07 July 2012

Benedict, Hannah & Ben OH MY!!!!

I count myself a very lucky person this week(today especially). An acquaintance of mine had a ticket to go see/hear the reading of Look Back in Anger at the Duke of York's Theatre. Her aunt passed away and she was unable to go. Sad for her, happy for me as she asked if anyone wanted to go. Seems no one knew anything about or who was in it so I piped up and said, "Oh, I'll go if you're giving it away". I tried not to act too excited. I only found out about it about a week ago and by the time I had, tickets were gone. Well, I found out that it was going to start at 2pm and I thought, well I'm going to be in London already so why not see if I can go to One Man, Two Guvnors as well? So I managed to get a ticket for that. Woke up late of course cause I couldn't sleep last night, hurried out the door without my proper camera so all I had to work with was my mobile. It's a smart phone though so not too bad but still.....would have liked to get some nice shots. Now! On to the good stuffs..

Just a side note here, why is it that people always bring their stinky food on the train to gag everyone?? I still have a horrible odour in my nostrils from it. Put me off eating for most of the day. Did manage some tasty fish n chips though. :) Alright....now the good stuffs...

I could not believe how many people were jam crammed at the front of the theatre all waiting to get a glimpse of Benedict Cumberbatch. I say  him as it was mostly girls and I figured he was the biggest draw of the lot. He should have more people to protect him. I was really frightened for him actually. People got shovey too(I think it was likened to a scrum by most) I only managed a shot or two from my mobile/camera and they were mostly blurry(big surprise there right?). I met his most loyal fans, the Cumberbitches, well some of them anyway.(I'm to understand now that Benedict has dubbed them the Cumberbabes instead as bitches sounds too derogatory)  They were lovely and very protective of him I must say. (I understand how they feel, if someone got shovey with Andrew I think I might give them a pop on the nose). From what they said there were a lot (and they said A LOT) of autograph dealers(wankers) that were preventing his fans from getting autographs(me included, there were just SO many people all around him. It's really hard to describe, but look at the pics and you'll see what I mean).  I personally don't think they were set up for or expected so many people there. There is no way all of those people went in to the theatre for the reading, no way. So here are some pics for those that are interested.
First Before the show:
I've always wondered what the upper rooms are for? I like that the windows are open too. Gives a welcoming feel.

so many people
here's a link to more pics of the crowd of people. I didn't notice anyone for security either. He was really trusting of everyone. I was truly frightened for him. http://londonphile.tumblr.com/post/26638477606/polly-stenham-directs-benedict-cumberbatch-jimmy

There were so many people just ramming stuff in his face and I didn't see anyone (esp his handler that's usually always with him) to help him out. It was really scary there for a while. He was brilliant though and took it all in strides. 
See how he's being shielded from the rain? What an amazing fan. Also, I want that umbrella please.
Remember he's trying to get INTO the theatre for his performance. Note too that's a War Horse hat he's got on. You can see a bit better here the umbrella shielding him as well. 
One of the many Autograph Dealers (wanker) that was talked about above.They really are a rude lot.

A couple during. Not mine. I didn't take any inside the theatre. 
This was at the end though so there were massive amounts of pics going off.

Now  after
He's so lovely in this shot. Even though there's so much chaos going on around him(you have no idea how much), he's just really calm.

Not my pic but look at all the people....Another note here. He was carrying a tote on his shoulder that had an umbrella and some other things in it. It was on his shoulder the entire time he signed. No one came to help him or collect it and hold it for him. I felt like saying, would you like me to hold that for you while you sign? But I didn't want him to think I was creepy. LOL

My favourite shot of the lot
From what I understand a friend of Ben's was teasing him about the crowd I believe,  so as a friendly gesture he decided to do this. I mean, with all the cameras around just snapping happily along at everything he did? You gotta love this guy.

Leaving out of the theatre. 

Here's a pic of the whole cast:

I was in the same general area for most of the time before the show until I was juggled out by some overzealous fans. Whoever had the mustache umbrella was keeping Benedict covered for the most part, while she got wet! How cool is that for a fan to do? I don't know if he even realised it, that she was doing that. I couldn't see if he turned around to say something to her. Benedict even came out afterwards and signed, I didn't stick around the crowd was so enormous then. I saw him and it seemed just overwhelming, I don't know how he did it and with no one there to help with his tote bag even.  I decided I had enough of being shoved around and that I barely had enough time to get something to eat before my second theatre trip began. The Royal Haymarket Theatre isn't that far from the Duke of York's Theatre(for those that don't know, just a few streets over matter of fact) so I set off to find a chippy. It's amazing how there's never one around when you're looking and 100s when you aren't. Now before I get into One Man Two Guvnors let me go over Look Back in Anger, the performance itself. It wasn't a play per se, it was a reading and the actors just read through the script, although they may as well have just done the play because they were all incredible and so into it. Rebecca Hall, Matt Ryan, Anna Maxwell Martin and Julian Wadham were all just fantastic, but Ben (that's what people call him right? He can't be Benedict ALL the time surely?) was the star of the show, no doubt about it. The play/reading swung from comedy to drama in the blink of an eye and Ben's acting along with it. The man can cry on cue. (much the way Andrew Lee Potts does). His character, Jimmy, was a bit of a tosser but as far as playing the part, Mr. Cumberbatch did it in spades. I was a bit distracted by the fact that every so often(more often than not) he would run his hands thorough his hair trying to get his fringe under control and out of his eyes. He did finally give up, but that meant he had nothing to do with his hands. So he then proceeded to rub his legs/thighs a great deal. (a note here, he's got incredibly long fingers. this is something I always note in people as my hands are fairly small and I like to compare. It has nothing to do with anything just something I notice is all.) Anyway, he definitely likes to fidget. I think it might be part of his acting to help him get into character, but I'm not sure....it just might be him. So as far as the reading though, it was an interesting thing, to just listen to them reading from a script. Not bad. Just different. I'd never been to a reading before. It was like a sneak peak into a radio program or something. ( I do hope they recorded it for BBC4 or someone it really was that good.) Someone said they'd only done one rehearsal the day before. If that's true, it is really brilliant that they didn't have any glitches during the live performance. 

Now after all of *that* excitement, I had to get ready for One Man Two Guvnors. What a difference in basically everything. No massive crowd, no pushing and shoving. No chaos. Just a leisurely stroll in and to my seat. I really like the Royal Haymarket Theatre. There's something about it that just makes me feel comfortable somehow. I'd never been in it before but always wanted to. It's just one of those old lovely buildings that invites you in. I was a bit concerned that I was going to lose the charge in my mobile as it was fairly low from all the Look Back in Anger stuff,  so I turned it off as soon as I sat down. I know that's a risk in case something happens but I weighed my options and thought,  if I got a chance to meet Hannah or Ben or any of the cast for that matter, I wanted to have a charge to take the pic with. The lighting was really pretty inside the theatre though.
My seats were really close to the stage in the Stalls area but the theatre was so pretty. I love the balcony boxes.
There was a cool pre-show band. They were really great. (but I'll be damned if I can't remember their name. I'll have to Google it I suppose.) As far as the show is concerned, what else can I say other than fun. From start to finish, just so much fun. I'm going to have to go again as I laughed quite a bit and missed some of it. I'd get tickled at a facial expression of either Hannah or Ben or Owain and then get distracted and not hear what they said. Or I'd full on guffaw at something that was said and completely miss 3 or 4 lines of the following dialogue. All of the performances were fantastic, of course. It was really great to see Hannah (and Ben) in something other than Primeval. The roles they have are just so completely different than those on Primeval, it gives them the chance to really shine. I loved seeing them all sing and dance and have a wonderful time. It was like a party really. Unfortunately, I didn't feel I had enough time to wait and see if they were going to come out after quickly so I decided to go ahead and catch the train. I figured, I'd made up my mind to go again so I'll just try then to see if I can catch them. It would probably be my luck that I'd wait and they'd either be forever coming out or when they did, they'd be busy with something(I wouldn't be bothersome if they were) and I wouldn't get the chance to visit and still miss my train. :( But no matter, I really got more than what I was looking for out of today. It was all thrown together last minute and the fact that I got to stand next to Benedict Cumberbatch? Yeah, pretty cool. ^_^ The only thing I wish for today that didn't happen was that my friends could have been there to share the experience. (not sure if they like Mr Cumberbatch as most of them are from the Primeval area, but I'm sure they'd have given it a go anyway, they're pretty awesome that way.) It's always better when you can share with others who appreciate it as much as you do. That said however, I had one of the best days I've had in quite some time. With the tragedy I've had in my life over the last 10 or so years, I rarely get to have days like today anymore. 
But at least for today, it didn't seem so bad. 


  1. hello! this is such an old post, haha, but i have just been told about it. i'm the one with the umbrella - he didn't say thanks or anything, but did seem pretty focused on getting inside "to work" so it didn't bother me! he had other things on his mind.

  2. Oh wow...yes, quite old. haha. How funny you just heard about it. What a great day though, yeah? Thanks for stopping by and commenting, very kind of you. :) I did have another opportunity recently to go and see them filming for S3 of Sherlock and that was quite fun. How about you? Any more encounters?