A Little Bit Of Sunshine

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What a summer we just had. It was glorious right? Right. I bloody love it when the sun comes out. And the fact we had these gorgeous days in May has made 2016 seem a little brighter. Hopefully we have loads more to come, but the rumour is already going around that those few days were our summer. But I am definitely an optimist so …….

Anyway…it is days like that which make you question everything. On one of the roasting hot afternoons, I was sitting at a hospital for hours with a family member who battles a chronic illness. And it’s scary. It makes you think about how grateful you are for everything. Sitting on this ward, looking at the posters and support groups and the struggles that people go through make going out to the beach for a few hours, drinking in the sun and listening to the calmness of the waves, it makes it all seem so much more special. Nobody should take for granted feeling the sand (Or suffolk stones) between your toes. At the hospital, there was this young woman….maybe around the same age as me….obviously battling the same illness as my family member. She was in a motorised wheelchair and she was in herself, an absolute ray of sunshine. Happy, friendly….she just radiated good will and loveliness. We could all take inspiration from her.

Last weekend, I was able to take the Littles to the beach. Not the one we usually go to, but another one. Watching them be so carefree and running in and out of the water and splashing around was so special. I love that they are at an age where they don’t have much to worry about. All they needed to be happy that day was drink, multiple applications of sun lotion, the ocean and sand to dig their way to another place. (No, seriously…they tried it. Boy Little was certain he was making progress to Australia…..)

 

The thing is, you have to admit defeat sometimes. And I have resigned myself to the fact that my kids are growing up in a different world to what I was brought up in. I saw an interesting post the other day….and actually, it was true. It said that the only reason your nanna and grandad are still together after all this time is because social media wasn’t around to drive a wedge between them. And OK, so they grew up in a time where love and respect was honoured more than it is in these days….but also…..it’s true. They would probably fall asleep in each others arms after reading a chapter of a book. We are falling asleep with our phones in our hands after being up hours after we said we would talking to people we wouldn’t usually be able to. The internet is a whole other world and my Littles are growing up in the era where it would be unusual if they didn’t have access to it when they reach a certain age. So watching them splashing around squealing in the waves, not knowing the pressures of being liked on social media, and trolling and cyber bullying and trying to make an Instagram post look good…… I cherished it. Because they are the generation where all that superficial online stuff will be important to them. Which, on a related subject…..I am SO SO SO thankful that the Littles school are teaching them about internet safety as they grow up. The internet is going to be an every day thing for them when they are older just like going to the shops or working for a living. So I love that they are being taught about it. The internet was barely a thing when I was at school and I know a remarkable amount of people who met strangers online or got themselves in trouble by saying a stupid thing because they weren’t taught the ins and outs.

Moving on to other stuff now. The theatre world. Yes. Let’s do that. One of my favourite things to bore people with!!

First of all, Michael Watsons new headshots….. If you haven’t seen them, you should. They are bloody stunning. I mean….I know that isn’t even a topic to talk about in a blog, but it had to be mentioned. The sooner I see that face back on a stage, or a TV or whatever…the better. He is such an incredible talent and it helps that his face looks like that. One of his headshots looks particularly mean and moody…..and I never realised how bad I wanted Michael to play a villain. Sexy. Fit. Hot. All the Phwoarrs.

Feel free to comment on the blog about what you would like to see the Mickey Blue do next.

Also…. Sandy Moffat. Just because. Here you go.

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It’s so not a blog if I don’t mention Michael and Sandy.

I hope you all managed to catch our Tommy G on Britains Got Talent a few weeks ago with his wonderful group Vox Fortis. I was literally so excited I had a popcorn party. And I hate popcorn. It is great to see him doing so well. I couldn’t be happier for him.

Obviously there has been a load of scandal surrounding Sheridan Smith and the show Funny Girl. I have my own thoughts on it all and it doesn’t make you a popular person to really state those views. But the way I see is understudies are fantastic. I mean…understudies are as good as the mains, because otherwise they wouldn’t get cast as an understudy in the first place. They have to be ready to go on and do the exact same job as a main, sometimes even rehearsing for multiple roles in times of need. So yes, they are as fantastic BUT ….and this is a big but…..shows make their money most of the time by promoting a name. Media speculation and the way a show is publicised will come into it, and the fact is….Funny Girl heavily advertised Sheridan Smith. She is a big name. And Funny Girl is a fantastic show. So understandably, tickets were snapped up in the hope of seeing Sheridan. The thing is, the theatre crowd and theatre die-hards go and see theatre as much as they can. But if you are not part of the theatre go-ers, and you plan a one off trip to see one of your favourite people in a show…..it is natural you would be disappointed that they aren’t on stage. And I think anyone that says otherwise is lying. Of course they are still going to enjoy the show…but they might not know that at the time. It’s just a part of life. If I decided to book tickets for America to see Hugh Jackman in a Broadway show, I would do it knowing that due to him being ill, or something going wrong, or even him just booking an unscheduled holiday…he might not be on. I would go with that knowledge. However….would I be hugely disappointed about not seeing him? Of course. The understudy could be and probably would be Oscar worthy….and I would no doubt rave about them and become a huge fan….but I would still be disappointed. Not disappointed because he was ill, nobody can help that. Disappointed that I wouldn’t get to see him. I think the theatre crowd see it as a taboo to be disappointed and I think that’s wrong. People aren’t saying that the understudies are rubbish, the complete opposite is true, but it’s OK to specifically want to see a person.

The third time I went to see Sandy Moffats Frankie Valli at Jersey Boys, he was ill. We ended up seeing Matt Thorpes first ever Frankie. It was brilliant and I became a fan for life. But I was gutted to miss Sandy. It was the first time since I had been a fan he was off (He’s hardcore…..) I had clocked up 14/15 shows in a row without missing him (at ROA I mean). I love seeing him on stage. It is the way theatre happens, I think it’s totally acceptable to be disappointed your favourites aren’t on stage because they are ill or off for whatever reason. I also think it is perfectly acceptable for an actor/actress who works their bloody arse off to be unwell. Or have to miss a show for whatever reason. The difference between being disappointed but still enjoying the show regardless and being a troll spouting vile stuff to the person and cancelling tickets because of it is huge.

And of course, the Sheridan Smith matter is not just as simple as an actor being unable to perform because they are ill or on holiday. Sadly, it has been reported that her Father has cancer and she missed a few shows a while back because of it. I mean, you would have to be a wanker to not have any sympathy or understanding over a matter such as that. BUT…..I think people were riled up because of the events of this week. Sheridan isn’t a stranger to going off on a big twitter rant which never helps matters when your profile is so high. Also, she was photographed partying the night away at the BAFTAS, then not turning up for work the next day. It all depends on whether you believe the media doesn’t it? I think they are on a witch hunt at the moment. They pick a person to raise high and then push back down. It’s not nice to witness. Sheridan is obviously a huge talent and I hope she gets the help she needs. Some would say she has handled this week and the way she is online unprofessionally.  We all deal with things differently. I know some people that have went into work the next day having just lost a parent or been diagnosed with cancer themselves. I also know people that have taken two months off work. In any case…. whatever is going on with Sheridan ….the media are on a witch hunt and it isn’t fair.

Perhaps the shows publicity team are to blame in many ways? Maybe in future…. a show should advertise the SHOW. How wonderful it is, how it’s a great night out. How it’s unmissable…..rather than focusing so much on a big name. Because then people will be delighted to see the talents of the understudies. There are so many sides to this story and I think the thing I am trying to sum up is….. I don’t think it’s fair to shout at someone because they were disappointed not to see their favourite person. Unless that person who was disappointed is trolling and being awful to the actor of course. Then shout away. There is a difference between being disappointed to being angry and a downright turd of a person. Nobody can help being ill. Nobody can help the way they deal with situations in regards to their personal life. And nobody can help being disappointed spending a huge amount of money to see a person to find that they are not there. And it’s a good point to remember that so many people would have booked up to see a show because they are Sheridan fans, not because they are theatre fans. Us theatre fans can see show after show and be delighted with whoever is on. A non theatre goer wouldn’t understand that the understudy will be just as brilliant. I think in general with this situation, we all need to show a little more understanding to everyone. To Sheridan, to the fantastic understudies all over theatre land especially Natasha Barnes who has been winning rave reviews….and to the fans who can’t help but feel disappointed they won’t get to see who they booked up for. Compassion and understanding. Stop trying to out do each other on social media. If somebody expressed disappointment, there is no need to bring focus to them so they get trolled on twitter or facebook. Unless of course…they are rude and hateful, in which case ….they deserve it. There is no need to hate on Sheridan because she is unable to perform right now. Just have a little less hate and a little more empathy for everyone and then we can all get along.

 

Back to completely unrelated things now. Boy Little got Star Of The Week at school. Congratulations Lex. Love you millions.

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Also, I have had the opportunity to go out a few more times in the last couple of weeks. And I can confirm, I am the worst drinker in the world. I can just have one and spend the next day with a hangover. I’m not great at the whole alcohol thing at all.

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I have a hen night tonight. Wish me luck!!

Also….Tinder. Yes,yes. I know. But what is the deal with it? My matches always , ALWAYS….go one of two ways. The first way goes.

“Hi, How are you?”

“Good thanks, you?”

“Good yeah. Want to see a dick pic?”

Which obviously leads to a snappy block. Because no. We just said hi, and I’m not a prude but dick pics are ridiculous and your profile said you were an adult, not some hormonal teenager. And the second way goes a little like this…..

“Hi, how are you?”

“Good thanks, you?”

“Good yeah. Just at work. You?”

“Yeah, same.”

“What do you do for work?”

“Blah blah, you?”

“Blah blah such and such. Any plans tonight?”

“Not much, you?”

“Same”

Next day….. same conversation all over again, never actually getting anywhere. And I know, I come across totally boring in that. But when I’ve tried to spark up a conversation, they actually don’t reply. I scare them off with my shite personality. So most of the time…I play it safe. And that is what I’m left with.

Anyway, I have to go shopping for a new table cloth, because I’m a rockstar and all that. Peace and love. Always wanted to sign my blog off like that. I can sleep easy knowing I now have. Granted, it didn’t add much to my life. But still.

 

 

Everything.

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So Monday was a pretty big day in this household. It was the day my first little turned 10. Double digits. Scary right?

And yes, it got me to thinking. Of course it got me thinking. It always comes back to the ‘being a young Mum’ thing. Ever since I had Little #1 – I have tried to fight the stigma. I have poured my heart and soul into not being seen as a typical young Mum, and I think as the years have gone by….I think, I hope, I pray that the fight has went in my favour. I might not have won it as an outright victory just yet, but I am in the lead.

As soon as I became pregnant, I knew I would deal with the hostility from certain people. The eye rolls if you take your kid(s) out for the day, the stares as you stand in a queue in the local shop, the frowns when you announce you have children. Granted, it doesn’t help that I am nearly thirty and get told all the time that I can barely pass for 18. But still, there are a lot of negative feelings towards young parents as a whole.

And even though I am on the receiving end of the nastiness…..I can see it. I can. I don’t want to see it, but there are some young Mums out there giving us a bad name. It’s a fact. And a shame. Because those of us who try to get away from it, we can’t. We get thrown into the same category as each other. I’m not even a young Mum anymore. How scary is that?! Just a regular Mum. Oooooo.

You know when you watch those Teen Mom shows and they always finish by saying how they regret having children and how they wish they had waited because there would have been more time for partying and living life?? Well how about those of us who never wanted to party? Or perhaps, in my case….got the partying out of their system at rather a young age. What about those of us who didn’t feel like we were missing out but rather….gaining something they never knew would mean so much.

It has been 10 years with Leona. Ten whole years. And what have I found in those years?

Where do I start? I’ve learnt that having a baby is not guaranteed. I had to learn the hard way as I watched my blue, lifeless baby on a table with doctors trying to revive her after she was born. I’ve also learnt that if you believe enough, if you screw your eyes shut with tears streaming down your face willing her to wake up, to breathe….it can happen. (Or you know, the wonderful, beautiful man that saved her life. Thank you forever a million times over.) I have found out that bringing up a  baby is way more magical than some would have you believe. I watched as that baby I loved and nurtured grew into the best big sister a little boy could ever ask for. I smiled from the sidelines as she started school, made friends, joined clubs. The sleepless nights have been there, but the good times get you through.

And I know that this little girl….this little TEN year old girl is the most wonderful ten year old you could meet. She had her birthday party on Sunday, and our wonderful party host, Danielle, told me the lovely story of how my daughter stood out. How she remembered her at another party a few months ago because she was so well mannered and happy. I mean, if that doesn’t make a parent proud, then what will?! I look at her and her little brother, and honestly don’t know how I got so lucky.

Completely unrelated now……There has been a lot of talk in the theatre world lately. My opinion on it all is this:

*People get sick. Cast people are human people. So whether you are Dame Judi Dench or Libby from ensemble in a small off West End play…..you are allowed to take time off due to sickness or any reason you see fit. If you book a ticket to see a certain person and they aren’t on that day, feel disappointed inside while understanding it can’t be helped and go and see the talented person that will be covering for them and enjoying the show just as you would have. There is no need to publicly bad mouth people on a social media platform.

*People are becoming ruder in theatre audiences as the years pass by and that has to stop. Seriously. Most of us go to watch, not to disrupt. Plus, I’m quite hot headed about stuff like that and I really don’t want to have to kick you in the shin because you are giggling loudly with your drunk mate. Because then I will get in trouble when it’s all your fault. So please, do it for me. Or you know, the talented people up on that stage working their arses off to perform you a show.

 

*And stage door….. ah. So many things to say. No, the cast are not paid to talk to you at the end of a show, they do it out of the kindness of their hearts. We all come out of work tired and hungry, wanting to get home. If someone isn’t up for talking that day, get the hint, don’t just assume they are rude and suck it up. I have now been lucky enough to meet a few casts at a stage door (believe it or not, I’ve seen more shows than Jersey Boys or ROA ;-)) and I have only ever come across one rude person. And I will make no excuses for him like maybe he was tired or having an off day, he was a twat. Plain and simple. However, I won’t be naming names. It’s unfair. I absolutely loved his performance during the show and that is all that matters. I am all for people going to thank or see the cast at the end of a show, but please try to be respectful. Again, and I can’t stress this enough….Cast people are human people. They need to get home, eat, sleep, spend time with their families and all that stuff.

 

If you want to hear all this and more explained in a much more articulate way, check out Rachels blog. She covers those points and more in a better way than I could. It’s an interesting read. https://theatregirl91.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/theatre-etiquette-and-respect-the-truth/

Anyway, I think I am mostly done for tonight. I was going to launch into a tale about how when I picked Leonas cake up, I dropped it upside down. But really, it’s self explanatory and it was tasty. So it all ended well. And yes, I am aware this post has been very Leona orientated…..but that’s because she turned double digits which is just huge. Lex is the same as always…..a stinking little charmer. Seriously, all he has to do is smile at someone and they melt. He’s so funny. He goes from saying stuff like ….”Mummy, you are definitely the best Mum the world has ever seen, you deserve all the nice things and a twinkle star. Maybe one day I will get you a twinkle star. From the sky. Or I could draw you one. Same thing.” To playing boisterous football like an absolute mad man. He’s an angel. Ooo, on a totally unrelated note, I also got a new yoga top for all that yoga I do. Which is none, currently. How exciting.

I definitely just heard a cup of tea and chocolate biscuits calling my name, so I better go see what they want.

 

 

Everyone Loves A Quiz Night….

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Especially if it’s hosted by Michael Watson. Sorry….Michael WhatsOnStage.

So usually, you will find me at some beautiful theatre in London town, watching the talented humans of the West End. But it turns out that even if you watch Jersey Boys multiple times ….(never going to admit how many) …..it will not prepare you for a What’s On Stage quiz at all. Damn it!!

No but seriously, I love the theatre and thought maybe as I’ve seen quite a few different shows now I would know some basics….but it would seem that no, I know nothing. Which might not come as a surprise to most of you but ssssshhhhh.

Anyway, I got extremely lucky in the fact that Rachel allowed me to sit on her team all night, despite me being useless.

I’m going to start at the beginning, as I always do with these things Because where else are you meant to start? I might try the end one day and lead from there.

I will leave out the fact that I stood on some teenage guys foot in the hurry to get on the train to London, there is no need to make this any more embarrassing than what it is. I will also leave out the bit where I tried to get my train ticket out at the barrier but I dropped it and the wind nearly blew it away so I had to do a run/stomp. Oh and while we are at it, I will also leave out the bit where I crossed the road because there was a big black crow/bird type thing shouting at me. Yes, shouting. Birds can be so mean.

So, I went to London and got off at Piccadilly just really from force of habit. I walked past the JB house and kind of had a moment because I realised I wasn’t going there. Then I wondered if I should check out the posters but there were crowds so I just carried on walking. Which is probably for the best because as I realised later…I’m not quite ready yet. I will explain in a bit…………

I was proper bricking it at doing the theatre quiz, not going to lie. I didn’t know people who were going to be there, apart from Justina and she was on another team. I knew Rachel but we hadn’t really spent any time together, and you never know how these things are going to go but she turned out just lovely anyway, I probably shouldn’t have had any worries but I did.

Sitting in a crowded cafe with people I didn’t know was actually my idea of a terrifying nightmare. Not being a part of a ‘group’ or crowd in these situations is hard and if you are the type of person to usually act like it’s all fine and a breeze, it’s mostly painful and awkward inside making you want to curl up in a ball and hibernate.

I met with the girls who were my team-mates outside the Theatre Cafe….which by the way, is gorgeous. I think I’ve said this on my blog before, but if you are stagey and you haven’t yet been to the theatre cafe…..you….well…you just should. I won’t do anything to you if you don’t. But you still should. Because it’s lovely. Been in there a few times now and it’s always excellent service from friendly staff.

I guess I should move on to the most important fact of the night, and that is the fact that Michael has a beard now. And a tan. But the beard is more important. Obviously, most of you will know this anyway if you follow him, but guys….the beard is something else. Let’s not sugar coat it, Michael is a good looking man. But when you throw in a tan and a beard…..he just multiplied his sexiness by about a million. Insane. I used to be really bad at stage doors, then I got so I could maybe string a sentence together kind of, but the other night seeing Michael….I’m not quite sure how I managed to get any words out. His face is a huge distraction at the minute. Which I blame for making me do so badly in the quiz.

No, I actually didn’t think I would be as absolutely bad as I was. There was a picture round, and I fully expected it to be a page of Jersey Boys actors who we had to name. No, OK….I knew it wouldn’t be all Jersey Boys. I’m just really trying to describe my dream quiz. I might have got points. Anyway, my team-mates knew their stuff on the picture round and from what I remember (which isn’t a lot, I struggle to remember my name sometimes….) I think we got quite a high score that round.

Michael, of course was a charming host. He had me laughing all night. After failing to know anything in the first round and just looking blankly at my team, I think I just resorted to leaning back in my corner for the rest of the night and staring at Michaels back while he said words like ‘whore’ delightfully into the microphone. I mean….obviously that was one of the questions, he wasn’t just saying whore for no reason. At least, I don’t think so. I did have wine swimming around my veins at this point.

I should probably mention that part actually. How awesome is it that the Theatre Cafe got the booze in for the night?? Superstars!! It felt really naughty sitting there drinking rose when it should have been a hot chocolate or something. And usually , I am such a dare devil. One time, I put my foot so close to the yellow line at a tube station. It was insane. Anyway, I can now cross off drinking alcohol in a cafe off the bucket list I haven’t yet written.

The questions were hard. At the end, there was a little general knowledge round, and I excitedly informed everyone that this is where I would come into my own. It turns out I was shit at that too, but you have to try these things don’t you?

So just to sum up, I contributed absolutely no answers or knowledge to this quiz. I didn’t even help come up with a team name. But I personally think every team needs someone to sit there staring blankly at the host all night. Because the word team has the letter A in it. Which has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m saying.

A huge thank you again to the team for their brain skills. And well done to the team that won. Maybe I can be on your team next time? You all seemed far too good at it, you might need somebody to just bring you down a bit…..the offer stands.

This part of the blog is to be read and taken very seriously. I want you all to nod in agreement with your hand resting delicately on your chin as you glance at these words.

There may have been a conversation where I said I would start a petition to get Michael on our TV screens every night. Now to be fair….I never confirmed the details of this petition, therefore, I’m not sure if Michael knows that I have come up with my own idea for a new TV show. I already know it should be commissioned for at least 20 years. I’m not sure of the plots or genre just yet but it contains hardly no nudity** Contains mild nudity*** Contains Some nudity** Contains nudity from the onset and throughout.

No. I’m kidding. I’m actually thinking more of a Poldark type thing featuring Michael. Which incidentally contains nudity. Ahem.

I sincerely hope that Michael goes on to do something amazing. He is so funny and charming that he could turn his hand to anything he wants. All West End people are quiet about what they are moving on to next, but I am sure that whatever Michael does will be just as amazing….if not more so….as his Jersey Boys run as Frankie V.

 

All in all, it was a gorgeous night spent with good people, a lot of laughs and wine. Oooo, and Michael’s beard. Sorry, but that’s important. Thanks to the Theatre Cafe for the night, thanks to Michael for hosting and thanks to everyone else who made it so fun.

 

Before I go, I should just clarify the earlier Jersey Boys comment. Not that I have to explain to anyone….I just want to.

No, I haven’t seen the new cast yet, and yes….I did mention in previous posts that I would be supporting them. However, I am not ready to see the show yet. Not for any emotional reason. Not really. I just want to think about the shows I’ve seen with my favourite cast of all time….with Sandy, Michael, Jon, Edd and Gary and just hold on to those memories for a bit longer before I replace it all with anything new. I see that the new cast of Jersey Boys are absolutely blowing the roof off and getting rave reviews and I honestly couldn’t be happier for them. In fact, Rachel was giving me a glowing recount of when she went to see the cast. And I am sure that I will be there singing along to my favourite songs one day…but it will be in my own time and I don’t care one bit if that rubs a few of you up the wrong way.

If all the mains had left Rock Of Ages at the same time rather than the show closing….I would have had the same reaction. I also have to factor in money, my available time and the fact that Michael and Sandy will move on to different things that I will want to see.

Anyway….I need to go make some tea and biscuits. Because as I said above……….hardcore.

 

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***Both pictures taken from Michaels twitter account because I am too lazy to source my own material. ***also, I promise I was at the quiz night, I’m just hiding in the photo….because.***

 

Chasing The Music….Trying To Get Home

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Everybody remembers it the way they need to…….and this is the way I am going to remember the huge Jersey Boys cast change of 2016.
It all started on a chilly Saturday morning. I woke up full of wonder and excitement at what lay ahead for the weekend. Ha! I’m joking guys. I’m not really going to tell it like that. In reality, I woke up late, had travel issues with engineering works and packed right at the last minute for my London weekend stay which resulted me in bringing my whole house. Carrying a huge backpack, a full bag and other stuff is not the brightest idea walking around London and getting through the tube barriers. But what can I say? I like to make things difficult. I always like to think my life is way more organised and glam than that so for the purposes of an interesting story… we will say I had a personal assistant carrying my luggage for me. And he was fit. Like…think Hugh Jackman.

Anyway….. Obviously we had booked to see Sandys last show on the Saturday and Michaels last show for the Sunday. We also threw in a trip to Simon Lipkins fab new show Miss Atomic Bomb on the Saturday night…but I will write a separate blog on that.

I did something I never ever do and went to stage door before the show. As a rule I hate this because I mean….I didn’t want to bother them as they walked in but knowing there would be mad crowds after the shows and I had to give them their leaving cards made things more difficult. I had back up though. My trusty best friend Ali was on hand to babysit me around London…..and I had an added bonus with the lovely Justina who soon came to realise that I really did need looking after because I’m just generally quite bad at life. Thanks girls….I owe ya!!

So after feeling mighty awkward being at the stage door, basically throwing Sandys leaving bits at him out of embarrassment and trying to run off to my hotel before it was time, I was winning cool points all around. We checked into the hotel and legged it back to the Piccadilly theatre for Sandys last show.

That man certainly knows how to work a crowd. I always find it a bit weird as a fan to say that I am proud of them, but that is what I felt as Sandy sang Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. What an epic show to go out on. He knows he did himself proud and I can’t wait to see what else he does next. I definitely did not cry. I think what happened is I went to take a sip of water … (wine) and it spilt down my face….so then it just looked like tears but it wasn’t. He really has built up quite the fan base and with his talent it will only get bigger.

We even got to say goodbye and good luck to him after the show which was a bonus, because on such a massive cast change I think you just have to assume you might not get the chance to say much. He rocked the Jersey Boys stage and I think I speak for all of us when I say that it would be a dream to see him in his sparkly leotard and flash headband singing Can’t Take My Eyes Off You while doing a bit of Dirty Dancing. It could happen.

Thanks Sandy…you absolute dreamboat.

I woke up on Sunday in a bit of a daze. I just couldn’t believe that all the seasons would be walking off stage that night and not coming back as a season. It is so strange to get so invested in a show. I have been to loads of other shows that I have loved and been awed at …but they haven’t made a dent like Jersey Boys did. They didn’t make me go back again and again …..(except for Rock Of Ages which I mean…. come on….Rock N Roll and Debauchery and Sandy showing off his legs, what more do you want?)…..it is obviously a credit to this Jersey Boys cast that people went back to see them more than once. And the people that did see it just the once left outstanding reviews. This cast made an impact.

 

Again, we braved the stage door before the show. Again, you could tell from out of space just how uncomfortable it was for me. But…. you know. Last day means special rules I suppose so it is what it is. I have to win points for being the most awkward person who was in London that day as I walked over to Joseph Peters who was talking to other fans and said these exact words in a shaky voice … (Yes, I know I’m 29 but….what can ya do?)

“I just wanted to say good luck for the last show. Because you have been good. Obviously.”

Then I ran to the other side of the road wondering why I ever opened my mouth. Ha!! Swallow me up ground. It didn’t. Ooooo… we also had a mini Jersey Reunion with the very lovely and insanely tall Matt Nalton…..now of Beautiful pedigree but formerly a superb Nick Massi. I think he was pretending that he was there to see the current cast off, but really he just wanted to see his beloved table. What a dude.

Anyway… I managed to give the casts cards out which I was pleased about, then just a short while later we filed in to the theatre. We took our seats, I ruffled around in my bag for the tissues my bestie had kindly provided me with and waited for the show to start.

Thomas Goodridge walked out to the top of the stairs as Barry and the crowd went wild. The crowd went wild right? << I’m sorry. Couldn’t help myself. I knew from that moment and Tommy Gs happy face it was going to be a suitably crazy send off for these guys. The cast is so strong that people like Thomas and Simon Adkins….despite not being seasons are still adored by the crowds. All of the guys just worked together so brilliantly and yes, I know we all go to see the show and should expect nothing from the stage dooring….but I think the cast are also firm favourites because of the patience and love they have shown us over the years. I don’t pretend like I am any of their friends, I go to the theatre….enjoy the show, maybe get a bonus chat afterwards and go home….but I can say that Tommy is not only one of the nicest guys in the West End…but actually one of the nicest guys I have ever met.

Cest Soirees La started up with all the crowd singing along, it was electric. The crowds cheered as Jon, Gary and Matt Hunt walked out from the darkness….and we couldn’t even hear Michaels ‘Silhouettes’ over the sound of the cheering and whooping. Everyone of course always talks about the big songs….and I love them as much as the next JB fan but we all need to take a moment to appreciate the little bitty not quite full songs such as Mood For Love and Opus 17……ahhhh. The way Michael hits those notes actually makes my heart go a bit gooey. I think I even stopped breathing. Crystal clear voice. Magic.

I think the atmosphere of the night kept me going. I very nearly lost it at the boys last ever Cry For Me …… where Edd sounded the best he’s ever been. It is such a sweet moment seeing them all together around the piano….. and it is one of my favourite show moments. The applause after that went on for so long I was certain the show would be held up for about an hour!!

I will miss Michaels singing…. but I will also miss his absolutely hilarious faces he pulls in Go Ape. How can you be an emotional when he’s pulling those faces?! He’s brilliant!! (Shall we talk about when Sandy does the thrusting in Go Ape as well or is that a topic for another day?!)

The three big numbers on Sunday night gave me chillier chills than I had ever had before and seeing them all in their red jackets made my face go in the shape of that heart eyed emoji. All of it was just magical. Seeing Jon and Gary doing some killer moves with their guitars, Edd bopping away at his keyboard and Michael reaching the high notes with no effort at all. Aaahhhh.

I could sit here and list every song but ….what is the point. Those who were there knew it was wonderful, those who weren’t there can probably tell that it was amazing….and I would be here all night writing this and I am still too tired from travelling back from London! I have never been so tired from a weekend away before but I put that down to being the poorliest I have ever been for a whole month. (Also a story for another day…let’s just say the words Flu, Chest infection, near pneumonia and some wildly strong antibiotics.)

The second act was class all the way. Everyone in the Piccadilly stood up after Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and I am pretty sure I did my voice some damage from screaming so much.

Seeing the seasons do their speeches for the last time was very choking. But….the fact that everyone was standing up for ages at the end, cheering them on definitely got rid of the sadness.

 

That show on Sunday the 13th of March 2016 will go down in history as one of the best performances the west end has ever seen. Magic. Magic. Magic.

I’m sure I don’t even need to say what stage door was like. Bloody crazy. I have never seen a crowd so big and it would have been intimidating for anyone to walk out on. I just had a present for Michael to pass on….and Ali had to go home for her train so she had left alternate babysitter Justina <<see what I did there….. with strict instructions to make sure I handed the present over. So I did the only thing I could do, I found Michaels absolutely lovely Mum and gave it to her. I wimped out!! Ha! I did say a quick goodbye to him which was lovely, he and his family were drinking it all in and it was wonderful.

As I think back over the weekend, I can’t help but feel happy. The sadness has gone and I am looking forward to seeing what the guys go into in future.

A special mention to Jon Boydon who rocked out for six whole years as Tommy De Vito. All of the guys became stars in my eyes.

We all have our favourites in shows and being a fan of Sandy which led me to Jersey Boys opened up a whole new group to break the bank for.

As I said about Tommy G, Michael Watson is also one of the loveliest men I have ever met. He takes it all in his stride and doesn’t let all the adoration go to his head. And I think that is a star quality in itself. We will definitely see him go far and I will be there to watch along the way.

 

Oh, what a night. Oh What a weekend, and Oh what a bloody talented cast.

Gorgeous send off and I am so glad I was able to witness the crowds shake the Piccadilly.

Good luck to the new seasons taking over on Tuesday, I am especially looking forward to seeing Matt Hunt as Nick Massi and Simon Bailey as Tommy De Vito. I would be shitting it if I was them, but that’s why I’m me and they are professional actors😉

 

Everyone remembers it how they need to, right? And I will always remember my five seasons Michael, Sandy, Jon, Gary and Edd….along with Thomas, Joseph and Simon Adkins being just a teeny tiny bit amazing. Thanks for the memories boys.

 

Being A Mum…..

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Trying to figure out what being a Mum is all about can give you a headache. It’s not as easy as just saying…. “Being a Mum is hard” or “I love being a Mum” ……Figuring it all out is one of the biggest puzzles in the world.
When I fell pregnant with my first, everyone told me how hard it was going to be. You may have seen a post that went viral a few days ago along the lines of “People told me it would be hard but nobody told me it would be the best thing in the world” .

But for me it was different. Everyone close to me expressed concern. Everyone told me I would never have freedom again. They told me about sleepless nights and having no money. They told me my body would change and maybe I should wait a few years.

But I knew all that. I wasn’t stupid. I knew that being a Mum was going to be a hard old slog. Or at least I thought I knew. But how can you possibly know something that hasn’t happened yet? Because actually, with the arrival of my first born and my second two and a half years later….things weren’t all that hard. I suddenly had a purpose in life. I always say I got it easy. Maybe I would have a different outlook if the babies I had were different, if they were harder. The first year of being a Mum, and I really hate to brag, was easy. It was brilliant. It was love. It was everything I had ever wanted. My baby was ….well, she was a baby. She was perfection. She cried, she laughed, she smiled, she ate, she teethed. She did all the things I thought she would. She gave me sleepless nights but it hardly came as a shock. She made motherhood easy.

 

And if I thought she was easy…..my second born, my little man was the most chilled out baby you could ever ask for. He barely cried, he slept, he giggled, he teethed….he was a baby that did baby things. Of course, there was so much more to raising them than the sleepless nights and the stretch marks on my body. My girl could talk at the age of ten months but was a late walker. My boy walked at average age but was quiet and didn’t speak a lot. My girl had a smile that could light up a room from the age of six weeks. My boy had a giggle that sounded like wind chimes and fairies. My girl had a high pitched girly cry. My boy had a serious down in the dumps face if he was unhappy.

We rattled through life nicely. We muddled through. We were a unit. And everything that I expected from parenthood happened. Babies are babies. They will cry, they will poo, they will eat and they will sleep. But they are so much more than just hard work. They are the reason you get up in the morning. They are the reason you spend all day smiling. They are the reason you strive to be the best person you can possibly be.

Everyone said it was going to be hard, but they all said it was going to be hard for the wrong reasons. They all warned me about sleepless nights, but forgot to mention that the minute your child sneezes you sit there watching them in case it’s something more sinister. I didn’t know that instead of wishing I could sleep…I would happily give up forty years of sleep if it meant I didn’t have to watch my little girl go through an asthma attack. Who warned me that I would feel helpless and out of my depth as I watched my boy battle a nasty flu bug that left him weak for seven days? People didn’t tell me about the way your heart thuds with fear when your daughter is old enough to start walking to school by herself with her friends. I never knew that I would feel sick to my stomach as I watched my boy fall down in a game of football hurting his knee. I had no idea I would question myself every single night on whether I’m bringing them up right or if they need more. I never knew I would lose sleep because I will never know if I am giving them enough.

Those are the things that would be handy to know.

I think when you have a baby, It is hard to see beyond a year or so. I am obviously way out the baby years with my littles and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now. Seeing the little people they have become, the people they will be….there is no better feeling and I love them with every ounce of my being. As today is Mothers Day….I need to thank them, as I do every year, for actually allowing me to be a Mum, and not just any old Mum….a Mum to the best kids in the world.

Parenting is so full of criticism these days. It’s sad. Everyone is a critic. I hate to say it, but it’s not only strangers and casual Facebook friends that will judge you, it’s also your close friends and family. Not because they are mean and cruel, but because most of them have probably had a kid of their own and did things differently to you. But that my friends, is the beauty of being a parent. It’s awful to think that the minute you become a parent, everything you do is up for scrutiny.

I know many parents are proud to shout about the way they are raising their kids and that is fine, I admire them. I try to keep my life with the littles private. Nobody needs to know if I breast fed or not, if I have a certain type of car seat for them, what age I potty trained them and how, If I let them cry it out as newborns, what dinners I feed them, what time I make them do their homework. Because whatever I say will be judged by someone, and I’m not open to that. I’m a Mum, doing the best I can, who is raising two very happy and polite children. I don’t need anyones opinion on whether I am doing it right or not. The only opinion that matters to me is that of my kids, who hopefully in twenty years or so time will take me for a lovely Mothers Day meal and say…. “You did your best Mum.”

That is all anyone can ask for. As long as you have your childrens love and respect, then you are definitely doing something right. I would urge anyone reading this not to be so hard on other parents. We are all just getting on with it.

Happy Mothers Day everyone!!

Changing Seasons…..

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So…. the new Jersey Boys West End cast has been announced and naturally, I had to do a blog post about it!
The show means a huge deal to me and ever since it was announced that all four of the seasons (Michael Watson, Jon Boydon, Edd Post, Gary Watson and of course, Sandy Moffat) were leaving, I have been anxious to see who would be replacing them. I have even been that sad case and made up little cast people in my head, none of which I got correct by the way. I then came up with my dream Jersey Boys cast which basically consisted of the current cast plus the West End Rock Of Ages cast which just obviously ain’t gonna happen….. I’ve clearly been going a bit loopy waiting for news of casting. I was completely sane before. Sssshhhh. Don’t look at me like that. I was.

But guess what guys? The new seasons are looking mighty fine.

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I am so excited by this cast!!! With Rock of Ages, I never had to deal with the emotions of Cast Change, as I became a fan in its last year. It would have been proper hard for me to watch someone else other than Sandy as Franz, and I would have needed large amounts of chocolate to get through. (OK , so I did that when it closed anyway but that isn’t the point.)

Then last year on the Jersey Boys cast change , we said Bye Bye (extremely tall and handsome) Baby to the gorgeous Matt Nalton, and I wondered how I would get through a Naltonless JB …. but then Gary Watson came along who is lusher than a hot apple crumble with custard and everything felt right.

But this year is a huge deal. I just couldn’t imagine a Jersey Boys without Michael, Sandy, Edd, Gary…. and especially Jon who has played Tommy for a mind blowing six years. All leaving at once, not one at a time. And I have harped on and on about what joy they have all individually brought me on stage…. (plus that day when Sandy was doing the charity bike thingy and was in shorts because legs….. that was a lovely day……) and how much I am going to miss each of them in their particular roles, but this post is being written to celebrate the new seasons.

Taking over from Michael Watson as Frankie V is the charming Matt Corner. It’s fair to say the role is in good hands, Matt played Frankie V on tour. I follow pretty much everything JB related because I need to get a life, and I have heard nothing but incredible things about Matts Frankie. Also, a friend went to see the show when Matt was playing Frankie and said he was absolutely superb. I also read a review once from someone that has seen many Jersey Boys productions in many different places, and they said that Matt was a stand out. That is all the convincing I need to tell me that he is going to be firmly cemented in the jersey fans hearts in no time. Congratulations to Matt, I can’t wait to hear the high notes on the big three.

 

Simon Bailey has been cast as Tommy DeVito and as you will all know….my beloved Tommy casting was the one I was most worried about. I bloody love Jon Boydons Tommy. Tommy is the man. It would have been weird seeing anyone other than Jon cast as Tommy……but I need to thank the casting wizards right here, right now….because with Simon Bailey, the show is on to a winner (as if it wasn’t already.) I adore Simon Bailey. OK , granted, I have only seen him in one show before now, and that was I Can’t Sing where he played the Dermot O’Leary character. I even wrote a blog post about that theatre trip which you will find somewhere because I am too lazy to post the link here. Also, I’m shit with computer stuff and don’t even know how to do that. But we will go with the lazy thing, it sounds better. Anyways…. Simon Bailey was my favourite from I Can’t Sing (Other than the brilliantly hilarious Simon Lipkin of course…..) . I was talking to my best friend about Simon Bailey for ages. The amount of times she had to hear….. “He was my favourite!! I loved him!!!” She would have been rich. You know when someone just oozes talent and charm? That’s him. And obviously, Simon playing Tommy is a whole world of different to who I saw him play in I Can’t Sing, but I just know that he is going to smash it. I mean…. Look at his head shot guys. He’s already giving me Tommy vibes. He has the look in his eyes. The sexy look. I am so excited to see Simon as Tommy, I have been so wrapped up in thinking how hard it will be seeing another Tommy that I haven’t allowed myself to think just how bloody awesome it will be if they get the casting right. And in this case, I have no doubt that the picking choices are excellent. Well done to Simon, Can’t wait to see his take on Tommy.

Then we have Declan Egan taking over as Bob Gaudio. I’m not going to lie, I know nothing of Declan, but being the little Jersey Boys nerd I am, I have been researching him (I’ll tell you, it’s a hard life having to look at page after page of not too shabby to look at stagey men). Declan seems awesome, talented and fresh faced. I am sure he will do the role of Bobby G brilliantly and I have high hopes for his Cry For Mes!! Congratulations to Declan!!

Last of all, and the news that made me jump off my chair and screech like a kid who just saw ice-cream …… the properly lovely and gorgeous Matt Hunt has been cast as Nick Massi!!!! Guys, we have a little piece of this season going in to next season!! We have a still green leaf going into an autumn day with golden leaves. We have a snowflake burning in the sunshine on a beach day. OK , you know what I mean….. Matt Hunt is a well loved Jersey Boys face among the fans, and I was so stoked to see that he had been cast!! And I never use the word stoked so you can tell I am happy. I have only seen him in the smaller roles in the show, Norm and the occasional Gyp…. and I love him every time. Also, it has to be noted with Matt that when I have taken girls who have never seen the show before (my sister and workmate), they both came away asking who Matt was because they liked him. So he obviously stands out when he isn’t a main, I can’t imagine how much he is going to wow everyone as a season. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. You can tell he has a lot of passion for the show and that will shine through his time playing Nick Massis. I already know he’s going to be adorable during the whole wanting to leave part. Well done and thoroughly deserved to Matt Hunt. Thrilled for him.

There are other new faces joining the show including…..Mark Dugdale, Leanne Garretty, Will Haswell, Mark Heenehan, Joe Maxwell, Nathaniel Morrison and Dan O’Brien.

It looks like we can all sleep tonight safe in the knowledge that the best show in the west end has been superbly cast yet again, and I will most definitely be supporting the show over the next year. Can’t wait to see the new seasons making their mark on the stage. Congratulations to everyone involved and thanks to the casting gods!!

xox

 

 

 

 

‘Everybody Leaves….’

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Unless you have all been living under a rock, you will mostly be aware that many of the gorgeous Jersey Boys West End cast are leaving in March.

Or, I should be more precise and say ALL of the actual Four Seasons.

The announcements started rolling in on Saturday. Being a regular theatre attendee… it is impossible not to hear rumours. And I heard some things here and there at the last few shows I have been to. And wow, am I grateful that I did hear those rumours and hearsays….because I’m not sure my fangirl heart would have held up throughout Saturday.

If you read this blog, you are all going to know my thoughts on Jersey Boys. We all have a show that makes us feel good, makes us feel sad, makes us feel….things. Jersey Boys is that show for me. In case you couldn’t tell. I will never know if it’s the music of which I grew up listening to, the vintage costumes and props or just the fact that the majority of the shows stars are four nice looking men and I’m a bit of a sucker for a handsome face. But the show makes me feel everything and more…..and it is my show. (Not sure Frankie V and Bobby G would be happy with me staking my claim to Jersey Boys….but oh well.)

Of course, it is hard not to be sad. Literally every one of the actors that I love watching on that stage are leaving. All at once. I found it quite emotional saying goodbye to the loveliness that is Matt Nalton when he moved on to Beautiful pastures of new. …..<<< See what I did there? I know. Genius. I promised everyone that I would not be crying during Rock Of Ages last ever show. And that was a promise I would have kept if it had not been for the fact that suddenly….water invaded my face out of literally nowhere. So it looked like I was crying. What bad timing. So probably, what I am trying to say is that I most definitely will not be crying at Jersey Boys cast change. No. Not going to happen.

As emotional as it will all be, and as gutted as I am……I actually wanted to write this post as a bit of a thank you. I will be in no fit state to write a happy positive post after cast change. I will be mourning the loss of Sandy Moffats ‘Begging’ dance…..and that is a pretty hard loss. So while I have the somewhat normal for me brain usage tonight, now is the time to do it.

I followed Sandy Moffat from Rock Of Ages to Jersey Boys. I didn’t camp outside his house or anything. I just waited until he announced he would be playing alternate Frankie Valli. Although it was mainly because I didn’t know where he lived, otherwise I would have packed up my tent, binoculars, hot chocolate flask and pitched up right outside with a banner of a hand drawn picture of him in the leotard. All normal fangirl stuff.

He absolutely did me a favour. I had always wanted to see Jersey Boys but it was having the money and time. And with him moving in to the beautiful Piccadilly theatre, it gave me the best excuse to see the show. I never could have foreseen just how much I would grow to love it. I was like that bunny on the tv….I just kept going and going and going. My best theatre moments have definitely included every single one of Sandy Vallis Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. He gives me chills every time he sings that. It just seems to be his song. Hearing the comments from audience members all around me every time Sandy took to the stage has been bloody lovely and makes me want to shout from the rooftops “Hey, if you think he’s good as Frankie Valli, you should see his legs.” No, wait. I got distracted there. His legs have nothing to with  any of this. What I meant to say was …I always knew Sandy Moffat was talented , but his run as alternate Frankie Valli has completely blown me away. Watching him grow in the role, seeing all the ways he made Frankie his own has just been truly wonderful. It makes me incredibly excited for what is to come from him in the future. The possibilities are endless. Imagine just how talented he could be as the lead in Magic Mike the stage musical. (Seriously guys, when is that even coming to theatres? It’s as if somebody decided all of a sudden that a show about a bunch of guys stripping with absolutely no plotline isn’t a good idea??)

All I know is that I can’t wait to hear what else Sandy has in store for us, and that it is thanks to him, I got to see Jersey Boys. He will be gaining a whole new fan base with anything he does next, and I ….along with many others will be forever cemented in the Moffat fan club. I make everything sound so very creepy don’t I? It’s a talent. Thanks to Sandy who delivered a perfect show every single Tuesday night and Saturday Matinee. Not sure he would say the show where he broke Bob Crewes (Sean Mulligan) toe was perfect, but to me it was. He has given his all to the show the past two years and can leave knowing he did everyone and himself proud. I can’t say enough about Sandy, and actually….not only is he to thank for my love of Jersey Boys, he is to thank for my love of the theatre in general. This has all been very soppy I know, but the post would have been quite short if I had just done my usual trick of writing something along the lines of …..Sandy Moffat – legs.

Going to see Sandy of course led me to discover who Michael Watson was. I was curious about the other Frankie V. I heard whispers he was good, and in the end…. I loved the show so much that it didn’t actually matter who I saw. I mean, what can I even say about Michael without gushing? He has talent coming out of his arse. He hits those high notes so effortlessly and is a complete shining star on the stage. No matter how many different shows he does in the future, I will forever remember him as being an absolute professional on that stage and doing what he does best. The enthusiasm and joy Michael carries around with him is infectious. I ended up seeing Michael probably as many times as I saw Sandy. And Each and every show I saw with both guys were different. They were never boring. Each time, Michael would deliver a line differently to before, or absolutely nail a song to perfection. He renewed my joy at seeing Jersey Boys each time I made the visit, and I will forever be thankful for that. Michael Watson had me hooked right from the first moment I saw him. He has energy and charisma.

I am going to admit something now that I just know I will cringe at if I ever read this back, but it has to be said anyway. These guys, these performers……they do not have to speak to us at a stage door. When I used to go and see Rock Of Ages ….. I could never even speak to Sandy. It was quite embarrassing. I didn’t think I should be there invading their time or space. Then I learnt that actually, these people for the most part are all lovely, and so I learnt to just go to stage door and stand there awkwardly looking like I wanted to die as they exited the building. Obviously Sandy is absolutely lovely. He must get tired of seeing me every so often but he never shows it and for that I am grateful. It isn’t easy going to a stage door, especially by yourself which for the most part at Jersey Boys…. I am alone. I always battle with just going home straight after the show and looking rude, or going to the stage door and being awkward. I know it isn’t in their jobs to be all chummy niceness at a stage door, and so I am genuinely grateful that the guys come out full of happiness to anyone that is waiting.

Michael played a big part in my stage door experience. He made me not worry so much. I think I told him a number of times that I felt like a bit of a loser and he was always so lovely about it, so just for those little stage door moments, the guys have to be thanked again.

I definitely think Michael is destined for big things. Perhaps joining Sandy in Magic Mike. Maybe even going his own way and joining The full Monty. (If you lot have any other shows where minimal clothes are required, please leave it in the comments…..) ….On a serious note…I keep trying to picture what the guys are going to move on to and it is so hard thinking of a role that would be good enough for them. They are absolute stars to me and they need to be in the perfect role to showcase their talent. I honestly think this is the nicest I’ve been for a while, I usually just insult people…..I need to keep this up til the end of the post.

As with Sandy, Michael has found himself a fan for life. I thank them both for bringing Frankie V to the stage every night. Pure talent. I’m a hybrid of a MookyMoff. I just made that up. It works.

Edd Post has been a lovable and endearing Bob Gaudio hasn’t he? There is something about the way he delivers his lines, the way he pronounces certain words. I get lost in what an intelligent and creative man Gaudio is thanks to Edd. I get lost in the story and that is just a nod to how great these guys are on stage. Edd always brings me one of my stand out moments from the show in Cry For Me. I love the way he sings that song and the others harmonise with him. It’s completely magic. It is the first time in the show where the audience are literally holding their breath with the sheer awesomeness going on in front of them. That moment, for me, is when it all comes together. The last piece of the puzzle.

I have nothing but fond memories of any Edd show and he has a bright future ahead of him. It has been a pleasure to watch him pop his cherry every time and I hope he goes on to something worthy of his talent.

Gary Watson. Ah. Gary Gary Gary….. he was a new one to me. When our little but actually very tall Matt Nalton left, I didn’t know what I was going to think of a new Nick Massi. But my goodness did Gary manage to convince me that a new Massi was perfectly OK. The first time I really liked him. The second time I was sold. Just like that, Gary won me over. I did manage to have a look at his previous shows and the CV on that man is enough to prove his talent. He has been in some incredible shows, and now that he gets to add Nick Massi in Jersey Boys to it, his future will only get brighter. Gary may have only been there a year, but he well and truly cemented himself in the Jersey Boys crew. He made me cry tears of laughter when he’s persuading Gaudio to buy a car and when he has his TEN YEARS rant about Tommy. He is an absolute dream boat, a gorgeous soul and I wish him nothing but the best for the future. Just like with the guys above…. I will try my absolute best to get to any future shows. My bank balance will cry, but my cold heart will be happy.

Of course it would be impossible to talk about Jersey Boys without mentioning one particular man who although doesn’t play one of the Four Seasons…. we all absolutely love. Thomas Goodridge. Tom as Barry was everything. He gave joy, laughter and love. He lived for the role and is always such a sweetie to his many fans. He will be hugely missed but fondly remembered as one 0f the if not THE best Barry that any Jersey Boys stage has ever seen.

I actually wanted to leave Jon Boydon for last. I find it hard to put into words what I think about Jon and his talent. I think….what it is, is that for me, Jon Boydon as Tommy DeVito made the show. This man, has given six incredible and bloody hard working years to this role, and if anyone deserves to move on and have a break, it is him!! And yet, he will be one of the hardest goodbyes. Of course, in the grand scheme of things….. it doesn’t matter. Because he’s not going to disappear. (Please don’t!!!) ….. we will see him on stage or doing his albums or whatever it is he fancies doing. But six years in the same role in a West End show is such a huge achievement that he deserves one of those erm….lifetime achievements awards thingys. He is gold. The stage lights up as soon as walks on with “That’s our song” I have lost counts of my visits to the JB house. That is really bad isn’t it? I do know it has passed the 30 mark. What with seeing both Sandy and Michael….the total adds up. And out of all of those shows, I missed Jon once. Just once. out of way over thirty times. So he’s not just the West End casts Tommy, he is my Tommy. And he actually made Tommy become my favourite character. (I will state again, as I always do in my JB blogs that I am aware Frankie, Tommy, Bob and Nick were all real and not characters….but it is just for blog purposes OK? OK. )

For Jon to turn the arrogant, unhygienic, total prick of a guy Tommy into my favourite over the others is huge. I actually had this conversation with Jon once at an awkward stage door…. I said…. I’m not even sure if we are supposed to like Tommy. But I do. He’s misunderstood. He is a bit of a tool, but he was also the glue that held it all together. He did bad things, he did good things. He isn’t as instantly lovable as the other guys and yet he is my favourite. Luckily, Jon seemed to understand what I was saying at the time, I do tend to ramble. I just want to thank Jon for playing my favourite character. And I know that without Jon, one of the others would have been my favourite characters instead. The way Jon plays Tommy is absolute perfection, he has mastered that role with all his years of practice and in my eyes, is truly a West End hero. If I could give him all the awards going, I would. He is so talented and I can’t wait to hear his new album.

I will find it so hard to not only say goodbye to all of these guys, but actually say goodbye to all of them at the same time. They have added to my theatre joy. There are only two shows that I have continually went back to see. Rock Of Ages and now Jersey Boys. I can’t imagine loving another show as much as I do Jersey Boys and of course, I want to make it very clear that although it will be a whole new cast after March, I intend on going back to the Piccadilly when I can to see who is shining on the stage in place of the others. And I know I will love it. I have seen a few social media posts saying that Jersey Boys is over now these guys are leaving and that is daft to say. As much as these guys have become well loved and a lasting legacy, the show will go on with new talent and fresh faces who we will all grow to love. So here is to the future of Jersey Boys….booking until October 2016 people!! Great show, no matter who is in it.

I am looking forward to seeing what this talented bunch of guys has in store for us next. I didn’t think Sandy could beat prancing around in a sparkly leotard….but somehow he did. So I know without a doubt that there will be good things to come. It isn’t goodbye, it is just the end of a era. The changing of a season if you will. The changing of four seasons all at once.

As sad as I will be on cast change weekend, the first thing on my mind will be how great these shows with this cast have been. They have given me lasting memories such as the time a drunk guy spilt a glass of red wine over me in the interval, or the time where I banged my head on the stairs because I have a liking for row A seat 7😉

So thanks to Jersey Boys and the current cast, you all absolutely kick arse. Bob Gaudio Voice – None of this could have happened……..without them.

Don’t be alarmed if after cast change I look worse than I usually do when I see these guys, it will be because I am homeless and poor due to having to see all the different shows they will end up in. Unless of course they all decide to do a one of a kind West End long running show with just them. It could happen. You never know.