We Will Rock You – 26/04/2013

What an absolute nightmare. My day started at 10:30am – plenty of time to get to Manchester for the 12:55pm train to London Euston. After damn near missing my last train to London I was being overly cautious – I was meeting my best friend Hal, who would be coming with me to see the show, at Victoria at 12.15pm. On the way to Rochdale station I had to drop off the Daily Mail at my Grandma’s. Because of this, I missed the 12.04pm train to Manchester and had to wait to 12:14pm which, mercifully, was a direct train. I texted Hal telling him I’d be at Manchester Victoria just before 12:30pm and he told me he was on the bus, which would be coming in at Piccadilly Gardens. It was pointless for him to come back down to Victoria from Piccadilly Gardens and then back up to Piccadilly station, so I texted him back saying “ok, it’s better for you to stay up there, meet me outside Burger King” meaning the Burger King in Piccadilly station. I got on a tram that took me right into Piccadilly station and just as I was climbing the stairs I got another text – “I’m here! Where are you?” so I sent one back “chill, I’m almost there!” As I rounded the corner to Burger King I couldn’t see Hal anywhere so I rang him. He was outside Burger King – in Piccadilly Gardens. By now it was 12:46pm. I told him to run to the station, don’t bother waiting for a tram, and I’d see him on the platform. I checked the platform and sent him a text – “platform 6, coach C, seat 40” and hopped on the train at 12:50pm. No need to panic yet. At 12:53pm I got a phone call “I’m at the entrance to the station.” “Ok,” I replied, “platform six. Just get on the train and walk down the carriages.” Phew. That was a close one. As the train pulled away I settled down to wait for Hal. What was taking him so long? Then, another phone call. “I’m so sorry Alison; I’m not on the train.” WHAT?! Turns out he’d got on the train on platform 7 instead of platform 6, and by the time he’d realised his mistake the right train had already left. To make things even better, another train ticket was £74 and it would take him 2-3 hours to get his bank card from home and buy another ticket. Great. So now I was on the train to London, on my own, with two We Will Rock You tickets, row C of the stalls, and nobody to go with. Perfect.

I got into Euston at just gone 3:00pm. We had planned to do all of the touristy stuff – Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, The London Eye. Not so much fun when you’re on your own so instead I went to WHSmiths for some magazines (and some treats for Oli and Michelle Tompsett – whoops) bought a portion of Harry Ramsden’s fish and chips and watched The Chase in my hotel room. By myself. I was going to try and catch Katie Paine before the show (she’d tweeted me saying she had to run off afterwards) so I got to the Dominion Theatre at around quarter to six, only to find that the down escalator at Tottenham Court Road tube station was out of order, so I’ve have to find a different way back. Excellent. Thankfully Katie came down from her dressing room to give me a hug and I told her what a nightmare I was having. She promised to give me a wave from the stage – she was on as normal track tonight, so teacher/bohemian instead of Killer Queen. I was going to wait for Oli but Katie said he doesn’t normally get in until around half six, so I went for a hot chocolate in Starbucks instead. At 7 I went back to the theatre and got out my ticket. “You do know you’ve got two tickets don’t you?” thank you Mr Doorman, I had no idea. Then, he asked to search my bag in which, unbeknown to me, the jelly bean pot I’d got for Oli had exploded, so when I opened my bag all he saw was jelly beans everywhere. His face was a picture. Two tickets for one person and a bag full of jelly beans? Who is this person? It was the first time I’d laughed all day. I had a brainwave (believe me, they’re rare) and asked for a WWRY bag from the merchandise stand – Oli would just have to have a bag of jelly beans instead. Luckily, our seats were on the aisle so I sat on the end of the row and used the empty chair as storage for my bags of goodies and my jacket. Well, I paid for it, might as well use it!

There were a few very drunk, very rowdy Norwegians sat around me, all fascinated by the glow-sticks you could buy and, to be honest, I felt a bit intimidated. Having struggled with anxiety for so long it was not ideal for me to be sat in a huge crowd of noisy people on my own. Before I could over-think anything though, the lights went down and the music started. By the time Kevin Kennedy was on stage (I’d tweeted him earlier asking for hugs at the stage door afterwards – no response) I felt more relaxed. Usually when Oli comes on stage I fan girl massively and smack the person next to me – seeing as that was not an option, I cheered as loud as I could instead. There was not an understudy in sight for this show which meant I FINALLY got to see Brenda Edwards as Killer Queen, having missed her the past four times I’d been. I’ve loved Brenda since her first X Factor audition in 2005 when she said she away for a dirty weekend in Belfast with her husband and had seen a poster for the X Factor in the hotel – who wouldn’t love her for that! I voted for her every week and was gutted when she came 4th, and now I was finally going to see her perform! Again, I gave a massive cheer when she came on stage. I’d been waiting for this for eight years – no pressure! I was not disappointed. Her personality shone through and she made a spectacular Killer Queen. I felt ten years old again! Rachel John’s rendition of “Only the Good Die Young” reduced me to tears – again – and John McLarnon’s dancing in Crazy Little Thing Called Love had me in stitches. The first half went by too fast, that’s what happens when you know the show so well, and all too soon it was time for Act 2.

I have to say Act 2 is my favourite – Hammer to Fall between Rachael Wooding and Oli Tompsett is just wow. They both have really big, powerful voices and they just let loose – it really is stunning to watch. Kevin also has a bigger part in the second half, and he had me in stitches. When he realises he’s a groupie for Galileo, (Oli) he turns to the audience and shouts “does anyone want to see my tits?” Silence. So of course I screamed as loud as I could. I swear I got a wink. By the time it got to We Will Rock You the crowd was absolutely electric and I had a huge grin on my face. Oli put on his very serious “rock face” (he does a little pout that I call his “rock lip” it’s so funny) and sang We are the Champions. More screaming from the audience – and not just me this time! After Bohemian Rhapsody (I don’t care if I was on my own I still rocked out like Brian May during THAT guitar solo) I gathered up my various bags and prepared to run. Curtain call one, two, three and GO! Down to the front, off to the right, up the stairs, out of the fire exit and BAM, there’s the stage door. Thank you, Lucy, for the short cut! Katie was out first, of course, but still stopped to give me a big hug before she left. She’s such a sweetheart. Kevin, who apparently did get my tweet, was next out, and gave me big cuddles too. He was a bit worried when I said I was heading back to Euston on my own so I promised to tweet him when I got back. Bless. Rachel John was out next and I was gutted to hear she wouldn’t be on as Meat on the 11th of May which would be my next show. How dare she visit her parents! (I’m joking.) John was out next and we chatted about how they’d changed his character name from Robbie Williams to Gary Barlow, which confused me no end. “Yeah, they changed everything!” he agreed. Just as John was leaving Brenda Edwards came out and again, I was ten years old. I was totally star struck! I managed to tell her that I’d voted for her on the X Factor every week and my Mum and I wanted her to win. She signed my programme (“To Alison, keep rocking. Thank you for voting for me, love Brenda.”) Yay! I also got a picture with her but I just have a glazed expression on my face. As I was talking to Brenda Oli came out so I shouted him and he said “oh no, no rush” and waited around while I chatted to Brenda a bit longer. Bless him! When Brenda and I had said goodbye I turned to Oli. “You’ve had a hard day haven’t you?” he said and gave me a huge hug. Aww! After more chatting and more hugs (I was the only one at the stage door so I had him all to myself – tee hee) we walked around the corner (yes, I walked and talked with Oliver Tompsett. I didn’t freak out and I only tripped once and to be honest I don’t even think he noticed.) I told him about Tottenham Court Road station, and he said thank you but he’d have to now run for his train, so after one more hug (who can refuse an Oli hug?) he ran off towards Shaftesbury Avenue. Erm – where’s the nearest tube station?!

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2 thoughts on “We Will Rock You – 26/04/2013

  1. What a day you had, but all’s well that ends well!! So glad you saw Brenda as KQ. She absolutely blew me away on 2 of my 3 visits. Glad you had quality time with Oli – he is such a gent. Your blog was so well written as always. You have great talent as a writer. I must start making arrangements for my fourth visit to WWRY. Like you I find the long journeys a bit daunting, especially the one home when it’s all over. Looking forward to your next outing!! Poor Hal, he must have been gutted to have missed it all!! Regards “Uncle” Tone.

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