Rock of Ages – 20/04/2013

Yep, I’m back again. Ninth show and counting! I’d had a rough week so I was really really looking forward to this show. I’d found out earlier in the day that Nathan Amzi would be on playing Lonny instead of Simon Lipkin (cue extremely girly squealing in the middle of Starbucks) so I couldn’t wait to get back to the Garrick. We’d be going to the evening show so our train to London wasn’t until 3.15pm, getting us in at around 5.45pm. After stopping off for a quick coffee break we headed to the theatre.

There were a few covers; Ian McIntosh would play Franz instead of Sandy Moffat, Andy Spillett (super swing) would play The Mayor/Paul Gill/Joey Primo and the role of Constance Sack would be played by Scarlette Douglas instead of Selina Hamilton. As we settled into our seats (BB3 and BB4 – VERY close to the front) I could feel myself getting more and more excited. I was surrounded by ROAdies (the woman next to me was on her 7th show, the girls in front were on their 15th) and the theatre was sold out. As the band came on and the music built up I waited for Nathan to burst out of the door at the top of the stairs. As soon as I caught sight of him I screamed as loud as I could and clapped like a maniac – as did the other ROAdies around me. Nathan’s energy is totally infectious and soon I was dancing in my seat. I’d tweeted him earlier with my seat number and I caught a few cheeky glances from him during his first song. As the first act progressed I felt my bad mood lifting – that’s the effect the show has on you. I was really glad to see Rohan Tickell back as Hertz (he’d been off for a while with various medical emergencies) and Ian as Franz was just incredible. I’d seen his first Franz show a few months earlier and he’d improved so much – he was so confident and had really developed the role and put his own stamp on it. The first act flew by, (I am proud to say I have mastered the choreography to “Here I Go Again”) and it was time for me to sulk. I was on the right hand side of the theatre, second row, and when Lonny points into the crowd and says “you, my dressing room, two minutes” he always points to the left side, so someone else would be the lucky girl this time. Or so I thought. I was sat watching Nathan to see who’d pick out when he turned to me, winked and said “YOU, my dressing room, two minutes” pointing directly at me. I was not prepared for that! I think I went the same colour as my hair.

During the interval I got talking to the woman next to me – Ginny. She seemed really impressed that we’d travelled all the way from Manchester to see the show, and even more impressed when I told her it was my ninth show. She also thought we were mad but what can you do. As the second act started the crowd was electric and the atmosphere was just amazing. There’s a point during the show where Sherrie (Natalie Andreou) is dancing for two record producers on a table, and I don’t know if she missed her footing or was a bit too enthusiastic but she damn near fell off. Luckily the record producers (who looked remarkably like Lonny and Dennis) had a good hold of her and she recovered very well. By the time it came to “Don’t Stop Believin’” at the end, everyone was up and dancing. It was just a brilliant night – possibly the best show of the nine.

Then, it was time to stage door. Ross was out first and gave me a hug and signed my ticket for me, before laughing and telling us that someone had asked him if he was a member of the band. Awkward! Nathan was next out and I got another huge hug. I wanted another picture with him and Mum was moaning “you’ve got enough already” so Nathan said “here, we haven’t done this one yet”, picked up some of my hair and put it in his mouth! If you’ve seen the show you’ll get it, if you haven’t, go and see the show it’s too hard to explain. Safe to say I was laughing my head off (as you can see in the picture.) Ian was next and I told him I’d seen his first Franz show and asked him when he’d next be on as Drew. Apparently there’s “big news” regarding that coming soon but he wouldn’t tell me what. One picture later and signed poster later, Dan Fletcher (Dennis Dupree) and Tim Howar (Stacee Jaxx) came out. I’d tried to get a picture with Dan at the Aftershow but he was a little worse for wear (absolutely hammered) so I was more successful this time. And Tim Howar? FIT. I love him as Stacee but he looks so much better without the blonde wig. As soon as the boys had left the other people waiting at the stage door did too, but I was waiting for Jodie Jacobs (Regina) Rachel McFarlane (Justice) and Natalie Andreou (Sherrie). I had a birthday present for Jodie and I wasn’t leaving without giving it to her. When they came out they all came out at once and it was all I could do to get the chocolates to Jodie whilst giving Rachel a hug and talking to Natalie. I managed to grab Jodie and Natalie for a picture but Rachel snuck off (I’ll get her next time!) and I told Jodie she’s the only cast member I’ve seen nine times in a row (cue a superhero pose from her in the middle of the street – she can pull it off she’s awesome.) When the girls had gone we headed back to the underground with less than 12 hours to go before our train home. Ugh, long day!

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