We’re both pretty big Toby Stephens fans, and the play had terrific reviews, so we booked ourselves some killer seats (second and third row, stalls) and made sure our hotel room was within easy walking distance.
So yeah, Toby was there:
And so was this guy, as it happens:
When Melissa and I were standing in line to collect our tickets before the show, I was sort of idly gazing around the lobby at the people milling about, and suddenly noticed that Rupert Penry-Jones was standing in line with us. Two people behind us in line, in fact. I might have broken out into a cold sweat. I’m not gonna lie.
He was there to see the show with his buddy Damian Lewis, who joined him later:
And not to be all squee about it or anything (OK, yes, I am being very, very SQUEEE about it, let’s be honest), but when we went downstairs after the show to get a glass of water in the Stage Door bar, we found ourselves in a room with maybe 15 other people, Toby Stephens, Rupert Penry-Jones, Damian Lewis, and several other members of the cast of The Real Thing.
Melissa and I introduced ourselves to Toby Stephens (this mostly involved shaking hands and a brief chat — nothing too major), after which I spent my time doing my very best to stand as close as possible to Rupert Penry-Jones without causing him bodily harm, and without causing me to get bodily thrown out for sexual harassment.
It was pretty great. I gotta admit.
The second night we went to the show we were feeling pretty blase about rubbing elbows with the stars, but were still pretty happy when this guy showed up:
He was apparently there to pick up Hattie Morahan, who co-starred in show as Annie.
Also in the audience that second night (closing night of the run) were Jeff Goldblum and Mercedes Ruehl, who are appearing in the next production at the Old Vic, The Prisoner of Second Avenue.
Oh, what the heck, let’s look at pictures of them, too.
I didn’t snap any surreptitious photos of any of them except for Rupert Penry-Jones, because (1) my hands were shaking too much, and (2) I am actually very shy about doing that sort of thing. All of my fantasies about meeting celebrities involve just nodding and smiling vaguely to each other, and me very clearly making the choice to not make a scene.
I have other fantasies from time to time, but let’s not go there right now.
So this was the only actual photograph I managed, because the rest of the time I was too busy pretending to be all cool and whatever about it all:
Also, the play was excellent. Still digesting how I feel about how strongly I related to both Henry and Annie — considering that I didn’t initially find either of these characters particularly appealing, it kind of threw my head back a little when I found myself nodding in agreement with various of their little tirades.
I mean, clearly I agree with Henry’s attitude toward words:
“Words… They’re innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they’re no good any more… I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.”