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Edinurgh - 4 January 2011
01/05/11 @ 05:59:12 am, Categories: General, 901 words   English (US)

Edinburgh – 4 January 2011

For some time we all believed Edinburgh would be Michael’s last venue of the Hairspray tour. Therefore we planned to stay a week for once. Usually it’s extended weekends for us. But this is Edinburgh – our second favourite place in the UK.
In the meantime of course he has extended and will be doing Wimbledon and Bristol as well. But seeing that we had plenty of front row seats and it was Edinburgh we did not think long about changing plans. So here we were after an uneventful journey. The second we got off the bus we knew we had made the right decision to come and see Edinburgh in winter. There is a fun fair all around Princes Gardens, the trees a beautifully decorated and we even had a bit of snow. Magical.
We arrived on Monday evening (very relaxing to arrive on a day when there is no show on, no rush) and decided to go to the cinema. We went to the one just adjacent to The Playhouse (where Hairspray is running). And guess who greeted us on the glass front of the VUE cinema: Edna, Tracy, Link, Motormouth and Wilbur printed a lot larger-than-life on the glass front. Really impressive and of course we will take some photos and post them. Brian Conley’s Edna dress is on display as well.
We saw Burlesque by the way. Stunning dance scenes, great soundtrack. Go see it, if you get the chance.
Due to the holiday season Hairspray does have 9 shows this week. A really tough schedule (we actually thought we got the schedule wrong on the website until we got to booking tickets).
The stage door was a pleasant affair (it’s sheltered by other houses so NO wind!!). Just a hand full of fans and we had a great time chatting to everyone. Michael arrived eventually and wished us all a happy new year. He told us all he had had a magical festive season and that Edinburgh is the second place in the UK where he would consider living at (man of good taste obviously! We had a laugh and said that’s what we were always saying, too). Apparently they had struggled with cast members falling ill and at one point there were 9 original cast members off sick! “There was only one black boy in the whole of Baltimore!” is how Michael put it.
After that we grabbed a hot chocolate nearby (poor Joan and Fay, they could not get rid of us all day…).
When it was time to take our seats for the matinee it was so wonderful to be back in a proper theatre again. It felt just like home (the Shaftesbury). The playhouse is all plush and dark red, also you are very close to the stage. We all felt a bit nostalgic.
The show was great as ever. Michael was on such a high, whatever he had taken we want some of it. He really enjoyed himself. There were some glitches and as we learned later a bit was changed. When Tracy is back home and receives the call from Mr. Pinky with the offer to become his spokes person, she says “I am very flattered , but all business must go through my agent” Edna now says “I don’t know any Asians. There’s a nice Samoan family down the road.” Well we were killing ourselves laughing and then we thought it was a glitch, but it appeared again during the night performance and Laurie (Tracy) later said they changed that and she was doubtful it would work.
Apart from that nothing really has changed and as already mentioned we were lucky enough to have just one boy off. Everyone else was there although some of the cast are suffering from end of flu symptoms.
It’s a bit annoying to get out of the theatre. The theatre holds something around 3000 people and all have to exit through one and the same exit. So it takes ages to get out of there. But we made it eventually, risked the steep climb down to the stage door (glad it’s not freezing) and he did come out to sign stuff and have his picture taken (which is when we took the photos on the website, no chance with the arrival stage door as we were only 5 fans there).
We had lovely company to pass the time until the evening show would start.
Again Michael was having a blast. The Asians stayed with us, as mentioned beforehand. The only glitch happened at the beginning of Scatter Dodge Ball. The teacher usually blows a whistle, but as that still hung around her neck she threw a raspberry instead. Again much to our laughter.
The stage door was quite fun, with much chatting to friends. Then Michael emerged and something happened we never ever experienced at a stage door: It was absolutely quiet! You actually had the urge to whisper, like in a library! The quietest autograph signing ever.
Mr Ball than gave us all a royal wave from a very nice car and (after making a derisive sound along the lines of “ugh” on learning we were staying at a low price hotel chain – cheeky!) disappeared into the night.
And now we are almost on our way back to the theatre , another matinee and other evening show. Yay!


On the road with Michael Ball.
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