Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Real Angel of the North!

I still can't quite believe that on Sunday I was walking through the streets of Newcastle with the real Angel of the North, Miss Faye Brookes.

I'd made the looooong trip to Newcastle to see her in Shrek for the 11th time and despite barely having chance to catch breath between shows, she still made time to meet me for a quick chat.

I'd booked for the 1pm performance which finished at about 3:30pm. That gave Faye just 90 minutes to remove all her ogre make-up, get changed, grab a bite to eat and prepare for the next show which strated at 5pm.

The fact she still found time to meet me shows what a kind & thoughtful person she is.

Do you like my tweet? If you've seen Shrek you've probably already guessed it's to the tune of 'I Know it's Today'.

During our chat I was able to tell her how much I enjoyed the show and that she once again blew my mind with her stunning performance as Fiona. The venues may change but Faye's brilliance never falters and her voice is so special I'd travel to the end of the Earth to hear her sing just one line of a song.

I asked her whether she'd enjoyed her 9 day break between Canterbury and Newcastle but unfortunately she'd been unwell for much of it. She and Gareth therefore just had a relaxing time at home, which is actually a rare treat with their hectic schedules.

They did find time to catch up with a few friends and the above picture was taken on one of those occasions at a nearby London bar / restaurant.

Apparently there are still many cast members suffering from illness. This winter seems to have been a partiucularly bad one for viruses and with such a gruelling schedule I suppose it must be difficult not to get run down..

In just 5 days in Newcastle Faye had rehearsals, 8 performances, press night and promotional work, all while trying to settle into a new venue.

She and Gerard Carey who plays Farquaard also did a special talk for the 'Friends of Theatre Royal' on Saturday morning.

As you can see from the above tweets the event was a massive success.

It seems everyone who was there thoroughly enjoyed it, especially Sarah Cassidy who managed to get a photo with Shreks special Princess.

Faye told me how much she likes Newcastle and the beautiful Theatre Royal. It's another venue she has been to before and has many happy memrories from her time there with Legally Blonde.

Her digs are really nice and not too far from the theatre but after a tiring day she usually takes a taxi. The cast choose their accommodation from a list of available places. Faye usually uses self serviced apartments where she can cook her own food and live more like she would at home.

I told her that I nearly went to Skipton the previous day to see Gareth. I was passing pretty close as I travelled up to Newcastle after watching a football match in Halifax on Saturday afternoon.

I didn't quite make it in the end but it would have been nice to see him perform and say hello. I'm a fan of anyone who puts a smile on Faye's beautiful face and nobody does that better than Gareth.

Faye said she is looking forward to a couple of days off and would be heading to her family home in Manchester straight after the 5pm performance to see her Mum on Mothers Day.

She tweeted this lovely message and picture of the two of them later that evening.

Some of our chat took place at the stage door and some as I walked with her to a nearby Pret a Manger where she was hoping to grab a bite to eat.

Eventually I had to let her go and make my way back to the car.

I decided not to take my camera and ask for a picture on this occasion because I knew how little time she had between shows. Hopefully I didn't hold her up too much and she was ready to go back on stage at 5pm.

I can't thank her enough for meeting me. She really is as lovely as she is talented.

Before I made the long drive home on Monday morning I said goodbye to this noble steed who was living in a field outside my hotel on the outskirts of Newcastle.

He was trying to convince me he's 7th stand in for Donkey in Shrek Tour but I think he was winding me up.

The Shrek swamp is such a Big, Bright, Beautiful place it's always a little sad to leave but luckily I only have to wait 3 weeks before I can do it all again.

My next trip to see Faye is on Saturday 4th April in Birmingham! Can't wait!

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