I’ve been a theatre critic for over a year now and, through this, I’ve been to some awful places and seen some terrible play; I’ve also, of course, seen some amazing performances at some beautiful venues… The work of a theatre critic is a bit of a mixed bag. I never know what I’m going to get!
A while ago I reviewed a new play at a high-end, gorgeous little fringe theatre in Richmond, Surrey. It was a pretty interesting first attempt by a handsome, young, novice Writer who’s second name sounded familiar; I didn’t really think anything of it until I spotted, sat opposite me in the audience, the incredible Don Warrington!
I’ll be honest, I was pretty excited and spent the entire length of the play planning how I could introduce myself in a really breezy, but professional way without coming across as a bit of a twat but then I remembered something; the first and last time I ever met him…
It was 2005 (I think) so I was roughly 17. As a teenager (and still now, actually) I was unsure of myself, uncomfortable in my own skin and never knew how to talk to a group of more than two people at a time – a few days ago, for example, I was talking to two actors I knew outside my Drama School. Everything was nice and polite and socially ept until three other actors came along and I lost the ability to form words, purely on the basis that there ended up being five unbelievably attractive people stood around me – add to the equation the more frequent use of a wheelchair back then and there was a sure-fire recipe for some kind of social disaster every time I stepped out the house!
So… Keeping this in mind…:
This day in 2005 my family and I made the long and tiring journey to a Forbidden Planet signing (I can’t remember where) where Don Warrington and some other super-talented Doctor Who actors were sharing out their time to eagerly awaiting fans. Hours sitting in a sweaty, slow-moving queue kind of fried my brain a little so, by the time I made it up to the charming, classically handsome, velvet-voiced Mr Warrington with my items to be signed, I took one look and him and…
Lost the ability to form a coherent sentence!
He asked me: “who, my dear, am I signing this to?” (the cover of a DVD copy of “Manchild”) and, naturally, my reply consisted of the following…:
If I wasn’t too old to understand hash tags I would put a really clever, witty one here like: #facepalm or: #celebritystalker
Needless to say, I couldn’t bear the thought of introducing my awkward self to this acting legend once more as I admired him from afar at the stunning little, upper-class theatre in Richmond where his equally as handsome young son was showcasing his first play.
On the plus side… I’ve learnt to keep my mouth firmly shut in social situations. Or to just avoid them completely.
Please excuse me whilst I go and crawl back under my rock.