours of the Royal Opera House and Royal Albert Hall and I’m keen to go to the Science Museum. Then, the most exciting thing in my life, we’re gonna be in London just before Christmas next year with the whole family as a little fam holiday in honour of my mum’s 50th birthday and I successfully secured tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and I’m still in disbelief that I managed to get to the front of the virtual queue before it sold out again. We’re gonna team it up with the Harry Potter Studios to make it a very wizarding Christmas for the Daniel family and hopefully we’ll get to hit up one of the gigantic Winter Wonderlands in London.
I feel so lucky to be able to do things like this and to have a mother who loves theatre as much as I do so much that we’re able to take these amazing trips with the shows as our total priority while we do everything else for muchos cheapness. These experiences are a factor in my choice of career and have all shaped me as a human so I totally love my mother SO MUCH for allowing me to be me. She’s honestly the best person I know.