The Rivals and why it gave me writer's block
Shakespeare double bill and a bit of fun at the National

Stan sits in a box (and it's press night)

I'm one of those people that looks up from the stalls at those sitting in a box at the theatre thinking 'bet you get a rubbish view, must only be able to see half the stage'. And then when Poly and I get to sit in a box as we were very lucky to able to do this week,  I'm well chuffed and suddenly they are the best seats in the house.

Well they aren't quite the best seats in the house because you do have a slice, albeit just a small one, obscured by some ugly speakers at the side of the stage but there are other benefits that make up for it.

Firstly you have your own door and little staircase up to your chairs which aren't fixed to the floor so you can move them around to the best and most comfortable viewing position. And then there is all the space for coats and bags so they are nicely out of the way. There is also a little balcony to rest your drink and programme on.

You do feel a little bit special as people, like I do when I'm sat elsewhere, have a look to see 'who is sitting in the box'. If I'd known that's where the tickets were I'd have worn my tiara.

But probably the best thing, which you don't get from any other seats in the old West End theatres is the fact that the actors are on your eye line. I'm not a fan of the old proscenium arch stages where to be close enough to see the actors raise an eyebrow you inevitably have to be on the front row craning your neck upwards. Something is lost.

So this was press night for The Rivals at the Theatre Royal Haymarket (more on the play itself here). My first press night so that added to the excitement: lots of celebs to spot who's names I can't remember. Of course with Peter Hall directing daughter Rebecca was an inevitable spot and there she was milling around in the bar before the performance, during the interval and afterwards. Of course all the cliched silly thoughts go through my head like 'oh she's tall in real life' and 'she looks just like she does on screen...'. What can I say, I am a mere star struck mortal.

But my favourite spot was Sylvester McCoy. Aside from being Dr Who when I was growing up, I'll always remember him as playing the Fool in the RSC's King Lear a few years ago and I'm still haunted by seeing him get hanged on stage. You can see pics of him in Lear (not being hanged or is it hung?) on Ian McKellen's website.

So back to reality this week just plain old stalls seats and no press night but there is always a chance there might be a thesp in the audience. Mr W is filming in London at the moment and he's no stranger to an evening at the theatre...Fingers and toes crossed.