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.|