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Friday, 21 September 2012
09/22/12 @ 03:17:56 am, Categories: General, 590 words   English (US)

Friday 21/09/2012
As expected the stage door was really busy yesterday with about 40 fans waiting for Michael to arrive. When he got out of the car at 6pm with a big scarf around his neck he told us all he was having a terrible cold. Everyone was feeling with him as we all thought he should have been able to just enjoy these last few shows and not suffer through them.

It was quite dark at this time in the evening as it has been a very cloudy day already, so not much luck on the photo front, but we shouldn’t moan as: Once he was inside it started to rain.

We were having and half dreaded half anticipated his first entrance. But he sounded excellent. Lemsip Max seems to be working really well! Not one minute would you have thought that he was unwell. And what a performance it was! This man is a phenomenon. But it wasn’t him alone. Imelda, Peter…all of them put everything they have got (and that’s quite a lot!) into the performance. We just know that Imelda is trying to crack Michael up during By The Sea – and sometimes she is almost there, with his lips twitching into a reluctant half-smile (he has to sit and read a newspaper, completely ignoring Mrs Lovett, you see). Last night he turned his head away a tiny fraction to avoid a smile, we think.

Also when he is chasing around Toby in the Barber Shop the chair (the simple one, not the fancy red one of course) almost fell down but Michael caught it very elegantly mid-fall without losing the thread of the scene.

An example for the often quoted minor changes that change the feel of a scene: When Mrs L. Discovers Pirelli’s body she makes a great big fuss about it to then give up the pretence of shock, shut the lid of the trunk, shrug and say “ah well.” Yesterday the in went “Ah well, here we got.” Got a good laugh.

AND it was the first time since they changed the arrangement of Epiphany (no moment of silence, the plot goes on quickly so no one dares clapping after this tense moment) that the audience broke into massive applause. We have heard single people clapping (and can understand their urge because it really is his outstanding moment) but usually this is over quite quickly. Not so last night. Imelda had to wait for her line as the audience insisted on showing their appreciation.

We saw a lot of Matthew Gent (the “Michael lookalike” from the West End Eurovision appearance) as he was covering for an ensemble member. So this was an added bonus. The likeness really is uncanny.

Sadly we had a group of very giggly men behind us. Yes, men. You read correctly. They behaved like teenage girls but at least they were enthusiastic about the show. It was only unsettling when they laughed through every line of Mea Culpa. SO not a funny scene. We dreaded the finale – nothing worse than being all emotional and someone next to you is making fun of it. But oh no – they were quite then.

And what a roar the curtain call was. Everyone was on their feet and cheering for the cast and orchestra. Some of them were in tears already. It was really bitter sweet.

So the day has come: Sweeney Todd will thrill London one last day.

We will get back to you with all the news tomorrow.


On the road with Michael Ball.
September 2012
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