Yes, once more I started an adventurous journey to meet one of my favourite actors and one of the actors of my so beloved Hobbit trilogy.
Originally it wasn’t planned to go on that trip to watch THE CRUCIBLE, it was more of a spontaneous decision. A couple of my friends – Astrid, Aneta and Petra – had already booked and because I got a couple of days off of work I decided to join them. And what can I say: I was a good decision! Very good, indeed!
I arrived at London Stansted Airport at 3 pm on saturday, the 28th. The flight was very pleasant, we even arrived a couple of minutes early. But we had to wait quite long to be allowed to leave the airplane. Why I don’t know. But the problem was, that my transfer bus wouldn’t wait for me and every further delay would definitely endanger my theatrical experience. I passed border control pretty quickly, yet there were only a few minutes left for me to get on the bus.
When I arrived at the stand the bus was still there, the passengers still waiting to be let in, because there were some technical difficulties. My luck! 🙂
Just one or two minutes later the bus had been repaired and we could enter the bus. I read Arthur Miller’s play while driving through the english landscape around London. I was so into the story, that I hardly noticed, when we finally entered the city itself. The driver stopped at Victoria Station, I went further by underground.
Checking in at the hotel didn’t take long, but it already was 5:30 and I still had to get ready for the theatre. I hurried a bit, while the other girls already met. 😉
As soon as the last bit of make-up was applied I went to the nearest underground station and made my way to The Old Vic Theatre to collect my ticket. And was surprised.
“Did you receive our email about your seating?”, asked the lady at the box office.
“No”, I answered hesitantly, fearing I wouldn’t be able to view the play or doing so on a worse seat.
“Well, we reseated you from your selected seat to the stalls.” She showed me where I would be seated now and I was really surprised: it was just three rows from the stage. Which means: really close. Really close.
After that I met the girls shortly before we were allowed entrance into the theatre. I knew it was a great theatre before, but how great it was I had no idea. The atmosphere in it was strikingly wonderful. So impressive even without actors around.
The play began and totally got me (review will follow). I came to see Richard Armitage and left having experienced the best of him and all the other cast members. Every single one was marvellous. The staging was great. The atmosphere tenseful.
Afterwards the girls and I went directly to the stage door to meet up with Richard. And what can I say: I was nervous as a little child. As it was my turn to go ahead I confused him first by approaching him instead of Aneta, who he had seen as the next one in line… 🙂
And a second time as I first handed him the book and programme to sign, then took it back and reach out my hand to shake his. But he was so nice and gentle. So wonderful as a human being. Having played two performances this day he still had the patience to take time for every single one in line.
Finally we posed for a picture and I let go off him. Without looking straight into his face… *sigh* A chance of a life-time untaken…
I was happy, yet the experience was somehow surreal. To see, to touch, to speak with someone, whom you only know from TV and cinema, is really strange. Richard Armitage has been one of my idols for a long time now, not only for his performances, but also for his kindness and success in a comparatively ‘high’ age.
Meeting him was really strange somehow, I still need time to process, that it was him. The man I have seen in hundreds of interviews and in phenomenal cinematic productions.
The girls and I went to a pub afterwards and arranged a meeting time for the next morning.
We spent a marvellous, very geeky and girly Sunday on the banks of the River Thames. (Where I thought I had seen Lee Pace walking past us, but wasn’t sure until someone told me, that he indeed was in London that day…)
At 4 pm I started my journey back home, arriving on 12 pm, but totally happy and satisfied with one of the most adventurous and marvellous weekends.
Thanks, girls! Thanks, Richard!