Monday, 16 September 2013

My 'Sound of Music' Finale Adventure

How can I put into words what a incredible day Saturday was? I'm not sure anything I write hear will do it justice but I'll give it a go.

After a 4 hour drive - LOTS of traffic - I finally arrived at Regents Park Open Air Theatre at about 4:30pm and managed to park right outside, almost opposite the gate you come out of after the show.

I had my window down and could actually hear the closing stages of the matinee performance.

I was 2 hours early for my scheduled meet up with Faye so I decided to walk back round the corner to the Garden Cafe for a cup of tea and a piece of cake; although I guess I should have got into the spirit of the occasion really and had my tea with jam and bread.

At about 5:30pm I headed round to the theatre box office to collect my ticket. Even just asking for a ticket in her name gave me a buzz.

I still don't know how she managed to secure me such an amazing seat for a sold out show but I really can't thank her enough.

I'd arranged to meet Faye at the Stage Door at 6:30pm so I made my way back to my car at about 6:10pm to collect the little gift I'd purchased to thank her for meeting me at Euston 3 weeks ago.

I'd parked near a footpath entrance into Regents Park and as I was about to set off for the stage door when I noticed a girl sat on a bench in the park on her phone. She had her back to me but I was pretty sure it was Faye. I didn't want to interrupt her phone call but I was still in good time so I decided to wait near my car and see if I could be any more certain about her identity.

As soon as she got up I realised it was Faye and as usual my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest as I approached her at the park entrance. She honestly couldn't be nicer but I still get terribly nervous when I'm around her. I was beginning to wish I'd had a brandy instead of tea.

As you can see from the picture at the top of this post she looked as breathtakingly beautiful as ever.

However, Faye is such a lovely, friendly, adorable person that once we got chatting I almost forgot my nerves and we were more like two old friends catching up.

She told me how emotional she was feeling ahead of the final show and how great it had been to work with such an amazing group of children.

The picture below is simply gorgeous and one I'm sure they'll all treasure.

She also mentioned how lucky she felt that the show had been extended by an extra week because if it had ended on Sep 7th as originally planned she wouldn't have been back from her injury.

She then told me some super exciting news regarding her next job. She is going to perform 2 roles in the play 'That Day We Sang' from December 5th to January 18th.

It's an uplifting and humorous Mancunian story by comedian Victoria Wood and best of all, it's going to be at the prestigious Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester which means Faye gets to spend Christmas at home.

I'll be posting more info on the 'That Day We Sang' soon, so watch this space.

Eventually I had to let Faye go to get ready for the show but she gave me a quick chorus of 'So Long, Farewell' as I left, which I was then singing all the way to my seat. Very quietly of course, I haven't got a voice like Faye's.

The show was amazing last time I saw it but with Faye back as Liesl, this time it was perfect.

From the moment she marched onto the stage Faye simply sparkled and I felt a rush of electricity that only ever happens when I'm watching her perform.

She's such an incredible actress. Faye has excelled in every role she's had and Liesl is no different. Nobody could have played the part better.

A testament to her excellence is that despite not being the lead I overheard at the interval the couple next to me discussing how impressed they were with the girl playing Liesl. I couldn't help but smile. I felt like saying, I know her, she's AMAZING.

If there has ever been a better production of 'The Sound of Music' in a more beautiful setting then I'd be very surprised. If you didn't see it you missed out on something very special.

As the show drew to a close you could feel the emotion on stage and the audience responded with one of the longest - thoroughly deserved - standing ovations I've ever been a part of.

All that was left then was a 3 hour drive back to Bristol but I was still humming Sound of Music songs when I eventually got home at 2:20am in the morning. Truth is, I'm still humming them now.

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