This was a very interesting day. I would be meeting Sarah, my best friend from Chesterfield, to see We Will Rock You in the afternoon and then my Mum would be travelling down later on to meet me and go and see Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre. I had made some cupcakes for Katie Paine and Michelle Tompsett and bought some chocolate for Oli Tompsett, all I had to do was meet Sarah at the theatre and then run around to the stage door afterwards. Sounds simple right? Wrong. It just so happened that I was on crutches that weekend. I’d dislocated my knee three days earlier and it was giving me a lot of trouble so my simple plan had suddenly become very complicated. I had to get to London on my own on public transport – there are some very kind people in the world – and then Sarah would meet me at Euston where we’d get the bus to Tottenham Court Road. (I’d tried an escalator in Manchester – the underground was out of the question.)
We got to the theatre with 10 minutes to spare, and the lovely people at the Dominion Theatre changed our seats in the circle to two seats on the end of row W in the stalls which, due to the curve of the theatre, had a cracking view. After sampling the cupcakes I’d made (of course we had to!) we settled down to watch the show. As soon as Oli Tompsett came on stage we both screamed like little girls. Sarah and I actually met on twitter after we came joint first in a quiz about Oli – the rest is history. I love her to bits! She’s my fangirling partner in crime. At the interval I scanned around the theatre to have a look at the rest of the crowd. Then, a man stood up about three rows in front of us and off to the left. “Sarah, look! He looks like Rod Stewart!” I said, nudging her. She laughed and agreed with me, he really did look like Rod Stewart. It wasn’t until a man in his 40s went up to this lookalike and asked for an autograph that we realised it actually was Rod Stewart. Well – who knew! He was just sat in the audience with his wife and his youngest son. Crazy. After I’d gotten over my second fangirling moment of the day, we got chatting to the people behind us, who then went on to ask Sarah if she’s slept with any of the cast. I genuinely nearly died laughing.
Normally we wait until the final curtain call to run to the stage door but, because running would not be an option, we waited until the second Oli went off the stage and then walked (and hopped) around to the stage door. Katie came out first, still in a dressing gown, wig cap, microphone and full make up – bless her! After hugs she went back inside with the cupcakes, under strict instructions to share them with Rachael Wooding (Scaramouche.) Oli was out next and I got lots of lovely sympathy hugs and a picture (I had to cling on to him for dear life so I didn’t fall flat on my face.) After he’d gone, the plan was to meet my Mum in the Starbucks around the corner from the Dominion, but I’d got it into my head that I wanted to stage door at the Garrick as well (where Rock of Ages is) so we hobbled around to Leicester Square where I was greeted by Nathan Amzi, Simon Lipkin, Dan Fletcher, Rohan Tickell, Tim Driesen, Rachel McFarlane and Tim Howar. Not bad! A girl came up to Simon and Nathan, who were chatting to Tim H, and asked for a picture “with the two of you.” Simon thought she meant Tim and Nathan so started to move out of the way, but she said she actually wanted the two Lonnys. Nathan said “this is Stacee Jaxx, do you not want a picture with him?” But she shook her head, so me and Sarah both gave Tim huge hugs instead. We appreciate him! We made our way to another Starbucks, rang Mum to tell her about the change of plan and settled down for a well deserved frozen drink each.
After we’d found eachother and said goodbye to Sarah, who was off home to Chesterfield, we made our way to the Arts Theatre. I wanted to see this play for one reason: Suranne Jones. I loved her in Coronation Street, I saw her in pantomime in 2006, I watch Scott and Bailey religiously, I love this woman. It was a bonus that Oliver Farnworth (HOT) and Zaarah Abrahams (I used to watch her in the Girls in Love series) were also in it. As we walked in, it was like entering an alternative universe. It felt like every single gay man in London was cramped into one bar area – it was brilliant!
I don’t want to say too much about the show because you really do need to see it to truly understand how amazing it is. It was such a beautifully crafted piece of theatre I completely and utterly fell in love with each and every character – I felt like I’d known them all forever. The two young lads playing Jamie and Ste (Jake Davies and Danny-Boy Hatchard) were phenomenal. There are no words to describe how absolutely beautiful their performances were. You’d have to see it to believe it. To create that much of an atmosphere, to draw in the audience and to make them care about you that much in a theatre environment, was just incredible. I am very rarely this moved by a play but it truly truly was a Beautiful Thing to behold.