Before I get to my short London visit, I went to St George’s Hall in Bradford last Friday (9th January) to get a photo with a comedian, and get another one to sign a book of his. “I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue” tour was in town, and I’ve already met the six members of the current team; Sandi Toksvig, Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer, Colin Sell, Jeremy Hardy and Tim Brooke-Taylor. For some reason I’d never got a photo with Jeremy before, and I’d just bought Tim’s cricketing book in a charity shop for 50p.
So, onto London. I only left Leeds at 12.30pm, and after a slight delay on the coach trip, I arrived into a very rainy West End just in time for the arrivals at the Playhouse Theatre press night. The play is a version of “Women on the Berge of a Nervous Breakdown” by Pedro Almodovar. He was there, as were a few of the usual faces that attend a lot of these things. Nobody really stood out, apart from Nigel Harman’s partner, who’s name I couldn’t recall. It was too rainy to get autographs anyway, so I made a mental note to identify her and get her after the play ended.
After getting nothing there, I went to BAFTA on Piccadilly, where a new TV show was being previewed. Sadly, I had to get back to the press night before most of the party here came out, but I did manage to get a photo with Mark Bonnar, for my Dr Who collection.
Back at the theatre I got an autograph from Pedro, and from the lovely Lucy Liemann, as well as a photograph. Thankfully I remembered her name. She was happy to sign, whilst everybody else mobbed Nigel.
Due to the rain, which showed no signs of stopping, the obvious choice of stage door to get anybody leaving from was the nicely covered National Theatre, which was very nearby too.
There were a few I wanted from the Olivier cast, but not all of them came out of that door while I was there. I was very happy to get two new ones for my The Bill collection, and another photo for my Dr Who.
Pal Aron readily agreed with me about the unjust axing of The Bill. He still sees the likes of Simon Rouse, and was so angry that many of his friends were just thrown out of a job with very little warning, and no real reason.
The star of the play is Meera Syal, and when she left, actress Susan Brown was with her. I’d very recently watched all four seasons of Game of Thrones, as Sky Atlantic showed the 40 episodes over 12 days at Christmas, and while some other people were getting pictures with Meera, I went over to Susan and told her how wonderful it had been to see her in that TV programme.
“Hello Susan. I’ve just watched all four seasons…. blah blah blah (like what I’ve just written already). It was so lovely to see you in that……. even when they chopped your head off.”
She laughed, “Oh goodness me, yes. Sticking my head on a pole like that.”
“It was shocking. That’s no way for them to behave.”
She is such a nice lady, and I was disappointed to find out that on this very night, they’d killed her off in Broadchurch as well. Although perhaps not as brutally.
And that was it. A short and sweet visit to London. It was worth it just for the Pedro Almodovar autograph, but it was lovely seeing old friends again, both famous and not.