So its about 6PM by this time, we had done the stage door shuffle and headed to Starbucks for a frapachinno. Well at least I had a frapachinno, Dennis had a cup of tea whilst Charlotte opted to have nothing and save money. This was great except for the distinct lack of a toilet, its a basic amenity of life and there wasn't one to be seen. So busting for the loo we headed back to the theatre for the evening performance. I was particularly looking forward to this performance, as Tom Holland would be playing the role of Michael.
So who is Tom? Well Tom normally plays the role of Billy. He is a great actor and is superb at conveying emotion in the character. Until now I had seen him twice as Billy, though not in a couple of months. This however would be a new experience. He is holiday cover for the three actors who rotate in the role of Michael. What would be interesting is on the whole Billy as a character is quite highly strung and serious, Michael is the complete opposite. Would Tom manage to adapt or would I be left disappointed?
I am pleased to say he was fantastic. Had you have been at the show for the first time you would have no idea that he is not playing the part he was casted for. As a person Tom isn't as flamboyant as Connor or George who are the regular actors for the role, but his interaction with Billy who was played by Ollie Gardner on the night was superb. Most notably was the final scene where Michael says goodbye to Billy. Tom broke down into tears which added so much emotion to an already powerful scene. I would absolutely relish the chance to see Tom in this role again. Though this said he is a fantastic Billy and again uses emotion to encapsulate his audience, such as in powerful scenes like "The Letter", so I would also like to see him in his regular role some time soon.
Ollie too was on form tonight. He has improved a lot since I saw him first. If you remember my review of his performance, I commented saying that his "Electricity" routine was too gymnastics based. It is great to see that this routine has progressed, it very much reminds me of Fox's routine now, with a lot more hip-hop/ street dance moves. Ollie has such innocence in his character, an angelic voice and superb acting skills. He really rose to the occasion tonight, and will continue doing so for a long long time to come. Remember I said he has the ability to become the best Billy in the show? I stand by this statement. Give him a few more months and he will be there, I promise you!
At both shows covering for Joe Caffrey who was on holiday David Bardsley played the role of Billy's Dad. I had seen him before, and I think I actually prefer him to Joe. Both actors have their strengths and do things their own way, which is great for me from a study perspective as it allows me to compare and contrast how an actor can develop within the role. There is one small thing that David does (which Joe doesn't) which I feel is superb. In the final scenes where he is helping Billy pack his bags to go away with, he decides to show Billy how to fold his clothes properly. After folding a t-shirt immaculately he screws it up and then chucks it into the case. Its a very simple touch, but it adds a little high into what is otherwise a powerful and sad scene.
The only thing that had left me disappointed by this double was that I had now been 9 times and not seen Tanner Pflueger in the role of Billy. I had built myself up hoping to see him. Though the thing is you are never left truly disappointed when going to see the show, it just means that I would have to go again the following day and try my luck in seeing Tanner then... so that is exactly what I did... but you guessed it the adventures of Friday are to be left for another blog.
Thats it for today, leave your thoughts and feedback as ever.