As headteacher, Miss Belcher, delivers her final assembly of the term, the staff and children are excited about what the holidays will bring, now that school’s out! Whilst nervously talking with a group of friends about the prospect of ‘big school’, twins Lily and Josh Summers tell them, with muted enthusiasm, about their forthcoming family trip to Poplins Holiday Camp! It’s their grandparents’ ‘treat’ – a chance to live the high-life before they’re too old! Meanwhile, the teachers discuss the ways they’ll be winding down and all agree that six weeks off school is just what the doctor ordered. Song – Summer Vacation
While the Summers family suffers a cramped car journey, with cries of ‘Are we there yet?’, complaints about lack of phone-charge and plenty of adult bickering, the Green Coats of Poplins marvel at the refurbishment and upgrade their camp has recently undergone, including the recruitment of famous Chef Raymond Blah-Blah and celebrity dance instructors Anton Du Pantalon and Angelina Pasodoble! Song – Ready To Go
As the Poplins’ doors are flung open, the hordes arrive and they are dispatched to their chalets by the Green Coats, with promises of a thrilling timetable of events ahead! As well as the Summers family, the guests include a mysterious couple, Mr Smith and Miss Jones, who seem intent on avoiding contact with their fellow camp-mates!
Each day’s event is introduced by the camp announcer, with those familiar Hi De Hi-style xylophone ‘ding-dongs’ played by a rather over-enthusiastic assistant! Our first experience of Poplins hospitality is ‘Steak Night’ in the restaurant, where Chef Raymond Blah-Blah laps up the praise from adoring diners. Song – Et Voila! Unfortunately, Grandpa George is thoroughly unimpressed with the gourmet dish he is given to eat. He didn’t serve 47 years in her Majesty’s army just to be ‘poisoned by some silly man in a silly hat’. Grandma Margaret, upset by his rudeness to the chef and his unwillingness to try something new, storms out leaving George with a few harsh home-truths to consider. Is he too old to change his ways and make amends?
Next on the agenda is the ‘Precisely Poplins’ dance masterclass, with the tastefully-tanned and superbly-sequined instructors, Anton Du Pantalon and Angelina Pasodoble. As they guide some star-struck couples through their paces (song – Two Left Feet), Julie Summers (Mum) waits on her own for her husband Dave to show up, knowing he is a reluctant participant in the class. Dave arrives too late for them to dance and his forlorn wife makes her feelings about his up-tightness and lack of gumption very obvious! How will Dave make it up to Julie?
It’s a morning by the pool, where Grandma Margaret takes the bull by the horns and enters the Poplins Glamorous Granny Competition (song – H-A-P-P-Y O-A-P), much to the embarrassment of her husband George! However, against some stiff competition, her attitude that ‘you’re never too old’ puts her in contention for the winner’s rosette, the recipient of which will be announced at the big farewell bash the following evening.
That afternoon we find Lily and Josh in the woods enjoying a treasure hunt with some other children. As the others wander off in different directions, the twins contemplate their young lives, their pending move to secondary school and the fact that their family can be a real pain! Discovered by an understanding Green Coat, Lily and Josh are given words of encouragement and some tips on how to deal with the changes that are coming their way. Song – It Isn’t Easy
It’s the final evening at Poplins and all gather in the ballroom for the end of holiday party. And what a party it is! In a wonderful sequence of events, conflicts are resolved, attitudes are changed, mysteries are solved and each one of the Summers family finds cause for celebration and optimism. Life lessons are well and truly learned and shared in an emotional finale! Song – Dance Like No-one Is Watching