Review: Off The Kings Road, Jermyn Street Theatre (co-starring Jeff Bridges)
That was May in London theatre-land

My 1,000th post: The theatre addict's initiation

Balloon_stock_png_by_mysticmorning-d3kdoy9In April 2010 I wrote my first post on my new theatre blog and six years later, here I am writing my 1,000th. My love for theatre and writing about it hasn't waned and neither, it seems, has the interest from those of you generous enough to indulge me by reading what I write. So thank you, it still surprises me that people actually do take the trouble.

To celebrate I've been thinking about those more unusual experiences you very occasionally have as an audience member - I see it as a sort of initiation, a test of endurance and dedication, so here are my five:

1. Spat on by an actor - That moment when you are sat on the front row, somewhere like the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and there is an actor walking towards you giving an impassioned and earnest speech with a generous accompaniment of spittle spraying far and wide. You brace yourself as they get closer.  I was once spat on by the lovely Alex Hassell, a former Hottie of the Month so I can't complain too much.

2. Splashed by stage blood - During Jamie Lloyd's production of Richard III they handed out protective T-Shirts for those sitting in the front row. I just wore dark colours and saw it as a rite of passage.  My reward was a few splashes on my foot. I have seen someone walk out with a nice smear right across their cheek. I live in hope.

3. Embarrassed by an actor - If you are going to sit on the front row as often as you can, being picked on is inevitable. During a production of The Shoemaker's Holiday at the Swan Theatre in Stratford, a flatulent character blamed me for the noises they were making. And then there was that time when the actor in a one-man Richard III decided to deliver an entire speech stood right in front of me while glaring at me maniacally. Slightly uncomfortable.

4. Fallen on by an actor - Had an actor in a wheelchair misjudge his exit at the Donmar and fall into my lap. Poly and I helped push him and chair back onto the stage. A few months earlier at the Donmar, the woman sat in front had been hit by a bottle of water dropped by someone in the circle. I might start asking for danger money.

5. Hit by a prop - The first time I saw Ben Whishaw on stage his watch flew off during a fight scene and hit me on the foot. True story. I handed it back to an usher at the end because I'm a good citizen like that. I'm hoping that if I ever get hit by a prop again it is equally small - I've seen a chair go tumbling off the stage into the audience.

You might also like:

10 Very British Theatre Problems