I've created a new category for my celeb spots when I'm at the theatre - hey I'll do anything for the clicks these days.
It's been a bit of a bumper theatre week, three plays so far and one more to go. The Donmar on Monday night wasn't it's usual rich picking of celeb spots but the Royal Court proved to be as good as ever on Tuesday night.
Sir Ian Holm (Bilbo in LOTR) was having a pre-theatre bite in the cafe bar and then afterwards, aside from the cast from Sucker Punch and Sharon Small who's in Spur of the Moment upstairs, Olivia Williams (Ghost Writer) was having a wee drinkie.
Then last night at the Cottesloe, it wasn't so much as a celeb spot as a full encounter. A rather familiar face sat next to me, someone I've seen on stage recently but couldn't place (I'm rubbish with names) and as the first two to arrive on our bench and with the stage set so unique it was inevitable that we'd end up talking to each other on it.
I commented on the challenges of rehearsing when your stage is essentially an s-shaped, bar-height cat walk and he mentioned that they had built the stage in the rehearsal room for that very reason. Further comments led me to believe he was working at the NT so I asked and he indeed was, he's playing Prince Tydeus in Welcome to Thebes which I saw a few weeks back.
A gentleman sat to the otherside of the actor joined in the conversation and asked his name (which I couldn't remember but was going to look up as soon as I got home): Chuk Iwuji (pictured left as Henry VI in the RSC production).
And very chatty he was too asking me what I thought of Welcome to Thebes (I was reasonably honest) and we talked a bit about the best theatres in London and Shakespeare as he'd been in the ensemble for the Histories taking the lead in Henry VI part 1, 2 & 3. He was in the Richard II I saw as my first Stratford trip four years ago.
We then discussed Earthquakes at the interval and again as we were walking out. I asked him how long Thebes had to run and whether he had anything lined up. He said there were a couple of potential projects, quickly touching the wooden back of a chair as we passed. We then shook hands and said our goodbyes. What a lovely chap. And he smelt really nice too!
Not quite as good as sitting in the row behind Rev Stan fav Ben Whishaw at the Donmar but a rich haul nonetheless.
Right better get my skates on for the final play of the week, back at the National for After the Dance.