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Wednesday 19/09/2012
09/20/12 @ 07:46:04 am, Categories: General, 612 words   English (US)

We had so much fun at the stage door yesterday. It was quite crowded as more and more fans join us to say good bye to Sweeney. When Michael arrived he pretended to be rushing right past us all in a mad hurry to get away from the hassle into the theatre. Our faces must have been priceless; he had pity then, stopped right before the theatre threshold, laughed out loud and said he wouldn’t do this to us – even when he could!

We know we are spoilt by him and everyone cherished their stage door time with him a bit more after this little stint. He then stood very patiently in a very excited crowd and did the usual signing-posing routine. We managed to solve a little mystery that had come up on the fan club forum a while ago. A fan had found two photos that someone had uploaded on some social media platform showing young children (a class room pic and a pic of two small children together) and hinted that Michael was on both of them. We were doubtful but hey, why not use the opportunity while we had it and ask the only person who’d really know: the man himself. He had quite a laugh and said no, he definitely was not on either of the photos (which we had brought as a print out) and wanted to know who claimed that he was! We didn’t know this of course – just one of these things people pick up on the internet.

We saw the matinee from the stalls again. Another wonderful performance. His voice never sounded so full and clear. Another standing ovation of course.

The evening show was to be our final Sweeney from up high as we had gone for buying tickets in the centre of the front row in the upper circle. It was stunning to see the show from above again. The barber shop floor, which used to be plain brown wood when we first saw the show from up above in the beginning of the run, now has a red tinge from all the fake blood! And we tried to memorise all the clever staging and the bigger picture you have from this bird’s eye perspective rather than from below stage level like in the stalls. The sound up there is excellent AND it was all nice and warm. No freezing in the upper circle. There were only three empty seats on the whole of the upper circle and the audience loved every second of the show. We were worried that maybe the atmosphere up there would be a bit quiet – but oh no. Very vocal approval and lively discussions about Michael and Imelda’s wonderfulness all around us in the interval.

If anything he sounded even better than in the afternoon performance - he held that the last note of Johanna for an incredible 30 seconds! It’s a whole different song now with all the embellishments. Heavenly indeed. And in the end when he cradles his dead wife – he never sounded more desperate. It was heartbreaking stuff. We are dreading this final performance. No doubt we will be in tears.

He had guests in (among them Sandra Marvin from Hairspray) so we waited for a while but it’s always worth it for a smile and a good night. The dressing room is being cleared out bit by bit. So it really is happening: Sweeney is coming to an end.

But it’s not Saturday yet. Two “normal” shows to go until the VERY special ones on Saturday. No rain as yet. West End here we come.


On the road with Michael Ball.
September 2012
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