Sunday, 4 January 2015

The Old Vic

I dedicate this story to my bestie, Ms Fantaghiro for introducing me to the world of fangirling. Without her, this adventure that I embarked upon would not have happened. So, this one's for you bestie!!! 
It all started very innocently early 2014 when I watch the BBC's North & South miniseries and was captivated by the lead, one actor called Richard Armitage. I had previously seen him in the Hobbit but didn't think much about it. But this time around it was different, and I could find myself starting to search more works done by this fine actor. Yes, I am starting to fangirl over Richard Armitage. Me, a woman of mid thirties with probably nothing better to do and too much time in her hands. And so it began.
To give a bit of background to my fangirl history. I had previously fangirled over one Benedict Cumberbatch. I started with BC because of his brilliant modern portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the new BBC miniseries. What captivated me about BC was his scene of the "mind palace" in the episode of Hound of Baskerville. This started me on observing every facial gesture Sherlock played by BC and realized that he is a brilliant actor. And from here I had planned to go to London early 2013 with another bestie of mine, Autumnlilies to just check out London and perhaps visit the set of Sherlock. Alas, things didn't work out because I received posting orders to go to NY. So I had to shelf going to London. Plus my fan girl days of BC was over since he came to Malaysia and was tainted by one journalist's slobber (as succinctly put by Ms Fantaghiro).
And I said that is it. No more fan girling for me. As one who has been a fan girl would understand how it becomes the only thing you think about constantly, and to some extent obsessively. You couldn't wait to get back home from work so that you can start poring over any online information you can find, or watch interviews/movies/series, just about anything that makes you feel connected to the actor.
And so my obsession with RA started with me doing all that I have mentioned above. I'd watch him in just about anything I could find of him (on Netflix mostly) - North & South, MI5, BBC's Robin Hood series, Into the Storm movie, not to mention his interviews on youtube and online articles. So this madness went on, when I searched on his movements and found out that he was doing the theatre production of The Crucible by Arthur Miller. I must admit that he is not as brilliant as BC but something about him is just as captivating. Plus to see him perform life on theatre which already received rave reviews gave me some idea. Coupled with the realization that I had wasted one year in USA without really going anywhere apart from travelling for work, and feeling I needed a break to go somewhere new, plus a few other factors, made me decide to go to London to meet up with RA. 

So on that day which we were supposed to watch The Crucible, was on my birthday August 25. We were late for the play as we were late getting out from the hotel (I was already mad with The Hubs for being late) and then getting lost finding the right tube station and then again getting a little bit lost after coming out of the tube. It was raining, which made everything worse.

We finally found our way and reached The Old Vic at 7.35pm and show was supposed to start at 7.30pm. I was hoping that they won't start on time because like Broadway shows they wait for the hall to fill up as not to disturb the play later.

So one of the attendants came to us and asked me if I was here for the show? I said yes and then he said I am so sorry but due to unforseen circumstances the play for tonight has been cancelled. He went on to explain that all the other dates for this play till end of season are fully book. I was stupefied. The attendant went on to say that I can get the refund at the ticket counter. He handed me a complimentary drinks voucher and told us to at least get a drink before we go at the bar downstairs.

At that time i was devastated and told  myself "it was too good to be true". I thought because I told people where i was going that it somehow jinxed it. The line for the refund was so long and The Hubs and I was contemplating between to go and wait for our credit card refund or to stay and wait for the line to be less long and get our refund. We somewhat decided to go but it was still raining so we ended up loitering in front of the old vic. I asked The Hubs to take a few pics:

Suddenly The Hubs said, eh is that the actor? He didn't really know RA but because there were some bodyguards (more like The Old Vic staff escorting him) and girls voices were fawning over him made us realised it was indeed RA! So we followed the crowd inside and people was taking pic with him and talking to him. The Hubs became instant paparazzi and took some pics below:

At that point I was kind of star struck and didn't know what to do. But was thinking ok lah probably it's not my opportunity to take a picture with him because I don't like to claw my way just to get a picture. Just seeing him in first person was enough. Then he went up the stairs. And a bunch of people who were lining up before to get their refund began to get out of line and started to follow him. Still in a giddy mood because I saw him up close, I now didn't want to leave and decided since not much crowd might as well get a refund. After I got my refund, I noticed a lady holding the programme book. So asked where she gets it and said she bought it at the bar downstairs for £4. I was thinking at least I got the programme book as a keep sake.

So the bar was either downstairs in the basement or upstairs. We decided to go down. So we went down and realised RA was talking to some people at the tables. We went to the bar to buy the programme book and get our complimentary drinks. The bar tender handed our drinks and together with the programme book. I started to ask how much to pay him for it and he said dont worry about it (he gave the book for free!). So we took our drinks and by stood near the staircase just by the bar. By then I realised that RA was ushered to meet everyone and he actually apologised to everyone for the last minute's play cancellation!!

Finally he came to our side. I was holding the book and asked him to sign it. He apologised again about the cancellation,   I told him that  I was disappointed because this was supposed to be my birthday treat. Then he said ohhh....mine was last friday!! By then I couldn't stop grinning and wished him a happy belated birthday. The Hubs was ready with his camera and asked if it was okay to take a picture. He said ok and then signed my programme book. I was grinning like an idiot and was over the moon all the way back to our hotel in Paddington.

Richard Armitage at the Old Vic Theatre, London, August 25, 2014
The thing above was surreal to me because I had already resigned not having a picture taken with RA. I guess I got my birthday present after all:)

Funny thing was I wasn't really fangirling over him so much once I had met him personally. I guess once I've seen him in person, he was not such a mystery to me anymore. It was probably the beard or the cap or the sweatshirt  that made him feel like an another guy rather than this Hollywood super star. Maybe if he was clean shaven and in a suit, I might still have my heads in the cloud! :p


MsFantaghiro said...

Ye who sniffs haughtily at my fangirling shall one day be doomed of excessive fangirling themselves!!!


Beautiful Life said...

Haha thou must bow down to the Queen of Fangirl!!!