Andy Serkis directing The Double Bass
I arrived over an hour early, very excited, and was conspicuously the only audience member wearing a Frodo t-shirt and The One Ring… I got my ticket and sat outside as the bar had not yet opened.
Kath Serkis is the producer and is Andy’s sister. She was busy organising but still had time to ask kindly if I had got a ticket as there had been a sudden demand.
When Andy Serkis arrived, carrying a plastic bag with a sandwich and a couple of cans, he was accosted by press wanting to email him questions later, which he agreed to. After that, he was free and I wished him good luck. He touched me on the arm and thanked me warmly. What a nice guy he is.
The Press got free tickets and there were other tickets that had been booked in advance. There had been a sudden rush of interest.
Before the performance, Andy Serkis was in and out of a room marked Private, greeting and hugging people. He is very fit and looks slimmer than he does on the DVD.
We were let into the venue. It only holds about 70 people, it is very intimate. In the front row I could easily have reached out and touched the sole actor, Bev Willis. It is a one and a half hour monologue, him speaking in his flat to his double bass with which he has a love-hate relationship, as with his job in a national orchestra.
There was a lot about the actor’s performance that reminded me of Andy Serkis as Gollum. Very physical, at times very funny, and with a wide range of expression, from passion, anger, sexy, tender, and at one point, meditative as he did Tai Chi (this was the only bit that did not convince me, he did not look particularly relaxed – I think he was struggling with first night nerves).
Andy sat in the audience three rows back. Soon after the start the actor was roaming about the set, he is a man in his 50s, very fit and was at that point dressed only in black briefs. An elderly lady in the front row fainted. I wonder if it was excitement? Andy Serkis instantly rushed forward, knelt down, picked her up in his arms and carried her out. This really impressed me and I hope the Press mention it. He came back in and sat and watched the rest, without further incident. Sometimes he laughed.
Afterwards the Press descended and as a few people gave me funny looks I suspected other Ringers were present.
It was a very good play indeed and left me thinking into the night afterwards. I don’t want to say too much about it as I hope it will get wider coverage and I would hate to ruin it. It covered how you feel in a dead end job you are treading water in, your dreams which you are taking no real steps to fulfil, wanting someone who you think is out of your league and other things a lot of people could relate to, I think!
Best wishes and thank you for all your hard work on the website!
PippinRulesOK1, London, England