I know I said that my next post would have a distinct Phantom theme – but I felt that a little change of course wouldn’t hurt!
The love of theatre, and especially musicals is one that is shared by many people all around the world. It is loved by all ages, all generations – no matter if you prefer the more traditional plays or the more modern “juke-box” style musicals.
And it was this thought that lead me to reflect on what has been an amazing couple of years. This love of the theatre that continues to grow within me has not only allowed me to see some of the most amazing performances and shows, but has also introduced me to so many people that I truly can call friends, as well as converting a few old friends into theatre lovers!
Firstly, let me introduce you to Jo and Charlotte. These are 2 of my closest friends – I have known Jo since we were at Primary School together, and Charlotte became a mutual friend 3 years ago. Now, I must explain, Charlotte was already a theatre nut when I first met her (although not as bad as me!) But Jo had been a tougher nut to crack! The 3 of us had been on several weekends away to London together to see various shows, but it wasn’t until this Easter that I believe she truly understood what we loved about it so much!
Me and Jo (left) with Alexia Khadime – Les Miserables (April 2012) Photo by O.Edmonds
Both Jo and Charlotte had braved the elements to stand with me in the queue to meet Ramin Karimloo at his Dress Circle album signing (more about that another time!), as well as seeing 5 shows in 3 days, and Jo decided to stay on for a few days after I had come home to “discover” London for herself! Let’s just say she finally gets what I have been going on about for the past 2 years!
Me and Charlotte (Left, in red coat) Outside Dress Circle Shop, April 2012 (Photo by O.Edmonds)
And then there is my Tweeps! Now, let me explain, I discovered Twitter last August, and never did I think that this discovery would introduce me to such amazing people – who all share a love of musical theatre (and of a certain Roaming Iranian – but as I keep saying, more on that later!)
My 1st opportunity to meet any of my tweeps was my visit to Manchester in April 2012. On my first visit to see the tour version of Phantom of the Opera, I had the honour to meet Selena. This was a brief introduction, but she struck me as a kind, gracious and funny person, who I was sure I would get on with. I am happy to say that, nearly 2 months on from our first meeting, I consider her to be one of my closest friends, who has allowed me to just talk at her when I needed to get things off my chest, has always gives such insightful words of advice, and always been there. Thank you for everything honey – it is eternally appreciated! I consider it a pleasure and my absolute honour to call you my friend and I only hope I can repay your trust and kindness one day!
Then, there’s Naomi! It was another Manchester visit – this time to see Ramin Karimloo in concert, that allowed me to meet this lady – another kind-hearted soul. In just one day, I think we learnt more about each other than most of me and my friends have in a lifetime – we are so similar – it’s freaky! I also consider it an amazing honour to have this wonderful lady as a friend – and I hope that our mutual love of such beautiful West End leading men, amongst other things, may let our friendship continue for many years to come!
Naomi, with the very lovely Hadley Fraser (Photo by N.Stevens)
Manchester also introduced me to the classy Rachel, the hilarious Kym Cruddas (always remember Menu Wars and Pizza Express), the extremely sweet Kay and the mature beyond her years Haleema – who is another tweep who I have so much in common with – it’s unreal. I swear me and Haleema must have been sisters in another life. Four stunning, fabulous ladies who I cherish dearly!
Top: Haleema with Danielle Hope – Manchester, May 2012
Bottom: Kay – Manchester 2012
(Both photos taken by O.Edmonds)
We then get back to my home town of Birmingham!! Yet another Ramin Karimloo concert (never a bad thing!) – and yet more new tweeps to meet!
Let’s start this time with the bonkers Leeanne (and that is meant in a good way!) We had briefly met in April at Dress Circle, but we had a proper chance to have a chat in May. Believe me when I say that this girl is a true force of nature – and look out if you get in her way, ha ha! Another great friend!!!
Left to right: Claire, me, Leeanne, Rachel and Laura – Birmingham, May 2012 (Photo by O.Edmonds)
I must not forget to mention my Brummie sweeties Rachel and Claire. Now, don’t get me wrong, you are probably looking at this thinking that I must be over exaggerating by saying how sweet these two are – but you couldn’t be more wrong!! 17th May 2012 was the first time I got to meet these two fantastic ladies in person, and within 1 hour of chatting with them, they are definitely my girls for life! Rachel is definitely a style queen who looks good in anything, and has the cutest laugh I have ever heard – she is that kind as well! She totally deserves all of the recent love and happiness that she has been getting – long may it continue!
And then, there is my little Claire bear aka my “musical sister!” I can’t put into words how much I love this girl as well, and, along with Rachel – there are not enough positive adjectives to describe what sweet, kind and generous people they are! Love you girls muchly!
Left to right: Claire, me, Selena and Ali. Birmingham – May 2012 (Photo by O.Edmonds)
I must also mention two very classy ladies – Emily and Ali! Emily is my fabulous and fantastic Midlands girlie. We have only had the chance to meet for about 2 minutes – but I think the words “peas” and “pod” certainly come to mind already. I look forward to many adventures with this girl – look out world when we get started!
I first met Ali in Manchester and again in Birmingham, and I know I have said it a thousand times already – we just clicked! We went into sneaky mode at Symphony Hall (Ali knows what I mean!), and we will be renewing our friendship in a couple of weeks, when we visit Sweeney Tood and Les Miserables – and I can’t wait! Thanks for everything Ali!
Me and Ali (right) with Jonathan Ansell – Birmingham, May 2012 (Photo by A.Broomfield)
I know this may sound like a massive love fest, but every word I have said is true! I must also say that considering the list of amazing ladies I have listed on here, there are so many more who I love and think the absolute world of – Nikki Turner, Charlotte Thompson, Sehar, Ella, Laura, Lara, Lucy, Helena Grace, Jacqui, Sian, Keiley, Josh, Bex, Whitnie, Hannah, Chloe, Courfeyrac, Miss Monique – the list goes on and on!
I am truly blessed to know you all – long may it continue!!!
Till next time folks, this is the Blue Eyed Girl signing off . . .