Or how to be made to feel like a complete piece of shit after financially destroying yourself to attend.
I was lucky enough to get a ticket for the awards. The seats were appalling, but we didn’t care, we were just really excited to be going. I bought a dress, practised doing make up over and over and have basically been able to think of nothing else for a fortnight. Tickets are £60 a pop, which isn’t a lot if you’re rich, but to me it is a HUGE amount. Add that to travel and the hostel I stayed in, and we’re in the region of £200+. I have been saving up and going without to ensure I would be dressed appropriately etc.
I stayed over in London in a hostel the night before and after so I didn’t have to panic and rush etc.
I spent the morning of 13th hanging out with friends and meeting up with peeps who had camped out and were doing the red carpet (and not going in to the ceremony) No one even know at this point if Mr. H would be attending, but we all had our fingers crossed.
I got back to my room about 2ish – meeting friends at 4. I didn’t want to start too early as I would be a wreck of nervousness. As it was I had to recurl my hair twice as my hands were shaking so much and I had to abandon anything interesting make up wise to ensure I didn’t poke and eye out/blind myself. I was running late and getting into a state about everything. I couldn’t walk in my shoes and I couldn’t afford a cab so would have to take the tube whilst being completely overdressed.
I make it to Covent Garden (the station is closed so I had to walk from Leicester Square) which would be fine if I wasn’t shaking and unable to walk in my stupid shoes. By the time I get there my feet hurt, but the excitement takes over.
The area is packed (but often is on the weekend due to performances in the piazza) and I find my way to the barrier-ed area. I can’t find my friends as they’re by the red carpet and we’re not allowed in at this point. I finally find another friend and we debate on where to go (it’s not remotely obvious where to enter from!)
A car pulls up – Gok Wan. When we’re finally allowed in, we have to walk up the red carpet, but the problem is you’re not allowed to stop (I understand that, it’s to keep the talent safe) but idiots are stopping to take selfies and it’t like being stuck in traffic. I pass Barbara Windsor and feel like a giant next to her
We make out way to the foyer and don’t know what to do now as our friends are still outside. There’s a champagne reception in the building, but I don’t drink and am too excited by the prospect of Hiddles. We have over 45 mins before we need to sit, so stand in the glass foyer watching through the window. We’re not in anyone’s way, we’re quiet and don’t act inappropriately. Other guests are milling around taking photos (I play photographer for a few)
We see Robert Lindsey, Jamees McAvoy, Martin Freeman, Brian May, my BELOVED Hadley Fraser – the other girls were SWOONING over him. He looks hella dashing without the Aufidius beard (it makes him look scary) and the man can rock a suit. His other half is up for an award, but I’m annoyed that he got no acknowledgement for Coriolanus as he was awesome. Anyway! We see Mark Gatiss and tonnes of stage actors that I don’t know, but my friends are excited about,
FINALLY, the crowd goes mental at the bottom of the red carpet. My friend finds out (via twitter lol) that Tom has arrived. He’s one of the last and the ceremony isn’t far off from starting. He’s getting closer, we can make out his head in the crowd. He’s signing for lots of people, talking to press etc and it’s taking him a while to get down the carpet. He’s half way down, I’m getting palpitations and shaking as I MIGHT ACTUALLY GET TO MEET HIM! Then one of the ushers come over and tell us to take our seats. On the ticket it says late comers can go into the awards during the interval. I politely say that we don’t mind missing the beginning and we’ll go in in the interval. Some of my friends that have tickets are still in the barrier area by the red carpet, so it can’t be that close to starting. The usher dude says; ‘No, take your seats NOW.’ and is getting in our faces. We’re not in anyone’s way, we’re not bothering anyone. Tonnes of famous people have walked past us and we haven’t murdered/attacked/harrassed any of them. We’re not screaming, crying or making a scene. We’re just stood there waiting.
I reply that we really don’t mind going in at the interval etc and the rude, horrible man says; ‘I’m not ASKING you, I’m telling you.’ We protest a little more (still polite, still calm) Tom must have been about 2 minutes away by this point. They’re not going to start without him! Other guests are still talking to the press, and as our seats are waaaaaay up in the sky, we won’t be disturbing anyone.
The usher/rude man repeats that he is not ‘asking’ us and practically marches us over to a lift. I’m nearly in tears as he has been so rude and aggressive, and Tom was so close. We’d waited there that long and it’d been fine, now we were so close we were being kicked out. The guy pressed the button on the lift (as apparently we’re too dumb to do it for ourselves) and we get to our floor. We have time to go to the toilet, so they can’t have been in that much of a hurry.
We get to the doors, our tickets are checked and then we’re making our way into the most ridiculous seats ever.
This is an OPERA house. People will be sat still for very long periods of time. They will be wearing high heels etc. There wasn’t room infront of the seats to get past even when people stood up. It was horrible. I had to grab random people to stop myself from falling over onto the people below. I’d have struggled in ‘normal’ shoes. We sit. The seats are so uncomfortable. At the Donmar you can pay £10 and the seats are fine. Here, you pay £60 and are so uncomfortable you want to punch someone.
There’s a delay of at least ten minutes. A guy comes onto the stage, does an announcement and then there’s ANOTHER delay. We could have waited out there and still had time to burn after I had finished reading the complete works of Shakespeare to Mr. H (slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean)
Something I have noticed from attending the NTAs earlier in the year, and now from the Oliviers, is that people are bastards. There was some famous woman in the row in front of us with her friend/bf and they didn’t shut up throughout the whole thing. People behind me were catcalling and talking loudly. People were getting up and walking out, then coming back in….NO ONE was sticking to the rules apart from us – the ‘crazy’ fangirls who had behaved immaculately and been spoken to like crap.
Sure, my dress was £30, my hair was pink, I can’t walk in my shoes and everything about me probably screams ‘common, poor person’ but I behaved. I was in a lot of pain from my shoes and back (the chairs) and I didn’t talk, didn’t use my phone, I paid attention and applauded etc. All around me people weren’t even watching, they were tweeting or taking photos, talking, moving etc.
Our seats meant we couldn’t see who was on the stage, though we could hear them, so it was slightly pointless.
AND THE INJUSTICE! Please explain to me how both Mark Gatiss and Tom Hiddleston missed out on their categories? I was so SURE that they would win, I felt like I’d misheard when there names weren’t called. Sure I’m biased, but they were both exceptional. It seems with The Oliviers that certain productions seem to be favourites and others are ignored. ‘Ghosts’, ‘Chimerica’ and other very random productions won everything. The Book of Mormon quite rightly got a few awards, but it just felt so political and not remotely to do with who deserved the award.
The interval. I am in so much pain from the chair that I am thankful to stand. Getting out is a nightmare due to the lack of space and we’re all falling over each other. The queue for the toilets is ridiculous, so we decide to try another floor. I’m not going to lie, it was in the back of my mind that Mr. H might be down there, but my bladder was very much the over riding factor.
We get out of the lift and the same rude man rushes over and says; ‘Your seats are in the amphitheatre UPSTAIRS’ as though we’re stupid. I tell him the queue for the toilets is long, and could I use the ones down there. He gets very uppity and narrows his eyes. ‘There are queues at all the toilets. Go back upstairs.’ I’m in shock at how I’m being spoken to. I’ve worked in customer service all my life and I would be fired if I spoke to a customer like that. I could understand if we were loud, obstructive etc etc, but I literally asked to go to the toilet. I wasn’t pushing past him and screaming out names.
He marches us back to the lift and presses the button for us again, treating us like petulant children. I ask him why he’s following us and being so rude when I just want to use the toilet and he sneers ‘I don’t believe that’ and waits for the doors to close.The lifts are weird and often open again on the same floor, so that when the doors open again, he’s staring at us in disgust like we did it on purpose.
I’m shaking by the time we get back upstairs. I had been so looking forward to this. I had spent a small fortune to get here, I’d followed all the rules (when no one else seemed to) and was being treated like I was beneath everyone else. I was choking back tears by the time I retake my seat and had to leave again as I was beginning to sniff and didn’t want to disturb anyone else. A guy on the door told me (he was lovely btw) that I could sit outside with the staff. Now that the queues are gone, I go to the toilet and end up bawling my eyes out. Mascara everywhere, eyes red, shaking at being made to feel like shit when I’d been so excited and hopeful.
The toilets are off the staircase down, so in theory, I could have run down to the other floors etc. No one followed me. No one asked where I was going. All the staff on our floor were lovely. I went back to the seats outside with the staff who were watching it all on tv. Holy crap the difference! I could actually see! I would have been so much better off doing the red carpet, not buying new clothes etc and actually getting to see it on the screens. It was an expensive, stressful, upsetting waste of time and we saw nothing. I got up to go to the toilet again at some point, and no one cared, they didn’t check where I was going or interrogate me.
By the end of the ceremony I looked like hell; my eyes were red, my mascara was beyond saying, my feet were just blisters and my back was killing me. We got the lifts and were sent back outside. That was it. The whole thing. I wasn’t in any mood to wait around afterwards as there were CROWDS of people.
I found out today that most of my friends that went on the red carpet (and had tickets) got to meet Tom, have photos and get things signed. Essentially had I saved my money and just rocked up in jeans, I might have actually met him, and let with my dignity intact.
T apparently came out at about 2am after the after party. I couldn’t have waited that long due to trains, my stupid shoes and the fact that it was really cold! Some people who’d already met him got to again, more photos etc. I figure if they’re willing to wait, why not.
This has got to be the 15th time I have attended an event with him and missed him. It isn’t funny any more. People seem to meet him several times, and I haven’t met him once. 15 bleeping times. At least. And I always follow the rules, I don’t push, I don’t stalk, I don’t follow, I don’t hang around where he lives. I don’t scream at him, grab at him, shove, swear etc etc etc that I have seen other people do. I behave and all I seem to get is abuse from staff and an empty bank account. There is not enough chocolate in the world to fix how I feel today.