The Ugly Sisters: My First Writing Success

Kat B and Tony Whittle as the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella at Hackney Empires
Kat B and Tony Whittle as the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella at Hackney Empires - Robert Workman photography.

My first success as a writer came with a version of Cinderella that our class performed in assembly at school when I was around 14-years old.

I had all the boys play female roles, and all the girls play men. If I had known what a pantomime was in those days, I might have called it by its name. I even managed to rope in the alfa-male of our year to take part in this production. Ian Palmer was our school’s ‘blonde bombshell’ at the time. He was the testosterone-fuelled adolescent all the pretty girls considered Sedgehill’s answer to David Soul. Palmer played Cinderella, while Hyacinth Cooke played Prince Charming, being “a real stunner” herself and the only black girl among our intake of A-band students.

Ugly Sisters: The Class of 1975 Do Cinderella
Channelling the Ugly Sisters: My Class of 1975 do Cinderella

“Cinderella, Cinderella, come polish my shoes.”
“Where is that lazy girl?”

I recall that our form tutor, Mister Burke, gave me twenty-five house points for my scriptwriting efforts. And alongside my best friend at the time, a boy named Marsid, we played Cinderella’s step-siblings. The performance was a huge success, and we became known as “The Ugly Sisters” by staff and pupils alike. I must have written all the best one-liners for us or maybe we played our parts far too convincingly because that name stuck throughout the rest of our time at school.

“Oh, look, there goes The Ugly Sisters,” our teachers would point and jeer as everybody in earshot laughed. The jibes didn’t bother us at all back then. We would have done almost anything for attention in our teens. But Teachers are not stupid. They knew us better than we knew ourselves at that age.

What’s your first ever success in your chosen field? Answers in the comment section, please.

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Paul Boakye is a writer/editor, health promotion specialist, and marketing consultant who helps brands and not-for-profits engage with diverse audiences online and offline. He blogs about writing, WordPress, and travelling.

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