Beware of Imitations!
South Manchester Helen O'Grady

As we move headlong into the performance term at SMHOG we find ourselves in a position where everything seems to be a meeting about something to do with the show. We have had a stage meeting and a sound meeting and a costume meeting and a scenery meeting. It appears that we will need some more stage but we do have enough costumes. I have found an ace piece of software which will assist in the playing of sound effects which I am currently testing on my lap top.

Cool Mouse

Harry the Hairy Rodent

Following the stage meeting which also encompassed the scenery meeting, Ruth had a moment of excitement when she found a massive hairy rodent about the size of a small hamster’s smaller friend in our scenery store. Being located in a semi rural area not far from open fields then you may expect the odd fox, heron, squirrel or brown mouse but the screams that emanated from the scenery store probably stopped half of Urmston. I have never seen two people move so fast in my life and a valuable lesson learnt by the SMHOG ladies is that when you take stuff from the store always leave yourself an escape route just in case you are accosted by a furry creature or a incumbent spider. Fortunately, yours truly was on hand as I was off work and studying for an examination so I was able to rescue Jane and Ruth from a fate worse than small hairy mouse by catching it and releasing it into a nearby field. Luckily, Oscar the Dog was not on hand to assist although he was probably recovering from the high pitched screaming which accompanied the rodent discovery and apparently it is not in Ruth’s job description. Anyway, all’s well that ends well!

Harry the Hairy Mouse as we have christened him now resides somewhere on Urmston Meadows in a comfortable new home with a great view. This is, of course, as long as he is not a homing mouse.

Over the last few months we have had some very welcome plaudits from parents who have decided to send their child to SMHOG Drama Academy. One father emailed us initially and then the mother spoke to us on the telephone. Their biggest concern was the fact that their child had been to two other “drama schools” in her local area but had found them totally unsuitable. At one, they had found that the classes were competitive and seemed to be focussed on those children who were deemed to be more able. There was drama and singing and dancing and if the child could not do all three disciplines then they were not in the “favoured few” as mother described.

smhogThe other class, although described as a drama school, was nothing of the sort. It was just a play group where the kids dressed up and ran around. There was no structure to the class and the child came out of the class having learnt…………well, to run around whilst wearing some random items of clothing. Their child had been intimidated by some of the other kids who were bigger and louder. Mum and Dad wanted a class that would focus their child into becoming confident and able to communicate clearly.

As we do with all new recruits, we offered a free trial lesson to make sure that the child liked our method of curriculum based learning. The rest is now history. Mum rang straight after the class and asked to enrol her child in the academy. Three months on, Mum rang to enrol child again for the performance term and had a long and grateful conversation with Jane. She sang the praises of our teacher and also commented on the excellent progress she had seen in her child even after a few months. The final comment she made to Jane as she finished her conversation over the telephone was, “Never again will I be fooled by cheaper alternatives”.

Give your child a headstart in life by coming to SMHOG and partaking in our excellent and proven record of learning. We offer non-competitive drama teaching designed to instil confidence and self-esteem in children. We get them to express themselves clearly and communicate properly in a safe and secure environment with teachers who have been DBS checked. The first lesson is a free trial with no commitment so there is nothing to lose.

Give us a call on 0161 749 8746 or email Check out our facebook page at or follow us on Twitter @SMHOG.

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