Emotional last night performances: David Tennant in Richard II and the cast of Mojo
It's rare for me to see a play more than once and even rarer to see the last performance, I'm normally in during preview and then that's it. So it is extremely unusual to have seen not one but two last nights in the space of a fortnight.
If money would allow I'd do it more often because there is always something rather special about the last show. Emotions run high (for cast and audience), tolerance to mishaps is reduced and there is a little less care towards props and sets, all of which was brilliantly demonstrated in the very last performances of the RSC's Richard II and Mojo.
For Richard II it was David Tennant's extra emotional delivery of the "Let us sit upon the ground" speech that sticks firmly in my mind. You could tell that he was really enjoying it in a "this is the last chance I've got to say this" kind of way. His queen played by Emma Hamilton was also more teary than usual when she had to say goodbye to her king.
But it was the cast of Mojo who really made for an eventful last night - the tone and nature of the play does make it somewhat easier than a Shakespeare history.
Ben Whishaw had already managed to properly smash up the card table, hinges and bracket ripped out of the wood. Brendan then later kicked a chair down the stairwell almost corpsing at the sound of it bouncing on each step as it fell. Ben also decided to test his aim and successfully kicked the cardboard box Silver Johnny's jacket arrives in down the same stairs.
But it was the second half when things started getting really emotional. Daniel Mays accidentally spat his toothpick out in a scene with Rupert Grint. He looked at the toothpick on the floor, Rupert looked at the toothpick on the floor and then they looked at each other and something in that look just set Rupert off. He fought the giggle valiantly for a few seconds before succumbing for which he got a round of applause.
Then it was case of if you can't laugh, you cry. In the scene where Potts cries on Baby's shoulder Daniel got really emotional and seemed to be struggling to put a lid on it as Potts recovers from the outburst. Colin Morgan too had a glint of tears in his eyes when he had his final scene alone with Brendan.
During Skinny's death scene Brendan had another go with a chair this time throwing it over the bar, instead of in the corner, smashing glasses and bottles in the process. Meanwhile Ben almost did the full on snot crying as he watched Colin die for the final time. He looked impassive as he normally does but you could see the tears rolling down his cheeks and he had to sniff a few times.
At the curtain call Daniel looked red-eyed and weepy, Ben and Rupert too looked teary. They applauded Jez Butterworth who was sat in the third row before being presented with huge bouquets of flowers.
The curtain dropped and before we'd left our seats you could hear the drills working away on dismantling the set. And it is over and out with a bang. It is wonderful to see the emotional investment and attachment the actors have formed with each other and their work. Last nights are indeed very special.