You know when you have one of those days where you have stuff planned and you consider for a moment not doing it? Saturday was a cold rainy December day and as the day went on my cold that had been lingering all week was getting worse.
I had booked tickets some time ago to see Miracle On 34th Street. I had never seen the film or stage show before so was interested to see what it would be like. I can tell you now that I am SO glad I manned up and went anyway. Screw the sniffles, we had a show to watch!
I decided to take Leona. She is 7 and can sit through a show with no problems. Lex on the other hand… he is a 5 year old boy with a bladder that needs to wee every 5 minutes. And I know from previous experience of going to my sister in law’s local panto productions that he loses concentration pretty quickly. Last year when we went to see Rumpelstiltskin, they performed the first song, and after it was done, Lex clapped, stood up and started putting his coat on. I asked him what he was doing and he looked at me so sweet and sure.
“The show is over Mummy, it was good but we can go home now.”
Little did he know there were another two and a half hours to go. He is fine if you sit him in front of a film, but I guess he is just not into live productions as much as me and his sister!
So , we decided to make a girly night of it. And plus, the show is about Christmas and I looked like Rudolph the red nosed Reindeer so it was fitting.
Anyway, we had to travel by train to get to the venue. The train is only a 40 minute journey so not too bad. It was the nearest venue to us to see this particular production.
We had to see it, because it had a cast member in it of a certain show we all loved! Daniel Fletcher! It was my first time seeing any of the former cast of Rock Of Ages in a new show, so I was very excited. Even though it was Dan.
Leona has seen some child friendly YouTube video’s from the Rock Of Ages days , and she knew who everyone was , so she was excited to finally see a cast member as well. Her favourite from the video’s was Jodie Jacobs as Regina, she thinks she is beautiful and wants to be just like her! Jodie that is, not Regina. Could be both. Who knows.
We got to the train station to buy the tickets and we had a lovely lady serve us. Turns out having a cute little 7 year old with you wins brownie points and she searched to get us the cheapest available train ticket.
I had one excited little girl waiting at the station!
The train came fairly quick, and when we got to Norwich it was pissing it down. I had no clue where the Norwich Playhouse was so as we saved money on the train, I decided to grab a taxi. Here is where I should point out I was in my enemy city. Ipswich and Norwich have a long history of dislike, so Daniel Fletcher should definitely feel honoured I made this journey for him. 😉
The taxi driver also took a shine to Leona and decided to be nice even though we were from Ipswich!!
We arrived at the venue at half 6 , but they weren’t letting people in til 7:15 which was fine as we hadn’t had anything to eat. So we went and searched out somewhere. I let Leona choose. She wanted to try this nice little chip shop where you could sit in. And we were served by Peeta from The Hunger Games. Or at least his twin brother. So we stuffed our face with chips then went back to the venue.
The woman at the desk also took a like to Leona (this was quite a theme during the night) and we had a chat and brought a programme from her , then went to our seats.
We had balcony seats and for me , it was a great view, but for Leona being quite a midget, she had the balcony wall in her way! But a lovely volunteer lady went and fetched some cushions, (about 7 or 8!) and Leona was taller than me! She could see perfectly. Every seat was taken , which I was pleased about.
The cast came on stage to perform the first song and we were both lost in it all.
I probably shouldn’t admit this , but Leona, who has never seen Dan in person before… spotted him before I did. Oooops.
“Look Mum, there’s Dan!! Look , Look. “
“No sweetie, he’s not on stage yet, I can’t see him.”
“Erm, Mummy, they are all on stage and he shaved off his beard and stuff, so he doesn’t look like Dennis anymore, remember?”
” Ah. Yes. You are right. I knew that, was just testing you. “
Yes, OK , please don’t kill me ROAdies!
While we are on the Dan subject,….. he doesn’t half scrub up well . I got so used to seeing him as a long haired hippie-ish Dennis that it came as quite a surprise. Don’t get me wrong, I think Dan is gorgeous looking in real life (Not that I would ever tell him that), but on stage he was just always Dennis. So it was a nice seeing him looking very dapper and to be frank, as a bit of a heart throb.
Huge points to Poppy Carter who played Susan, she was brilliant! Leona now has another idol alongside Jodie Jacobs! I just love how she is all stagey and only 7 years old.
The whole cast were great though. Very good. It made us feel so Christmassy and made us smile throughout.
James Murphy as Kris Kringle was just awesome.
My favourite bit of the whole show (This is my only mushy bit, steel heart, remember?) was when Dan AKA Fred sang ‘Look Little Girl’ . It showcased his talent perfectly. I felt like a proud ROAdie sitting there watching him sing! He was perfect for that role.
And I was not the only one who thought so. When the interval came around, I had two lovely elderly lady volunteers who were being ushers come over to me and Leona, no surprise that they were also taken with Leona and asked if she was enjoying it. Leona started gossiping away and told them we had come from Ipswich, so then I had to explain to them why we had come from Ipswich, because of Rock Of Ages and I had mainly booked it to see Dan, not knowing that I was going to love the show so much.
So they asked which one Dan was, and I explained he was the guy playing Fred. One of the ladies eyes twinkled.
“No wonder you like him dear, he’s is very good.”
And then I had to explain to them what a ROAdie was , and she excitedly said she wanted to be one. When I told her the show was over, hence why Dan was here , she was actually devastated haha! Bless her.
After asking if Leona wanted more cushions besides the 8 she had, and getting a lecture about how there was no way I would be going back to the station by myself, especially as I was from Ipswich, and that if I had to, I could sit in the lounge until I knew the taxi would be coming, it was time for the second half. Those ladies were fab, I love people like that!! And they were volunteers, and had more energy than a 20 year old. Fantastic.
The second half was just as good as the first. Apart from Dan’s song from earlier, my next favourite was “That Man Over There” and I have been singing it since Saturday. It’s annoyingly catchy but I only really know one line. It was Leona’s favourite song as well, and she caught a few more words than I did, yet again showing her superior intelligence!!
The cast took their bows and waved at the audience at the end. They got a lovely reaction, the whole booked out theatre had clearly enjoyed it as much as we had. Leona was particularly excited when Dan gave us a wave and winked at her. It made her night. He is a great guy.
Here comes the downer bit. The show finished earlier than we had expected. I had planned on getting the last train of the night at 11pm, which was such a late night for Leona, but there was only 1 train an hour and we didn’t think the show finished til 10 so we knew we would miss the 10pm one by the time we got back to the station.
So we had decided to see if we could talk to Dan at stage door, Leona wanted to meet him and I wanted to tell him how awful he was on stage. But the show finished at half 9, and it was pouring down outside and freezing being December, so there was no way I could justify keeping Leona outside in that just to maybe grab a quick word with the cast.
So we rushed back to the station with another very funny, friendly taxi driver who was pulling faces at Leona, which was actually a bit worrying as he should have been driving! He ribbed us about being from Ipswich. Then my 7 year old shot him down. It was great. He said
“It’s not your fault you were born in Ipswich.”
So Leona, dead serious and very offended pipes up…
“It’s not your fault you were born in Norwich”
Only she pronounced it Noooor widge, and we in hysterics. I high fived her for that one. So did the taxi driver.
We made the 10pm train and headed home. Leona was still full of beans and asked as it was such a good and exciting day if she could have coke for a bed time drink. Obviously the answer to that was no, then she went on a rant as to why people weren’t allowed coke for a bed time drink. The worries of little ones today.
We got home at 11 , and I just about got Leona in her PJ’s before her head hit that pillow and she was sound.
I insulted Dan a few times on twitter as I had missed the chance after the show. He is such a good sport and takes it all with a pinch of salt. He has to really, considering his whole leaving card was full of insults. He is used to it and would probably get very freaked out if I was ever nice to him.
To sum up, that night was awesome. Seriously, never let a little thing like being full of snot and looking like Rudolph put you off your plans. Leona will cherish those memories . It was ace.
Before I close this blog , I have to say…. HOLY SHIT BALLS. My blog EXPLODED after my last post. The lovely comments, the likes , the stats, I genuinely can’t believe it!! I am touched. It was a tough blog post to write. I like to keep my private life nowadays, well, private, so sharing was a big deal. And the response has blown me away. Thank you so much!!!