Published in time for Mother's Day, 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's six-year-old daughter, Dora, goes to an open audition for the West End production of The Sound of Music, it's just a fun way to occupy some time in the Easter holidays. But when Dora unexpectedly lands the role, Lisa soon learns that Dora's brush with fame has less to do with paparazzi and lucrative paydays and more to do with endless rehearsals and outsize egos.
Part fairy tale, part cautionary tale, this is the hilarious, engaging account of one child's step into the limelight. From the initial try-out with over a thousand Von Trapp hopefuls to performing on the London stage with Connie Fisher and an encounter with Julie Andrews, mother and daughter navigate the minefield of rehearsals, auditions and fame. This is a heart-warming glimpse into the sometimes not-so-glamorous world of show business and the delicate balance between being proud and being pushy. Stage Mum is a story for every parent who dreams big and every child who dreams bigger.
“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”