Monday 10 October 2011

A Quantum (Leap) of Solace - (FrightFest 2011 Part 3)

Warning: Once again, this blog contains explicit name-dropping. Those of a nervous celebrity disposition are advised to read the following with extreme caution...
FrightFest Day 2 (Friday).
I finally succumb to Twitter and get myself an account. I’m persuaded by the promise that a selection of fellow FrightFester's tweets will be projected onto the Empire’s screen between films. (Like that ever happened). I peruse through some of the suggestions for celebrities to follow (on Twitter you understand, not literally – I haven’t resorted to actual stalking – at least not yet). Amongst the obvious suspects I initially select; Stephen Fry, Sarah Silverman, William Shatner etc, etc, there is Jonathan Ross, or @wossy if you prefer.  Anyways, I choose to follow Mr Ross and his morning tweet pops up:
“Good morning. It’s unpleasant weather in London. I am glad I’m not a fox”
Without a moment’s thought I reply:
“@wossy You should get yourself down to FrightFest sir. Weather proof fun!”   
And think no more of it. Then shortly after, I receive a notification on my iphone: “jonathan ross (@wossy) replied to one of your Tweets!”
“we are going tonight!!”
I’m stunned. Me, a novice at this Twittering lark and here I am bantering with Jonathan Ross (ok, so one tweet doesn’t exactly constitute ‘bantering’, but be fair, it’s still a fine start to my Tweeting career).
The first film on that damp and overcast Friday morning was about to start (‘Rogue River’) so like all good FrightFesters I switched off my phone and proceeded into the auditorium for the first of my frightful films...
At this point I should mention that if you are curious as to what my thoughts were on the films I saw (and yes, I did actually spend most of the 3 days watching films – not stalking celebrities – honest), I will post my mini-reviews in a future blog.
But for now you re-join me dear reader some 4 films later in the day. It’s shortly before 7pm and yours truly is mingling with intent once more in the Empire’s busy foyer. And then I spot him, my old Twitter buddy Jonathan Ross, making his way through the foyer! Quick as a flash I intercept @wossy and introduce myself as the guy who twittered him this morning about FrightFest. Half-expecting a blank response at best, or perhaps at worst a two-word reply beginning with the letter ‘f’ I’m genuinely surprised when he says “I know, and I tweeted you back!” This most certainly warrants a photo, and Jonathan duly obliges. Huzzah!      

Twitter ye not - it's @rossy!

Now Jonathan must be here to watch the world premiere of ‘The Glass Man’ starring the very wonderful Andy Nyman. Andy is already giving interviews for the press in the foyer but I am distracted by a flurry of activity out of the corner of my eye. This flurry consists of none other than Scott (‘Quantum Leap’, ‘Lord of Illusions’, and ‘Enterprise’) Bakula. It’s too hustley and bustley to begin to manoeuvre my way over to him, in fact it would have taken (wait for it) a quantum leap to get to him (stop you hysterical fool my sides are just splitting I hear you cry!). So let’s instead jump-cut to the end of ‘The Glass Man’. Amid much applause the wonderful Andy Nyman, sorry the very wonderful Andy Nyman, takes to the stage in front of the vast Empire screen and proceeds in his humble and unassuming way to undertake a Q and A with the audience. Being a great admirer of Mr Nyman naturally I am keen to hear what he has to say about his remarkable performance. But then again Scott Bakula’s in the audience so like a bat out of hell I shoot out of my seat and charge toward the foyer (Fickle – me? I really have no idea what you mean...).
No sign of Bakula.
I can only conclude he must have left his seat in the circle before the end credits in order to avoid fans and autograph hunters descending on him. I have every sympathy for the poor chap – they can be awfully persistent and intrusive you know. So I return to the wonderfully cavernous Empire 1 where the very wonderful Andy Nyman is in mid flow waxing lyrical about the role and...well I’ll just take one more look out in the foyer because you never know and fortune favours the brave and all that...
Still no sign of Bakula.
Scott Bakula (oh ye of little faith)
The snidely ungrateful blighter has scarpered. Not a thought for either his fans or those patient unassuming autograph hunters. I’m still fuming as I make my way back (yet again) into Screen 1 and as I see the very wonderful Andy Nyman is now signing autographs at the front of the stalls (see Mr Bakula – that’s a sign of real class) I produce my little autograph book and Sharpie pen, check my camera, and walk straight into Scott Bakula.
A photo is duly taken, and I attempt to make my way toward the front of the auditorium when I am forced yet again to stop in my tracks and have a photo taken with Saul (‘Warehouse 13’ and so much more) Rubinek. I tell you it was a nightmare. And then it dawns on me that Andy and Scott are both about to perform in Saul’s play ‘Terrible Advice’ here is London, it all fits. Right, Andy Nyman, no more interruptions. Well, only one, Don Warrington (or as I remember him, Philip from ‘Rising Damp’) smile please! Right, finally, I present the (and I honestly do mean this) very wonderful Andy Nyman with my as yet unused autograph book and ask him if he would kindly be the first to sign it. He seems genuinely touched, and as we exchange pleasantries the by now inevitable photo is duly taken.  
Andy Nyman (VERY wonderful)

Then I grab both Scott Bakula’s and Saul Rubinek’s autographs (both very amenable I might add) and consider the evening to have been a roaring success!

To be continued...