West End Review: Shakespeare in Love

Shall I compare this play to its movie equivalent? Thou art not my favorite adaptation, as much as it could have been. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting when I went to see the stage version of one of my favorite films, but I’m not sure if I expected this. With any cross-platform adaptations, there is a lot of change to make it more suitable for the medium, but transferring this Tom Stoppard screenplay onto the stage should’ve been easy (with Stoppard being first and foremost a playwright more often than a screenwriter). I found the entire play to be very rushed, as if they were trying to fit the entire plot of the film into the span of 2 and a half hours, which usually works as a good length for a play, but with a plot that is slightly complicated like Shakespeare in Love’s is, I wish the information had come at the audience a bit slower. Let’s just say that as someone who knows the film very well, I was even confused at what was happening.

Photo by Johan Persson

Now, I shall get to what I did enjoy about this piece of theatre. The stage design incorporated the Shakespearean feel of the late 1500s and early 1600s theatres we don’t conform to any longer. Using the stage as sort of an allusion to the globe, the multiple levels made out of wooden pathways, definitely gave feel to the era the play is set in. And with this play, “All the world’s a stage,” truly applies, because the way it was set up makes it easily transferable from a story space to a theatre space when needed in the plot. The costumes were period-appropriate and beautiful. The acting was also very top notch, especially from Tom Bateman, who played the titular character. The night I went, Lucy Briggs-Owen, who played Viola, had very obviously taken ill with her voice, which lead to a very scratchy, strained performance, but she still played the part with conviction.

Photo by Johan Persson

Some of the changes made to the plot were things I did enjoy. In the stage version, Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe are actually very close friends, unlike in the movie, which gave them a deeper relationship I enjoyed watching. They made good use of the repetitive line, “and a bit with a dog,” which made it much funnier later, when there actually was an entertaining bit with a dog. Some scenes were switched around, giving a bigger build up to when Viola reveals she’s been masquerading as Thomas Kent to be able to act on stage. Overall, it was quite a fun play, and I was happy I got to see it, and a different way of putting forth the story than I was used to.

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West End Review: The Play That Goes Wrong

For my playwriting class this semester, we’re meant to write a 60-90 minute play as our final project. As I am a theatre person with a strong passion for the play-within-a-play format (I’ve been in two of these type of shows), I decided that I would tackle this for my own writing. My professor suggested two plays for me to see before I started. One being “Shakespeare in Love” (which I will review soon), and “The Play That Goes Wrong.” Having a full, free day last Thursday, I decided to go see both in one day and fill my 24-hours with as much theatre as possible. “Noises Off” was my favorite play-within-a-play I had seen, up until seeing this show. “The Play That Goes Wrong” was everything I needed from a outing to the theatre. Coming from a theatre background, having played every part, from actress on stage, to backstage crew, to spotlight operator, to front-of-house staff, I’ve been fully engrossed in any and everything that can go wrong in a performance. It was amazing to be able to sit back as an audience member and see everything go wrong in such a perfectly, practiced way. Without giving too much away, you can assume from the title of the show that what you’ll be seeing will be an absolute disaster. Every performer has the “actors nightmare” before, during and after a show, and with this play, you get to see everything you dream about happening in two hours, and it’s surprisingly refreshing. When it’s not happening to you, and rather someone else, it’s hilarious! I was laughing, out loud, the entire show. It’s hard for me to actually laugh out loud for anything. Yes, I may chuckle to myself when I find something funny, but it takes a lot for me to open my mouth and exude a verbal noise of enjoyment, and with each moment in this performance, I was roaring. When you’re performing a play where you’re supposed to be a “bad actor,” you actually have to be a very good actor to be able to pull it off. The cast of this show are obviously very good actors, who can pull off “bad” very convincingly, without going overboard. It takes perfect comic timing to do what they do, so I can tell they’re all very trained in the art of farce to have pulled this off so well. The lines alone must’ve taken a lot of rehearsal to perfect, because with some of the gags, including mispronunciation and lines being out of order, it takes a lot of skill to have done that, and I was very impressed. And of course, the set (and the invisible people backstage) were the true stars of the show. For everything to “go wrong,” there has to be everything backstage going right. From objects falling off the wall, to items being misplaced and set pieces breaking, this well-rehearsed cast must’ve had many run throughs with the set and crew to make sure the timing was down perfectly. In fact, if something did go wrong, it would be impossible to tell, since everything is going wrong anyways. And that’s what I really loved about this show is that because everything goes wrong the entire time, you’re never bored wondering if something exciting is going to happen, because you don’t have to wait a moment for it to. This show gave me a lot of inspiration for my own work, and I will be drawing a lot from it (not plagiarizing of course), but using the themes and possibly some of the things that go wrong, to give my piece some life. “The Play That Goes Wrong” is playing at the Duchess Theatre and its run just got extended, so there’s plenty of time to see it, which is great for me, because I really want to go again. I knew I was in love with it before it even started, because the pre-show activity from the actors included trying to fix a door that just won’t shut properly, and that hit a soft spot in my heart, after using a door much like it in my acting classes. It never stayed shut or sometimes didn’t even open properly, causing a lot of stress in class scene showings, which is one of those many things that can go wrong in the theatre.

West End Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

When I was in middle school or high school, I read a book called, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” by Mark Haddon. I loved it. It was quirky and interesting, and better yet, set in my beloved England. Years passed, and it was made into a play. Knowing how much I loved the book, I was excited to see how they created a stage version it. My boyfriend and I got £15 day-of tickets for the front row of the theatre, and what happened next was pure amazement.
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With Christopher, the main character to move the story along, the rest of the cast acted as an ensemble, playing multiple parts to aid in his story. If you’re not familiar with the plot, I suggest you read it here, but the basic story is that Christopher is an autistic 15-year-old, who discovers his neighbor’s dog to be dead and then goes on a quest to find out who did it. The stage was set up like a black cube, with blocks lining the sides for the other actors to sit on and use as props. The use of theatre tech in this show was unbelievable and what sets it apart from a community theatre production.

Photo by Alastair Muir.

The book is very meta at times, with Christopher talking about how what you are reading is him writing a book about his investigations. The play takes on a similar turn, where Siobhan, his teacher is reading his book and suggests it be made into a play, with quite cheek towards the audience in this regards. You could say it almost got too meta at times, but it never pulled me out of the magic of theatre, so I wasn’t bothered. Along with the amazing set and design, which I don’t want to ruin by revealing any secrets, the use of actors as props was astounding. Through the vivid imagination of Christopher’s inner-mind, we get to see what he’s seeing, which is hard for him to express, but we can go along with him and his big thoughts as he tries to figure out what is happening in his world.

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I’m a little sad to say though that it really was the flash and intensity of the set and the carefully choreographed scenes of madness that really intrigued me. The acting was good, but nothing spectacular. I felt like I wanted a bit more from almost all of the performers, but was thankfully compensated by the beauty of the overall design to make up for that factor. I think it’s just when you go to a show on the West End, you assume they’ve chosen the best actors for the job, but performing night after night can definitely add to a dampened performance. But for me, coming from a theatre background, I’m not just looking for pop and flash in my theatre outings. I also want to see some great acting, especially when it’s a straight-play and not a musical. Musicals can lean on the music and flash to make up for bad acting, but a play has to push more.

With that being said, I still recommend this show to anyone who is a fan of the book. It’s a stunning, visual portrayal of the novel and will make you want to read it again the moment you leave the theatre.

13 Hours in the Rain: The Imitation Game Film Premiere

What does waking up at 6am in the morning, pulling myself out of bed, taking a bus over to Leicester Square and staking out a spot in the rain in front of a movie theatre equal out to? Madness, obsession, paranoia and fangirling. I am all these things. Yes, I was outside in the rain in London for a total of 13 hours on Wednesday, October 8th, for The Imitation Game film premiere. I skipped my playwriting class, was soaked by cold water, and running on pure adrenaline, all to see Benedict Cumberbatch and other celebrities in person.

As I said, I arrived around 6:30am that morning, looked around, didn’t see anyone else in front of the theatre, which made me assume I was the first person there. Little did I know, there were people who had actually camped out, but they were in another area (which is why I didn’t find them until almost 8:30am). It was raining so I sat under an arbor and began to read my book. The nearest Costa’s opened at 7:30am so I went and got some tea and then went back outside to claim my spot. At 8:30, I saw a bunch of people who looked like they were there for the premiere, but in another part of the square. I walked over there, and there were 3 people giving out numbers for a line that would form later. They looked a bit sketchy to me, but I got a number and went back to my previous spot.

Around 9am I happened to meet a very nice girl named Kelsey who had just arrived, and found out she’s from Seattle too, so it was nice to bond with a fellow West Coaster. Throughout the day, more people started turning up, getting their numbers and finally around 2:30pm, we were forced away from the front of the theatre and over to the other side of the square so they could set up the premiere. I was number 59 (although I would’ve had a better number had I known about those people earlier), and I stood in line. We were over there for about an hour and a half, and then the security people came over and rushed us into the fan pens.premiere6
I love watching a premiere get set up. It’s really magical to see the area get transformed from a tourist spot, into a place where celebrities will soon walk. In the next couple hours, all the fans got but behind our bars (much like animals, as most most of the attendees are pretty hungry for some star action), I met a lovely girl named Sophie, with whom we traded previous premiere stories, watched them roll out the red carpet, got interviewed for a video for the Bletchley Park exhibition based on the film, and became ecstatic with excitement for it all to start.
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Of course, the rain started to get really heavy as things started getting going. Stars started arriving around 6:30. Keira Knightley was the first to join the red carpet. She did interviews for ages and never made it over to our section to sign autographs. Morten Tyldum (the director), Graham Moore (the screenwriter), Mark Strong, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance, Allen Leech and more actors from the film all started to arrive. Out of all these people, Allen Leech was the only one to come to our section and sign autographs. I was happy to get at least one, especially from someone from Downton Abbey (one of my favorite shows). He was so nice and sweet too. I was glad to see him up close.
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As the night went on, other celebrities having nothing to do with the film turned up. Some of these were John Hurt, Terry Gilliam, and Andy Serkis (who snuck by at the last minute). I was happy to see all of these people. I was a little bummed though, because I’d heard a rumor that Alan Rickman was supposed to turn up and he didn’t. I was also a bit bummed because one of my favorite film composers, Alexandre Desplat, was there, but he didn’t made it to our area, which meant I couldn’t tell him how much his music inspired me.
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And of course, the person I’d been waiting for the most, Benedict Cumberbatch was one of the last stars to arrive. He actually did end up signing a lot of autographs, but none in our section, which was a bummer, but to even be that close up to him was the most amazing thing. It’s almost unreal to see your favorite actor in real life, and I’m happy I got a chance to do that. He was so sweet too. He was signing, taking selfies with fans, and then later apologized in his interview that he couldn’t sign for everyone. Even though I didn’t get his autograph or a selfie with him, I was not disappointed. I was just graced to be in his presence. I hope to catch him again at The Hobbit premiere in December, and maybe I’ll get a chance then.
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And that was my day. Being out in the rain, being in the midst of thousands of excited fans was so wonderful. The last London premiere I attended was Sherlock Holmes 2, back in December of 2011, so I was happy to be back in my element again. I may have not been as successful this time around, but I still had a wonderful day, made new friends, saw some of my favorite actors, and got to be a part of a worldwide experience that many people wished they could’ve attended. So if you have the time and patience, you can watch the full premiere coverage in this video below. You’ll definitely see me in there a couple times 🙂

West End Review: The Scottsboro Boys

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How do you create a musical about a horribly tragic story, but still make it entertaining? Well, Kander & Ebb definitely did that when they wrote The Scottsboro Boys. The other day, I happily awoke to an email from Be the Red Carpet, alerting me that I had won two top tier tickets to see The Scottsboro Boys. So I picked the night I wanted to go, and went into the play with little knowledge of the subject matter, other than a short glance at the Wikipedia article about it. It’s a very sad story about nine, young black men who were accused of raping two white girls in 1931 and spent the rest of their lives in jail for a crime they didn’t commit. I wondered how they were going to make a musical based on this subject, especially with that topic.

But I wasn’t disappointed. Kander & Ebb were certainly making a statement with this piece. In keeping with their traditional music style that they wrote Cabaret and Chicago in, they used the same flapper vibe to create a show-like performance. But this time, rather than using the settling of a jazz club, they used a controversial Minstrel Show theme. What’s interesting about this, is normally a Minstrel Show were white performers in blackface, but they turned that trope on its head and used the degrading aspects of the style with black actors in those roles. Now, from that description, you may think the show is racist; but it is definitely not. It’s hard to explain from a writing perspective what it’s about, but to see it live is truly a powerful experience.

The Scottsboro Boys Company. Photo by Richard Hubert Smith.

The show starts in a Minstrel fashion, with a white man (played by the prolific actor Julian Glover) as the Interlocutor, who basically controls the beginning of the story. There’s a Mr. Bones and Mr. Tambo characters, who help run the show, and the nine Scottsboro boys act as the rest of the characters. From the dancing to the singing and staging, you forget what you’re watching could potentially be racist. But because it’s black actors, it can’t be, right? I think that’s a big factor that the director wants you to think about while you’re watching.

The thing I liked best about this music (besides the beautiful and haunting music and the fabulous choreography) was the fact that you could go from laughing very hard at one moment, and then immediately want to cry in the next moment. Is a musical supposed to do that? I think so. Not all musicals are happy and upbeat the entire time. You go to the theatre wanting to experience a lot of emotions, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next (despite knowing what would happen based on the historical facts). I was entranced and entertained, and the cast was perfect. I am glad I won tickets to this show, because I wouldn’t have probably known about it otherwise. I may actually pay this time to go see it again.

Drag Show at The Black Cap

A week ago or so, I was looking through the Londonist’s things to do for the weekend, and I found there was a charity drag show happening at The Black Cap, a famous gay bar in Camden. I decided I just had to go. I am a huge fan of drag shows and have never been to a professional one, so I bought a pair of tickets and counted down the days until the night of. It definitely did not disappoint! I had a great time, supported a good cause, as well as won one of the raffle prizes, which is a free dinner (including a bottle of wine) at The Black Cap.

This was also my first time experiencing alternative drag queens. Normally you expect them all to be like the ones on RuPaul’s Drag Race; almost indistinguishable from a female. But at The Black Cap, these queens let all that traditional stuff behind and didn’t let beards or hairy armpits hold them back from being gorgeous performers. I really admire that, and hope to catch another show there very soon. The venue was really nice as well. It reminded me of my favorite club from back home I used to frequent. I need the alternative bar scene back in my life!

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West End Review: Richard III

Theatre is getting more cinematic. That’s the most exciting part of my night at Trafalgar Studios’ production of Shakespeare’s Richard III, part of season two of the Trafalgar Transformed series. Obviously, the second most exciting thing was the fact that I got to sit just feet away from actor Martin Freeman, but that was just a bonus of my night.

I went into the production with actually never having read Richard III before. I’m a Shakespeare fan, but really only of his comedies. I didn’t even read a synopsis of the play, just because I was hoping to sort of understand what was going on through the actions and emotions given by the actors. Because of this, I really only understood about 70% of what was going on. But even so, with all my confusion at who was who and why people were murdering people, I was still entranced the entire time by what was going on.

When I said the show was cinematic, I was serious. The entire play was underscored by subtle, eerie music, which completely set the tone. And even the beginning of the show was a surprise. No lowering of the lights, except for the exact moment when the entire cast entered the stage in gas masks, very military-like and then suddenly took them off and engaged in a a sort of rejoicing. My seat was on the stage, so I was very close to the action, which made it very excited. During the scene where Richard III is cursed, there were exploding of electrical sparks, fog and the elevator lights going crazy.

Photo from Trafalgar Studios

Every death scene was wonderfully choreographed. Being onstage where I was seated, I could see every single move they made, and it was fantastic. My favorite death was when Richard’s brother, Clarence, is drowned to death in a fish tank. The methods employed to have the actor be able to breathe as they hold him underwater were very high tech, and when his throat was slit, the tank filled with stage blood, in a haunting way.

Photo from Trafalgar Studios

When it came to the acting, I was highly impressed with the cast. Not only was Martin Freeman a funny, yet terrifying Richard III, Gina McKee (whom halfway through the show, I realized I recognized her from many films, including Notting Hill) was very strong as Queen Elizabeth. Her raspy voice was full of emotion as she mourned the death of her sons and her hatred towards Richard. The usual Tyrrel was ill, so his understudy Vinta Morgan stepped in and was so good. He used a Jamaican accent, which went weirdly well with his murderous character, and he was so natural that I couldn’t even tell he wasn’t the one normally in that role.

Overall, it was quite an enjoyable night out at the theatre. I was hoping Martin Freeman would sign autographs at the stage door, but he didn’t this time, but I at least got a photo of him exiting the building and giving a thumbs up. Seeing this production got me excited for the vast majority of other productions I will be able to see this year, with my close proximity to the West End. With student discounts and rush tickets, I am sure to give myself a theatrical treat quite often while I live in London.

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One Week: Travel Playlist

*If you didn’t notice, I updated my blog to give it a more clean, professional look! Don’t worry! Nothing has changed except the layout!*

Around this time next Friday, I will be waking up and putting together the finishing touches to my luggage, eating one last breakfast with my family and then heading to the shuttle that will take me to SeaTac airport. How has the time passed so fast? It feels like there’s still so many months between me and my departure, but there isn’t. I have less than seven days left to spend time with the people I care about before jetting off to start my new life. This will be the biggest change I’ve ever faced, and while I’m ready on paper, I’m still a little scattered in my mind about how I feel. I can’t wait to get over there and experience my dearest London again, but I’m scared about losing the people I’ve left behind in America. I’m sure I’ll be fine once I arrive and get settled, but for now, my nerves are wavering.

Every time I travel, I put together a music playlist to accompany my journey. This time around, I’m compiling my songs, and here’s what I have so far…

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I’d love to get some suggestions for good travel music. I’m trying to stick with a more calming feel for this journey, since I feel like the soothing indie music will keep me in check. Let me know of a song to add to complete my list!

Throwback Thursday: Sherlock Holmes 2 London Film Premiere

This story originally appeared on my previous travel blog on December 11, 2011, but I chose to revive it here and add photos for this Throwback Thursday post.

The best night of my life did come with some consequences. But thankfully the pros outweighed the cons tenfold.

I arrived in London at 6pm and took a bus over to Piccadilly Circus. I headed to my hostel right away and checked in. I went to my room and set stuff down and then went out again to go to the cinema to see what was going on in the area. Technically I was the first person there, because I got there at about 6:45 and no one was there yet, so I went to the Burger King close by and got some food and then walked around Leicester Square. When I had looked online at the place on Google maps, it showed the area as it was in the past year or so. What it failed to show was that the square is under construction, so the whole park is boarded up and the walkway was very narrow. I was confused at how they were going to hold a premiere here.

By the time I walked all the way around and came back to the theatre, there were people there setting up camping chairs and looking like they were there for the premiere. I asked them if they were and they said yes, and we got to talking. They were from near Canterbury and were going to camp out all night and I was inspired by them to do the same. After talking to them for over an hour, I went back to the hostel, got warmer clothes on, and checked out (to which they were very confused, as I had just arrived). I came back and chatted with them some more. One of them had been to two premieres previously and one of them was a cop and was going to take care of the group if anything got out of hand.

Around 10pm is when things started getting weird. There was this crazy, drunk, homeless man who came up to us and started talking to us, started singing “What’s My Name,” by Rihanna and being really annoying. We thought he had left our area, but then he came back and put his sleeping stuff next to us and was going to go to sleep. But he kept getting up and leaving and telling us to watch his stuff and then would come back. Meanwhile, another man stumbled out of the casino next to the cinema, collapsed and started puking. It took over an hour and a half for him finally to be taken away by an ambulance.

I went to the McDonald’s near by to warm up and on my way back, some random guy grabbed my boobs. That was the start to the creepy men touching and talking to me all night. At one point, another time when I was walking back from McDonald’s, I stepped in pool of blood from a bar fight and didn’t realize it. I’m pretty confident many men thought I was a prostitute, because they’d keep coming up to me and talking to me and when they found out I was waiting for the premiere, their expressions would change and they’d call me crazy. One guy was talking to me very inappropriately and I felt very uncomfortable. One guy actually was nice and after chatting with me, he gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I don’t know how else I could’ve attracted that many guys to come and talk to me, unless they thought I was some kind of whore, but it was late at night in London, so I didn’t question it.

Around 3 and 4am, we got a lot of people coming by and asking us if we were homeless, protesting, or selling something. Crazy people kept talking to us and homeless people kept asking for money. By this point I wanted to die. I was sick of being freezing cold. My feet, even with 4 layers on, were so numb and nothing was helping. I didn’t understand why people couldn’t have just left us alone.

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Thankfully around 4:30am, the drunk and creepy people were clearing out and the commuters were coming in, so that meant less annoyances. At 5am a big truck pulled up, which were the crew setting up the premiere. At about 6:30am a girl named Natalie came and stood with us. She was the first person other than us to show up for the premiere. She’s an avid premiere attender and has been to so many Johnny Depp films, and had already met him five times. She knew all the ins and outs to what we were supposed to do and gave us a lot of tips. She was very helpful. We asked the people setting up where we were going to be able to stand and we got to our place very early so we’d be prepared.

At 7am other people started appearing to get in line with us. By 10am there were a group of about 15 of us who were waiting. They hadn’t been setting up the barriers yet, so we had to stay there and save our spots. There were two areas for fans to be. Ours was right at the cinema doors. Natalie said this was the prime spot. They set up the other area and moved a bunch of people over there, but we decided to stay right where we were. We made nice with one of the bouncers who works premieres a lot and he basically knew we were first in line and was not going to let people take our spots. Finally at 12:30pm they put up our barrier and we clung to our spots.

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It was amazing to see the area transform from this nasty place from the night before, to this beautifully set up premiere. We could see it evolve right in front of our eyes and it was so cool. They covered all the gates with huge posters and made everything Sherlock Holmes-y. At 3ish, they put a barrier behind us so no more people could get in. It was nice being able to finally be separated from the people who thought they could arrive that late and think they would get a spot.

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Around this time is when the press started to arrive. Duncan James from the British boy band “Blue” showed up and was filming a contest to win tickets into the film that night. I got his autograph (even though I couldn’t really remember any of their music) and tried to get into the background of the camera. Later on a guy was interviewing fans and I volunteered myself by screaming out, “I’m from America! Interview me!” and they came over and asked me some questions and it was awesome.

There were other bouncers holding a cheat sheet that showed which celebrities were attending the premiere that night. I asked a guy if I could see his and it confirmed that Stephen Fry would be there. It also said Warwick Davis would be too. I started to get really excited. It wasn’t until 5pm that they started putting down the red carpet and I knew that it was getting closer and closer. At 5:45 exactly, they started the event. A band from Romania started off the festivities, and while we waited for the celebs to show up, we got an amazing surprise. We thought the stars would come from the other entrance and our area would see them last. They instead came through the cinema doors and we got to see them on their way to the premiere and their way back into the theatre. We got double the celebrity!

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Guy Richie was the first to come out. He passed us but promised he’d come back and sign. Then Jared Harris (he plays Moriarty, and is actor Richard Harris’ son) came out and signed. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law came next, but they passed us too because they had to do some interviews. Then came Stephen Fry and I freaked out way too much! We all screamed for him and he seemed surprised. I told him we were all big fans and then he signed my journal and shook my hand. He was so sweet and funny even just signing autographs. Geraldine James (who plays Mrs. Hudson, the housekeeper) and Eddie Marsan (who plays Inspector Lestrade) came next and signed.

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Finally Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law came back and signed. Jude signed my image of him from the movie and used my pen to sign multiple autographs and then handed it back to me. He was so handsome, even with his unkept, hobo beard he was sporting. Then Robert came and he saw my image of his album cover to sign and he got a look on his face like disbelief and then said to me, “You’re a doll.” I told him I loved the album and it was beautiful and he said, “Thanks,” and then went on. He is so sexy I can’t even explain it. Then Guy Richie came back and signed and I told him I was looking forward to seeing the film. Noomi Rapace came over and signed and she was so gorgeous. She is seriously so beautiful and pretty and quite sweet as she signed.

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It started to rain really bad at this point and thankfully we were under the cinema’s arbor, so we were completely dry. Rosamund Hanson from “Life’s Too Short” (which I had been watching and I loved) came up and was signing and I got so excited to see her there! I told her how much I love the show and she was so sweet and super cute about my compliments! Warwick Davis was also there with his adorable family and I got to tell him in person how much I love “Life’s Too Short!”

Finally Jude and RDJ came back our way. Jude stopped and signed more and I got some good close up photographs of him. RDJ was rushing in from the rain and didn’t sign anymore and went straight into the cinema. This was when it was all over and I was on such an adrenalin high from all the star power that I just got to experience. Natalie and I exchanged email addresses and I got the poster from the front of our barrier off and took it back with me. I went to McDonalds to warm up a bit from the long 24 hours in the cold and was so in awe of what just happened.

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People keep telling me I was so lucky to have this happen. But it’s not luck at all. I made this happen. I planned this out. I paid for the trip down to London and the hostel I never used. I wanted to have something crazy in my life happen and not sit back and regret not doing anything fun in my youth. I am not lucky. I’m sick of waiting around for opportunities to pop up. You have to do it for yourself if you want your dreams to come true. And I did that. I met my idols in person and got to bask in their excellence. How many people get to say they’ve done that?