Ohhh it’s good to be home. Row A, seats 11 and 12. What a way to finish off my trip! I just about had time to catch the Rock of Ages matinee before I had to catch my train back to Manchester. It’s no secret that I absolutely love this show, so I was really excited to be back on the Sunset Strip. There were quite a few cast changes: Grant Anthony would be on for Hertz instead of Rohan Tickell, Andy Spillett was the Mayor, Scarlette Douglas was on as Young Groupie instead of Leanne and Ian McIntosh was on for Joey Primo. The cast changes I was most excited about, and actually screamed when I found out, were these. Nathan Amzi would replace Simon Lipkin as Lonny, and Tim Driesen would be on as Drew instead of Ross Hunter. I love love love Nathan’s Lonny and, as much as I love how adorable Ross is as Drew, I was really excited to see Tim. He would be my fourth Drew and I’d already seen him as Joey Primo and Stacee Jaxx, so I couldn’t wait for the show to start.
As the band was introduced and the music started I could barely keep still. Nathan would burst onto stage at the top of the stairs as Lonny and as the music built up, my grin got bigger and bigger. Then, the door opened. “YEAH! What’s going down London town?” Oh. My. God. He is spectacular. I literally screamed as loud as I could and got a little wink from him as he came to the front of the stage. As Tim ran onto the stage I screamed again – he makes a really hot rocker! (I totally didn’t steal that line from the show.) As Grant came on as Hertz, (last time I’d seen him he was Dennis Dupree) I was pleasantly surprised. I am incredibly biased towards Rohan as Hertz but Grant did a really impressive job. It was good to see Scarlette back on stage too, I’d missed her amazing dancing. The chemistry between Tim Driesen and Natalie Andreou, who plays Sherrie was electric and they worked really well together onstage. Tim and Nathan bounced off eachother really well too, it was a good cast. This was my 8th Rock of Ages show, and it was probably the best one I’d ever seen. Nathan as Lonny is indescribable; he’s so funny, talented and has one hell of a voice. Natalie was as spectacular as always and Rachel McFarlane who plays Justice was incredible too.
There’s a point in the show where Lonny comes out of the Venus Strip club in a cropped top, before flashing his sequined nipple cover at the audience. The room was pretty quiet, except for me. When he came to the front of the stage, barely a few feet away from me, I gave him a very loud cheer and he gave me a look. Yep, he knew I was there. Good! As the first act came to a close I realised where I was sat. Nathan came to centre stage and shouted “you, my dressing room, two minutes” before pointing directly at me. I’d have had a major sulk on if he’d have pointed to anyone else!
The second act was as incredible as the first. The only problem with knowing the show backwards is that it goes by way too quickly! Afterwards we headed to the stage door, of course. Nathan was one of the first out and I pretty much pounced on him. I feel sorry for him, I’m expecting a restraining order any day now. He was as lovely as ever and we had a picture together and he signed my ticket for me. Tim came out too and I told him I’d seen him as Stacee and Primo and I loved him as Drew. He’s so sweet! We posed for a picture and he signed my ticket too, and then out came Rachel McFarlane. This woman is incredible. She’s a Manc, like me, and always has time to chat. She said she liked my hair (I’d dyed it since the last time I’d seen her) and we had a chat and a picture. It’s now a whole two weeks before I see the show and the cast again – how am I going to cope?!