“I’m in Kensington and I’ve missed my appointment!” I scream down the phone to my Brother in Law who also has his screaming son (my nephew) in the background.“What!? Why are you there?!” – “How the hell do I know?! Just please help; I’ve been going round in circles for hours!” I yell back at him, frustrated and overwrought with the entire experience so far.
I had left for London in plenty of time, to park my car and catch the underground to Oxford Street, where I would be treated to my make up being done by expert makeup artists, who had attended the BAFTA’s and worked with many of the glittering stars in British Film & Television. I’d missed that already. It was nearly 5 O’clock and I had been on the road for hours now. I had to be there at the Old Vic Theatre in less than two hours and I had trainers on under my long dress still.
“Just pull over! Just pull over, give me a road name and area. I’ll be your Satnav from here…” “I can’t just pull over! I’m on a huge duel carriage way, heading towards the West End – I can’t just park my car outside the Old Vic!” I’ll be honest here in saying that my glamorous night in London did not start well. I hadn’t even parked yet and I was shouting down a speaker phone while turning round beside broken down kebab shops and being stared at by disparaging locals who obviously knew I was from the countryside.
Through adversity, I did however find where I was staying and parked on a side street, thanks to my Brother in Law’s brilliant sense of direction rather than my own. I had just over an hour to get to the Old Vic which was at least two tube trips away. Like Cinderella, running to her ball – I slipped on some killer heels and did my hair and makeup myself. Within minutes I was running to the local underground station, getting lost amongst a maze of platforms. Are you sensing a theme here too?
Out into the cold of Waterloo Station I was now in familiar territory. As an avid theatre goer, my experience of the West End spans over many years and many productions. As quickly as I could, I walked to The Old Vic Theatre; a theatre which I had never seen a performance in before now but named as one of the most outstanding theatres in the West End.
Finally my heeled shoes stepped upon the outspread red carpet outside the Old Vic and I was greeted by the warmth of the theatre staff; who were outstanding all night. Not only this but a slender glass of champagne was placed into my awaiting hand. All my other worries and stresses soon melted away as I realised I was here, on time and going to be seeing the wonderful Sophia Myles on stage… (helped along by the second glass of champagne!)
The entire concept was exciting and impressive thus my excitement did nothing but grow when we all took our seats for the performance. Each play was completely different to the other. Some made you think, while others made you laugh. Each one was crafted superbly and hardly any mistakes occurred from the cast. Yet the entire mood of the evening was so joyful that even if mistakes did happen, it was taken in good humour and reminded the audience of the almost impossible time scale each performer and writer had to deal with.
Right, now to the bit that you are all wanting me to talk about…Sophia herself. Her play was named “Greedo Doesn’t Shoot First!” and for the Star Wars fans among you, you may have already cottoned on to the overriding theme. The play opened in a deserted old house where three people are pacing the floor, worried, frantic and sick to the stomach. Instantly, the audience are led to believe that something terrible has happened. Slowly as the play moved on, it was revealed that Rachael Stirling’s character Molly has hurt someone. This is a hostage situation and the police are just outside the door. The panic builds to boiling point until I can hear the shout of a familiar voice. Sophia’s character Kat steps in to persuade them all to let the captive go. Who is the hostage I hear you all ask? – The one and only George Lucas! In order to secure his safe release, a series of rather ridiculous demands must be met: there are to be no more reedited versions of Star Wars, he must also give permission to have particular scenes from the original films destroyed! From then on the hilarity ensues! Each cast member had a different accent from the British Isles. Robert Gleinister with a gruff London accent, Rachael Stirling supporting a convincing Scottish, Brendan Coyle tackling Irish and finally, our Sophia belting out a fabulous Welsh, which I was overjoyed to hear(being Welsh myself..)! Comic timing was vital for this play to work and each of the performers were wonderful, you didn’t even need to know anything about Star Wars in order to laugh. Sophia of course was fabulous with every single line she had been given and hilariously funny. I really hope she does theatre again soon as she had a wonderful stage presence and grabbed the audience’s attention so naturally.
The entire night went down a storm, glued together by the fantastic Rob Brydon who was brilliantly funny as host the entire night, keeping the mood high.
Swiftly those with invitations were directed to coaches that would take them to the after party at the Corinthia Hotel. Taking my place with everyone else and a quick dash to the Hotel later I was thrust into a crowd of people. Being on my own wasn’t easy at this point; I didn’t really know where we were supposed to be and where I would possibly meet Sophia. Thankfully I met some lovely people while making eye contact over the canapés and all I could do was wait nervously to see Sophia herself.
I cannot express enough to anyone that is reading this how wonderful Sophia is. She lights up a room as soon as she walks in. It was hard to find any sort of nerve to go up to her but I knew that she would never be anything but fabulous and grateful for me being there to support her. It was a dream come true to meet her and I was hugely honoured when she told me that her Welsh accent was for the benefit of both Rob Brydon and myself! Sophia having Welsh blood too meant that we did mainly speak about our home country but I did manage to give her a large bunch of flowers from everyone on Simply Sophia Myles, which she was delighted with. This website means so much to her and I know the same goes for every single person on it.
It was certainly an eventful evening and one that will be engraved upon my memory for many a year. It may have started badly and indeed ended badly when I was given a £55 parking fine, resulting in charges being enforced not on the Sunday but on the Monday morning. London and the entire experience left me dazed, confused and terribly broke but Sophia left me with a feeling of joy and happiness that nothing could spoil.
I send love to everyone on the message board and anyone who should be reading this, especially Sophia. All I have to say is thank you.
Unfortunately Chrissy was unable to take any photographs of Sophia onstage but we hope that some images will surface at some point. In the gallery we do already have some images of Sophia from the 24 Hour Plays, 25th Hour After Show Party with Sophia looking as stunning as ever!