Olivia's Enchanted Summer

Olivia's Enchanted Summer by Lyn Gardner Read Free Book Online

Book: Olivia's Enchanted Summer by Lyn Gardner Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lyn Gardner
had all read the entry so many times. After a few minutes, they heard Pablo announcing that the show was about to start and the tiny audience trickled into the big top.
    Jack came and got the children from their dressing tents, pulling on his dark-blue cloak as he walked towards them. He gathered all of them together.
    â€œRight,” he said. “Are you all ready? TheSwan Circus is about to make its debut, and let’s make it a glorious one!”
    â€œBut there’s almost nobody here,” said Kylie. “There are more of us in the cast than there are in the audience.”
    A few other people murmured tetchily, too. Connor O’Toole mentioned something about a showbiz rule that meant you didn’t have to do a show if the cast outnumbered the audience. Will said he didn’t think that applied to the Edinburgh Fringe. Aeysha said that one of her many cousins had been in a show with only one person in the audience, who’d turned out to be a critic from a national newspaper. This had been a disaster because the show required a lot of audience participation and everyone knew critics hated audience participation. The show had been given one star.
    It was so disappointing. Everyone was tired after the dramas of the day before and from not being used to sleeping under canvas. Some people had been awake since 4 a.m. when the first birds started singing. It had been an incredibly long day and now they were about to debut before an audience of nine. After all their hard work it was completely disheartening.
    â€œI think we should cancel,” said Kylie mutinously.
    â€œI know the audience is small,” said Jack. “But this is the first preview. It will take time to build an audience.” Although his voice was bright, his eyes looked so defeated and worried that Olivia felt a sudden surge of protective love for him. It didn’t matter what he had done in the past. He was her dad and she loved him. She glared at Kylie.
    â€œIt doesn’t matter if there are nine or nine hundred people,” she said fiercely. “Of course we’re going to do the show. We’re Swans. For Swans, the show always goes on and we’ve got to be the best we can be.”
    Jack looked at her gratefully. “Liv’s right,” he said. “If we give those nine people a really great show, they’ll tell all their friends, who will come and tell their friends. That way the audience will grow.”
    â€œGreat,” muttered somebody at the back. “So by the end of the run we might have a whole thirty-six punters.” A few people laughed.
    â€œNobody is forcing you to do it,” said Olivia hotly. “If you can’t be bothered, you could just pack up and go home. But I’m staying, and I’mgoing to do a show.”
    â€œUs too!” shouted Georgia, Aeysha, Will and some of the others. “Of course we want to do the show!” So many people yelled their agreement that there was no need to take a vote. Even Kylie was swept up in the moment.
    â€œGood,” said Jack. “Then let’s make it a brilliant one.”
    They all walked quickly towards the big top as the music began, their excitement rising. Jack squeezed Olivia’s hand. “Thanks for helping me out, Liv. I know I can always trust you to support me, both up on the wire and down on the ground.”
    Olivia looked up into her father’s open face and tired blue eyes and suddenly forgot all her suspicions. Whatever he had done was in the past. Perhaps one day he would tell her about it. But for the time being he needed all the support he could get and she was going to give it to him. And she knew that once the show began and the adrenalin kicked in, everyone would give the performance of their lives.
    â€œEverything’s going to be OK, Dad,” she said. “ Enchantment is going to be a huge success.”

Chapter Six
    The show was heading towards its finale. In the

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