London and Me or The Play Is the Thing: Part 7

[This post is reconstructed from semi-coherent posts and tweets on Facebook and Twitter.  Social medial experts call it microblogging.  I call it leaving a trail to remember I was there.   If you forgot who or what Winston is, click hereIf you want to read past installments click here.]

June 25

much ado poster6:45 PM ish

It’s not a good idea to rest my eyes for a second.  I open them and realize I should have left already for the theater.  I poke around my bag for the precious ticket alarming Winston.  Confident I have everything, I rush to the Tube.  I pelt fast see a waiting train -should I have turned left, not right? – and jump on it.  Time looks good until the robotic voice calls out the wrong stop.  Oh shit, I’m going on the wrong direction!  Teeth gritted I jump off two stops further north and try to cross to the other side – except my Oyster card is confused and won’t let me through the turnstile.  It insists I should continue north, not south.  A kindly conductor spots my ditzy tourist self and sorts the situation.  Finally my train arrives.   Time is very tight; if I’m lucky I might get to Wyndham’s at 7:30 PM sharp.  If I don’t, I won’t be let in until intermission. I can’t believe I got this ticket only to miss half the show?  Damnit!

Winston sticks his head out of the bag in renewed vigor.  Annoying little bugger.

The journey feels interminable.  I swear my iPhone is slowing down just to spite me.  I push through the horde of people to the turnstyle.  Wait, where’s my Oyster card? I pat my pockets. Shit! I’m cursing aloud. I’m going to miss the show!  I look up to see a conductor pushing towards me.  He must have heard me because he opens the  turnstile and points towards the stairs to Wynham’s.  Oh thank you!  I bound up the stairs and race into the theatre and down the hall as the third bell sounds.  SHIT!  I hold up my ticket; am I too late?   The usher waves me through.  Glancing over my shoulder to see how many are behind me, I see her stop some latecomers.  Oh wow. Winston chuffs in disappointment.  Heh, take that little bugger.

I’m quickly sorted out by another user and find myself seated in the 3rd row on the floor, dead center.   My seatmate to the right is the lady from earlier in the day.

Woman: Hi, didn’t I see you this morning?

Me: Yes, you won the lottery ticket.

Woman:  Well, it looks like you did too!

I’m stunned.  Mr. Awesome must have given me a lottery ticket.  I’m actually speechless.  No matter, the lights drop and Much Ado About Nothing with David Tennant and Catherine Tate begins.

Much Ado About Nothing productionSince I didn’t have time to pick up a hearing device before the first act, I have some difficulty hearing the dialogue, but that doesn’t bother me.  DT has my interest from the moment he drives onstage in a golf cart.  The setting is early 1980’s Gibraltar.  He plays Benedick. He  and his crew serve in the navy. Catherine Tate plays, Beatrice, the niece of the Duke.  The show played for all the laughs it can get and the audience is receptive.  In the most modern version of Shakespeare I’ve ever seen, we are treated to discos, stag parties, blow up dolls, slapstick and covert sex.  It’s right up my alley.  DT does a brilliant job in the comedic role and frankly outshines Catherine Tate in her own specialty.   Tomorrow, I’ll have my device for the entire show and will be a better judge in reviewing the performances.  This was the purpose of my journey.  It has been worth it.

I’m a very happy camper.  SQUEE!

10:45 PM

After the show, I head to the stage door.  I already have DT’s autograph from Hamlet a few years ago, so I don’t need another.  His fan forum wants footage of him and I’m there with my trusty iPhone.  The crowd although pushy seems a bit more controlled than the ones in Stratford.  I’m pressed but not beaten up.  Making one of his fastest changes, he’s out and working the crowd.  He’s one of the most considerate and sweetest celebrities I’ve ever seen when dealing with his fans.  Although he’s no longer the Doctor on Doctor Who, he still takes special care with children.


David Tennant in London at Much Ado Backstage Door

Back stage of Much Ado with David Tennant on June 25, 2011.


It is a cool night but the rain stops by the time the autograph session is over.  I head to Hagen Daz to for dessert.  Leicester Square is a madhouse in the evening but it is invigorating to be out and about like this.  I did some shopping, visited the London Transport Museum (one of my faves), and had a bit of dim sum in Chinatown.  Not bad for my first full day in London.

NEXT: When two squees collide


15 thoughts on “London and Me or The Play Is the Thing: Part 7

    • He’s very nice. Everybody says the same thing about him. Doesn’t seem phoney either. And he is more photogenic in person. A real cutie.

  1. What a great tale! I loved David Tennant in Casanova years ago when I had a TV. He made quite an impression on me. Have to confess I’ve never seen Dr. Who in my life though. Such a treat for you to see DT onstage!

    • Bccmee, I really recommend you to watch Doctor Who, bccmee. You don’t have to bother with any of the old series, but I would start with the Christopher Eccleston series, rather than DT because the story arcs in the DT series start there. It’s a family show but great fun.

      • Thanks for the advice, but I’m really not a TV watcher. My fave RA shows are VoD, N&S and Chris Ryan’s Strike Back. I realize now it’s because most of them are like movies. VoD is a romantic comedy, N&S is a two-part movie (like The Hobbit, LOL!) and Strike Back is essentially 3 movies in the series. I still haven’t watched all of RA’s works yet either. Oh the horror! I have trouble watching Spooks and Robin Hood and may never finish getting through the non-RA bits.

  2. Judiang, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart” (or however that song goes) because you got to see him … phew!

  3. A delight! Everything conspires against Winston, the rotten travel companion. All’s Well, etc. Instant conversion to fan status for DT – what a sweetie!
    Got stuck in a turnstile in Paris. 100 IB lady jammed in by duffel bag. Son, safely through, looking alarmed. Fortunately, the Watchtower was near enough to see frantic sign language. With a look of best Parisian disgust – les touristes!!!, Watch-lady pressed magic button and idiot touriste released. Son felt free to kill hinself laughing. Lost chance to impress him with Mom’s world-traveler expertise -Mom is clearly past her sell-by date….
    Love the Stage Door Judi vid. Review of play, please!

    • Thanks for sharing your story! I supposed the train people see us idiot touristes trapped in turnstiles all the time. It turns out my Oyster card was in a different pocket and I was too flustered to see that. Duh!. Winston is having a terrible time. Isn’t that lovely? 😀

  4. Really interesting to see this video after you told me about it. Coupla reactions: (1) I am amazed that he can go out to a crowd after performing for several hours and do that. I give a 75 min lecture and students come up to me afterwards and I have a hard time remembering my name; and (2) it’s amazing how kind he’s being in the face of all of this hullaballoo and (3) now that I see what it’s like I cannot imagine putting myself into a situation like that just to see Richard Armitage in the flesh. Musing on the latter reaction. I know I told you at some point that I’d go along to take a picture of you with him, but I’m rethinking my promise.

    Is there no “notify of followup comments” button here any more?

    • I think DT feels a duty to his fans and hates to disappoint. He doesn’t come out every night; it usually about every other day when I saw him in Hamlet and Much Ado. Remember, I was in the thick of it and DT is a superstar in UK at the moment. I don’t imagine such a crowd for RA pre-Hobbit. In fact, when I met Alan Rickman many moons ago, the number of people waiting were very small. You’re not off the hook yet! 😀

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