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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Made In Dagenham

I went to see the matinee of Made in Dagenham last Saturday at London's Adelphi Theatre, and I will be honest, it wasn't our first choice to see on the day and it wasn't the first show we tried to get tickets for. I had little to no expectation how good the show might be, all I knew is people on Twitter had been raving about it.

So after not getting tickets for our first choice we were very lucky to get day seats when we turned up at the Adelphi Theatre box office at 10.50am and got great seats in Row L of the Stalls. I think we got extra lucky when I say the show was incredible.

The Cast of Made In Dagenham. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Arriving into the auditorium to the big lit up title words on the stage (and even though the shows start was delayed by about 15 minutes) the time flew.  It felt exciting, just looking at the cast list and seeing so many familiar names it was clear it would be good.

I'm not great at writing up actual reviews of things so will keep it all brief but the fact that this show is closing is a massive travesty. The show felt so fresh and as one of the cast members said at stage door afterwards 'its the kind of show the west end needs'.

The music is excellent with some real stand out songs, including the title song 'Made In Dagenham' ('we are Dagenham boys' keeps repeating in my head), 'This is America', 'Stand Up' and probably the shows "big number" the act one finale 'Everybody Out'.

The comedy in the show is genuinely hilarious, the performance of Mark Hadfield as Howard Wilson was outstanding, so so funny. There is some great funny lines within the show too. Funny and clever too, including the scene with Rita O'Grady and Barbara Castle, where Rita says the car that Barbara offers her a lift in is in fact her car because she pays taxes (this followed applause by the audience).

As much as the fun story is, it is also a story with heart (and of course based on true events), with the cracking love story of the lead characters as the strike intensifies and the role Rita plays in the equal pay act being brought in. The heart of the story is never forgotten.

The Cast of Made In Dagenham. Photo: Manuel Harlan

The cast led by Gemma Arterton, making her musical debut, are outstanding. Gemma's performance as Rita O'Grady is sublime, I certainly hope she does other singing projects in the future. Adrian der Gregorian as Rita's husband Eddie is great and packs a great voice, which I remember him having when I saw him in The Rocky Horror Show. Steve Furst's nasty Henry Ford rocks out the brilliant 'This is America'. Emma Lindars understudying the role of Beryl was a joy to watch, she has a huge voice and great comic ability. Other fine support comes from Sophie Louise Dann as Barbara Castle, Noami Frederick as Lisa Hopkins, Sophie Issacs as Sandra and Isla Blair as Connie.

All in all the show is all round brilliance. I couldn't recommend it higher and the cast and fabulous orchestra gained a well deserved standing ovation at the end of the performance. Catch it before it closes in the West End. If this show doesn't have a future in the West End I hope it has one elsewhere. I must also add I hope there is a cast recording released and maybe they should follow the example of From Here To Eternity and preserving the show by filming it for DVD release.

Monday, 22 December 2014

My 2014 Theatre Awards

Again just for fun and following up from my own little awards for the shows I saw in 2011, 2012 and 2013 I am continuing by doing it again for 2014. It's all just a bit of fun and my own personal opinion.

The winners will be in bold.

Best Supporting Actress In A Play: (2013 winner - Rose Reynolds)
Charlotte Mills - Tink (Wendy and Peter Pan)
Lydia Leonard - Anne Boleyn (Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies)
Miranda Raison - Anne (Strangers On A Train) 
Hannah McPake - Mistress Merrythought (The Knight of the Burning Pestle)
Paola Dionisotti - Mistress Quickly (Henry IV Parts One and Two)
Flora Spencer-Longhurst - Lavina (Titus Andronicus)
Lily Cole - Helen (The Last Days Of Troy)
Samantha Colley - Abigal Williams (The Crucible)
Maggie Stead - Queen Margaret (Richard III)
Laura Elphinstone - Flaminio (The White Devil)
Emma Barton - Dolly (One Man Two Guvnors)
Alicia Davies - Rachel Crabbe (One Man Two Guvnors)
Sarah MacRae - Silvia (Two Gentlemen of Verona)

Lydia Leonard as Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall. Photo by Alastair Muir
Best Supporting Actor In A Play: (2013 winner - Pearce Quiqley)
Guy Henry - Hook (Wendy and Peter Pan)
Nathaniel Parker - King Henry VIII (Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies)
Sean Gilder - Bosola (The Duchess Of Malfi)
James Tucker - Adriana (The Comedy Of Errors)
Alex Waldmann - Jasper (The Knight of the Burning Pestle)
Oliver Ford Davies - Shallow  (Henry IV Part Two)
Obi Abili - Aaron (Titus Andronicus)
Joseph Chance - Puck (Midsummer Night's Dream)
Jake Fairbrother - Achilles (The Last Days Of Troy)
Keir Charles - Mosby (Arden Of Faversham)
Adrian Schiller - Reverend John Hale (The Crucible)
Jo Stone-Fewings - Buckingham (Richard III)
Philip Cumbus - Richmond (Richard III)
Joseph Arkley - Lodovico (The White Devil)
Patrick Warner - Stanley Stubbers (One Man Two Guvnors)
Michael Dylan - Alfie (One Man Two Guvnors)
Nicholas Gerard-Martin - Turio (Two Gentlemen of Verona)
Jay Simpson - Dog (The Witch of Edmonton)

Jo Stone-Fewings as Buckingham in Richard III (Photo: Marc Brenner)
Best Leading Actress In A Play: (2013 winner - Pippa Nixon)
Fiona Button - Wendy (Wendy and Peter Pan)
Gemma Arterton - The Duchess Of Malfi (The Duchess Of Malfi)
Pauline McLynn - Citizen's Wife (The Knight of the Burning Pestle)
Indira Varma - Tamora (Titus Andronicus)
Lisa Dillon - Moll (The Roaring Girl)
Sharon Small - Alice Arden (Arden Of Faversham)
Kirsty Bushell - Vittoria (The White Devil)
Pearl Chanda - Julia (Two Gentlemen of Verona)
Eileen Atkins - Elizabeth Sawyer (The Witch of Edmonton)

Pearl Chanda as Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona (Photo by Simon Annand)
Best Leading Actor In A Play: (2013 winner - Jonathan Slinger)Sam Swann - Peter Pan (Wendy and Peter Pan)
Ben Miles - Thomas Cromwell (Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies)
Lawrence Fox - Guy (Strangers On A Train)
Jack Huston - Bruno (Strangers On A Train)
David Dawson - Ferdinand (The Duchess Of Malfi)
Will Featherstone/Matthew McPherson - The Dromio's (The Comedy Of Errors)
Matthew Needham - Rafe (The Knight of the Burning Pestle)
Alex Hassell - Prince Hal (Henry IV Parts One and Two)
Jasper Britton - King Henry IV(Henry IV Parts One and Two Two)
William Houston - Titus (Titus Andronicus)
Richard Bremmer - Zeus (The Last Days Of Troy)
Trevor White - Hotspur (Henry IV Part One)
Anthony Sher - Falstaff (Henry IV Parts One and Two)
Ian Redford - Arden (The Arden of Faversham)
Richard Armitage - John Proctor (The Crucible)
Martin Freeman - Richard (Richard III)
Gavin Spokes - Francis Henshall (One Man Two Guvnors)
Mark Arends - Proteus (Two Gentlemen of Verona)
Michael Marcus - Valentine (Two Gentlemen of Verona)

Martin Freeman as Richard III in Richard III (Photo by Marc Brenner
Best Set Design: (2013  winner - Mark Thompson)
Colin Richmond - Wendy and Peter Pan (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Tim Goodchild - Strangers On A Train (Gielgud Theatre)
Brian Thomson - Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert (UK Tour)
Paul Moore - Hairspray (Curve)
Morgan Large - Water Babies (Curve)
Philip Witcomb - South Pacific (Kilworth House Theatre)
Naomi Dawson - The Roaring Girl (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Merle Hensel - Arden of Faversham (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Soutra Gilmour - The Crucible (The Old Vic)
Bob Crowley - Once (Phoenix Theatre)
Soutra Gilmour - Richard III (Trafalgar Studios)
Mark Thompson - One Man Two Guvnors (UK Tour)
Paul Wills - Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Andy Walmsley - Blood Brothers (UK Tour)
Al Parkinson - The Sound of Music (Curve)

Photos from The Royal Shakespeare Companies production of Wendy and Peter Pan, designed by Colin Richard. Photos by Manuel Harlan
Best Lighting Design (2013 winner - Nick Richings):
Oliver Fenwick - Wendy and Peter Pan (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Tim Lutkin - Strangers On A Train (Gielgud Theatre)
Richard Howell - Drunk (Curve/Bridewell Theatre)
Michael Odam/Nick Schlieper - Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert (UK Tour)
Philip Gladwell - Hairspray (Curve)
James Whiteside - Water Babies (Curve)
Anna Watson - The Roaring Girl (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Tim Lutkin - The Crucible (The Old Vic)
Natasha Katz - Once (Phoenix Theatre)
Charles Balfour - Richard III (Trafalgar Studios)
Bruno Poet - Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Tim Mitchell -  The Witch of Edmonton (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Scene from Strangers on a Train at the Gielgud Theatre. Lighting by Tim Lutkin. Photo by Brinkhoff/Moegenburg
Best Costume Design: (2013 winner - Colin Richmond)
Colin Richmond - Wendy and Peter Pan (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Christopher Oram - Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Jonathan Fensom - The Duchess of Malfi (Shakespeare's Globe)
Ryan Dawson Laight - Drunk (Curve/Bridewell Theatre)
Tim Chappel/Lizzy Gardiner - Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert (UK Tour)
Stephen Brimson Lewis - Henry IV Parts One and Two (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Amy Jackson - Water Babies (Curve)
William Dudley - Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare's Globe)
Takis - The Sound of Music (Curve)

The Royal Shakespeare Companies' Productions of Henry IV Part One and Two. Costumes designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis. Photos by Kwame Lestrade
Best Choreography: (2013 winner  - Drew McOnie)
Drew McOnie - Drunk (Curve/Bridwell Theatre)
Lee Proud - Hairspray (Curve)
Mitch Sebastian - South Pacific (Kilworth House)
Drew McOnie - The Sound of Music (Curve) 

Drunk, at Curve and Bridwell Theatre. Created and Choreographed by Drew McOnie.

Best Company/Ensemble Performance: (2013 winner  - As You Like It: Royal Shakespeare Company)
Bring Up The Bodies (Royal Shakespeare Company)
Drunk (McOnie Company)
Midsummer Night's Dream (Propeller Theatre Company)
Once (Phoenix Theatre) 
Richard III (Trafalgar Studios)
One Man Two Guvnors (UK Tour)
Phantom Of The Opera (Her Majesty's Theatre)

Company of Once at the Phoenix Theatre.

Best Understudy Performance: (2013 winner - Kara Lane)
Sophie Linder-Lee - Glinda (Wicked)
Billy Boyle - Grandpa Joe (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory)
Nicky Swift - Madame Thénardier (Les Miserables)
Helen Owen - Eponine (Les Miserables)
Jade Davies - Cosette (Les Miserables)
Joe Bannister - Greene (Arden Of Faversham)
Sophie Reid - Girl (Once)

Helen Owen backstage as Eponine. Photo by Helen Owen.
Best Supporting Actress In A Musical: (2013 winner - Natasha J.Barnes)
Sue Kelvin - Madame Morrible (Wicked)
Zizi Strallen - Penny Pingleton (Hairspray)
Carrie Hope Fletcher - Eponine (Les Miserables)
Lauren Samuels - Ellie (Water Babies)
Wendy Mae Brown - Bloody Mary (South Pacific)
Lucy Schaufer - Mother Abbess (The Sound Of Music)
Lara Martins - Carlotta (The Phantom Of The Opera)

Zizi Strallen as Penny Pingleton, pictured with Rebecca Craven as Tracey in Hairspray. Photo by Pamela Raith.
Best Supporting Actor In A Musical: (2013 winner - Matthew Barrow)
Graham Weaver - Adam (Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert)
David Witts - Link Larkin (Hairspray)
Cameron Blakely - Thénardier (Les Miserables)
Anton Zetterholm - Enjolras (Les Miserables)
Andy Gray (Jock), Samuel Holmes (Terrence) and Tom Davey (Claude) - (Water Babies)
Daniel Robinson - Luther Billis (South Pacific)
Tim Prottey-Jones - Billy (Once)
Mark Inscoe - Max Dettweiler (The Sound Of Music)
John Ellis - Ubaldo Piangi (The Phantom Of The Opera)

Daniel Robinson as Luther Billis in South Pacific at Kilworth House Theatre. Photo by Jems Photography.
Best Leading Actress In A Musical: (2013 winner - Gemma Sutton)
Willemijn Verkaik - Elphaba (Wicked)
Sophie Linder-Lee - Glinda (Wicked)
Gemma Sutton - Ice (Drunk)
Rebecca Craven - Tracey Turnblad (Hairspray)
Louise Dearman - Mrs D (Water Babies)
Celia Graham - Nellie Forbush (South Pacific)
Sophie Reid - Girl (Once)
Maureen Nolan - Mrs Johnstone (Blood Brothers)
Laura Pitt-Pulford - Maria Rainer (The Sound of Music)
Emmi Christensson - Christine (The Phantom of the Opera)

Emmi Christensson as Christine (backstage) in Phantom Of The Opera. Photo by Emmi Christensson.
Best Leading Actor In A Musical: (2013 winner - Douglas Hodge)
Jeremy Taylor - Fiyero (Wicked)
Joe Pasquale - King Arthur (Spamalot)
Noel Sullivan - Tick (Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert)
Richard Grieve - Bernadette (Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert)
Damian Williams - Edna Turnblad (Hairspray)
Daniel Koek - Valjean (Les Miserables)
Tam Mutu - Javert (Les Miserables)
Thomas Milner - Tom (Water Babies)
Mark Inscoe - Emile de Becque (South Pacific)
David Hunter - Guy (Once)
Sean Jones - Micky (Blood Brothers)
Michael French - Captain Von Trapp (The Sound Of Music)
Geromino Rauch - The Phantom (The Phantom of the Opera)
Liam Tamne - Raoul (The Phantom of the Opera)

David Hunter as Guy in Once.
Best Royal Shakespeare Company Production: (2013 winner - As You Like It)
Wendy and Peter Pan
Bring Up The Bodies
Wolf Hall
Henry IV Part One
Henry IV Part Two
Arden Of Faversham
The White Devil
Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Witch of Edmonton

The Royal Shakespeare Companies' production of Two Gentlemen of Verona. Photos by Simon Annand
Best Play (not RSC): (2013 Winner - A Midsummer Night's Dream (Globe)
Strangers on a Train (Gielgud Theatre)
The Duchess of Malfi (Shakespeare's Globe)
Kidnapped (UK Tour)
The Comedy Of Errors (Propeller)
The Knight of the Burning Pestle (Shakespeare's Globe)
Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare's Globe)
The Last Days Of Troy (Shakespeare's Globe)
The Crucible (The Old Vic)
Richard III (Trafalgar Studios)
One Man Two Guvnors (UK Tour) 

Photo's from the UK touring production of One Man Two Guvnors. Photos by Johan Persson.
Best Long Running Musical: (2013 winner  - The Rocky Horror Show)
Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre)
Spamalot (Playhouse Theatre)
Les Miserables (Queen's Theatre)
The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty's Theatre)

Photo's of the 2013/14 London cast of Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre.
Best New* Musical: (2013 winner - Chicago)
Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert (UK Tour)
Hairspray (Curve)
South Pacific (Kilworth House Theatre)
Once (Phoenix Theatre)
Blood Brothers (UK Tour)
Water Babies (Curve)
The Sound Of Music (Curve)

London cast of Once. Below video of David Hunter and the cast performing 'Falling Slowly' from the show backstage.

*first time I'd seen this production

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Relationship Interview, Team M and M.

Today, the 13th November 2014, me and Megan celebrate 18 months of our very loving relationship.  We have had an incredible 18 months together. It’s been an amazing journey. To celebrate our relationship I came up with the idea to do a kind of interview blog of each other. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Mark: What was the feeling you had when you first spoke to me on Twitter?
Megan: I thought you were a kind loving man with a true heart. 

West End Live 2013. Our first photo together.
Mark: When was the moment when you fell in love?
Megan: We first sold spoke after I posted on twitter saying I was down and you told me to keep hold of hope the world will be good again soon. After that we spoke every day I believe the love grew within me. It was the day we went to the Olivier awards where we met for only 5 minutes and you left I missed you like crazy and from then I knew I loved you.

Mark: What have been your highlights of our relationship?
Megan: Ah hard one! It’s all but I guess my highlight is that we are just a perfectly match couple rubbish answer but we are always laughing smiling messing around also being are self’s around each other nothing fake!

Dress up fun in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Mark: What have been your three favourite dates that we’ve been on/had?
Megan: Oh man! Another hard one, hmmm I am going to say the Oliviers. Walking down the red carpet linked arms just so perfect! Our first ever date where we shared our first kiss! Very romantic in St James Park! A recent date we went on to Nottingham. You took me to the most amazing vintage shop and Bella Italia that does gluten free food! Yummy!

Mark: Describe me in 3 words
Megan: perfection handsome incredible

Mark: What does our relationship mean to you?
Megan: It means more than anything in the world!! I love you more than anything, its dream of a relationship and I will always be so grateful to you!

Dress up at Bosworth Battlefield Centre.
Mark: What do you want for our relationship in the future?
Megan: To be married, have a house of our own also enough money to live comfortable.

Mark: If you could write a film about our relationship, what would you call the film?
Megan: A dream come true

Mark: What are my strengths/weaknesses as a person?
Megan: you have loads of strengths, to many to list but some are that you help others, put yourself before them, a strong amazing man! Be proud of you self always please! Weakness, we all have them but I guess your confidence in yourself. You don’t see that amazing person we all see.

Bed snuggles.
Mark: Is there anything you could change about me, if so what?
Megan: I would take your eczema away because it knocks your confidence also gets you down and it kills me to see you down.

Mark: If we were a Disney couple, what Disney couple would we be?
Megan:  Cinderella and Prince Charming because Cinderella goes through a tough life and the prince saves her.  

Megan:  When you first spoke to me on twitter did you ever think we would have a strong friendship or even date?
Mark: When we first spoke, like on the first day I guess not, but then again who does? You wouldn’t go into speaking to someone thinking ‘this will lead to a strong friend or date’, but I guess you can hope. When we got speaking more and more then I knew I had a strong friendship beginning with you and obviously from there our feelings developed into something more.

In the car.
Megan: When you finally met me in person, what did you think of me?
Mark: One word, WOW. I was stood in the crowd watching the Oliviers live in Covent Garden, time was flying by in the evening, I had a train to catch to get home (damned set time trains!),  but you weren’t there. I’d kept looking around, and I thought you’d arrived but it wasn’t you. Next thing I know just as I had to leave, you arrived. I recognised you instantly. You couldn’t see me, so it was up to me to wander your way. I was SO nervous. This was it. I walked the few yards that I had to, and next thing I know I was stood right behind you. I gave you a little shove, you turned round and you just stunned me. You looked so stunning. I mean even if you hadn’t looked stunning I think my feelings were already there, so I felt like I’d just won the lottery rollover, a real beauty and with a great personality. I didn’t want to leave, this moment was over before we knew it, one  hug and I had to go, but a moment that I won’t forget.

Megan: What’s my worst habit that really annoys you?
Mark: Honestly, I’m trying to rack my brain on this one, and not just being a soppy person or anything but you have bad habits (everyone does!) but they’re not major ones. Okay I could say when you pick my eyebrows, or pluck my hairs, or your ability to lack confidence in your looks. But I guess that’s cause of your high standards of looks (doing make up and all must lead to that). 

At Lizard Point in Cornwall.
Megan:  We are both huge Disney fan as a couple, which characters do you think we relate to the most?
Mark: Belle and the Beast. I’m not saying I’m at all beast like but I say that you don’t see my faults like my dry skin. It doesn’t bother you, you love me for me and that’s like Belle for the Beast.

Megan: From when we started talking what moment did you release that I was your one and wanted to be with?
Mark: A gradual growth of feelings really but I think it was the night that you went to Alfie Boe at the Albert Hall. I just missed you so much and I remember that night telling you I had feelings for you.

All dressed up for the Oliviers.

Megan: What song do you think is our song?
Mark: ‘I’ll Cover You’ from Rent. That was our first song and I guess will always be OUR song now.

Megan: In our relationship we have traveled around but what place would you like to explore next?
Mark: Paris? Can I say that. Because I can’t honestly wait till we get to go next year. It’s going to be truly incredible! Other than that, there’s a lot of places I’d like to go, Ireland, other places in France, Spain, Italy. The place I’d most like to go and I know we discussed it is New Zealand, but it’s just so far away!

At Chichester Cathedral.

Megan: Where would you like to see us in 5 years’ time?
Mark: Married and possibly in our own place. Still loved up and being the same couple we are now, I don’t want our imperfections to go because that keeps us human.

Megan: If someone gave you endless money to do something for me, it can be anything what would you do?
Mark: I’d get you the cure for knees. No matter how much or what I’d love to take that pain away for you. Other than that a big nice house somewhere for me and you to settle in and be loved up.

In the gardens near Chichester Cathedral.

Megan: Is there one present that I have given you that stands out and you love?
Mark: The greatest gift you’ve given me is your heart and love.

Megan: What’s been your favourite date and why?
Mark: The Olivier’s 2014 weekend, it was just pure loved up magic. I don’t think it’s one I’ll ever forget. After all it’s the place we met. We got tickets to awards and the after party. A £300 meal voucher and a stay in a 5 star central London hotel. I mean you won the prize and you chose to take me! I felt so lucky. It felt so special. I loved it. Thank you for taking me.

One year anniversary trip to Les Miserables.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Sheridan Smith

I first saw Sheridan Smith when she was performing as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors which had transferred from the Menier Chocolate Factory to the West End’s Duke of York’s theatre. I remember being utterly amazed by her performance. I had the joy of meeting her at the stage door after the performance, she came out with her dog Barry, and she was just truly lovely. I can’t remember all the stage door experiences I’ve had over the years but the first time I met Sheridan I can vividly remember. In the years that have followed from that day it’s been a pure joy to see her reach such highs of success. I owe a lot to Sheridan...

Photo: Rex Features.

Later on during the run of Little Shop (which later transferred from the Duke of York’s to the Ambassador’s Theatre) I had the pleasure of meeting people like Sophie, Laura and Amanda through a Sheridan fan page on MySpace. I got to meet them after the performance of the show on the 1st September 2007. I still count myself very lucky to have got to know these fellow supporters.
Now as I’m sure the guys will tell you from back then I was never very confident and I do honestly believe through meeting Sheridan and her fans (whom have subsequently become friends) that my confidence came out and it’s made me a much better person. 

As Audrey in Little Shop Of Horrors.
Seeing Sheridan develop further I had the chance to attend a few studio recordings of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Grownups at BBC Television Centre. There would often be a group of us gather around 3-4pm and queue outside the studio’s to get in and get the best seats. The waiting made fun by just catching up with everyone. Sheridan once got me production tickets which meant we got to go into the bar with her afterwards and just chill.

The greatest times personally with Sheridan were in the early days, maybe because she was less famous but she used to have so much time, like after a massive group of us went to see her last performance of Tinderbox at the Bush Theatre that we all took a group of ‘stupid’ presents for her forthcoming birthday, we had great fun watching her open them. 

As Vanessa alongside co-star Bryan Dick in Tinderbox. Photo: Alistair Muir
As I previously mentioned about meeting people through Sheridan, I got to meet further fans like Bryan, John, Martin, Blay, Nickie, Rob, Sarah, Hayley, Leighton, Jon (and many more!), and in 2008 we had a Two Pinter’s BBQ weekend at Nickie’s. It was basically a fantastic gathering of fans, where we spent a couple of days together ending the BBQ weekend with a trip to Runcorn where Two Pints is set. 

Sheridan was cast as Elle Woods in the West End production of Legally Blonde which was to play at the Savoy Theatre. I remember her excitement as she told us after a recording at the BBC. This role was probably the making of her really; it got her huge recognition and an Olivier. She has gone on to play some fantastic stage parts Doris in Flare Path (which brought a second Olivier), Hedda Gabler in the play of the same name and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

Sheridan with Charmain Biggs
On television she was outstanding in Mrs Biggs, for which she won a BAFTA. She’s always been amazing to watch. I loved her in one of my favourite programme’s Eye’s Down (set in a Liverpool Bingo Hall) playing alongside Paul O’Grady. She was brilliant for all the years in Two Pints, as she was in countless programmes; Gavin and Stacey, Love Soup, Grownups, Jonathan Creek, Benidorm, Panto and many more. 

She is currently wowing in the ITV drama biopic series of Cilla, showing all sides of her talent. The second episode airs on the night I’m writing this blog and I just know from the advert it’ll be as superb as the first episode. I think Sheridan could again win awards for the performance.

Sheridan as Cilla. Photo: ITV.
I just owe so much to Sheridan for the brilliant times I’ve had and the friends I’ve made. I must say that Sheridan fans are a lovely bunch of people as are Sheridan’s family, her Mum and Dad Marilyn and Colin are great people as is Sheridan’s talented brother Damian. Thank you Sheridan (and all the people I've met).

 I hope and know that Sheridan will continue to have great success. There is no-one more deserving. I’m more than looking forward to following her journey further…

Me and Sheridan.