Fans ruin it for others!
So I watched Betrayal last Thursday at the Harold Pinter Theatre (which has very little space between the rows of seats. If you’re at the end, don’t sit down until everyone in the middle has!) A matinee, since that’s the only show I can do because of the children. It was quite nice actually. Grabbing a quick lunch between Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square; watching all those people rushing back to work and feeling smug that I was going to see Loki and Daredevil. It was so worth it. Betrayal was marvellous! Worth every penny of the £80 I paid and some. So, the next day, I tweeted about it, as you do. And guess what?
It was my most liked and retweeted and embedded tweet. I simply had no idea how many Tom Hiddleston fans are out there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan too. And the man is amazing. But some of these people define themselves by their fandom. They have formed groups and tweet his pictures. It’s quite sweet really. And he deserves it. And I followed them to see more GIFs of his amazing-ness, until I got a request from a fan to get an autograph of Tom Hiddleston if I were to go again to watch the play. Of course, I had seen all the fellow play-watchers, mostly women, queue up to get their tickets and programs signed and to take selfies. Was I tempted? Absolutely! A chance to see the Night Manager up, close and personal. Who wouldn’t be tempted? (Well, H wasn’t). But I thought of my poor friend who was probably pulling her hair out looking after my two boys: Tornado and Tsunami. I needed to go relieve her. Tom would have to wait for another play (Arcadia, maybe? Just a suggestion).
However, after receiving the tweet from that nice lady, I wondered if I had got an autograph I could have sold it to her. How much would anyone be willing to pay for it? My guess is at least £50, maybe more on e-bay. I mean, Tom Hiddleston is one of the few actors who can star against Chris Hemsworth and walk away with more fans. I was beginning to truly regret not standing in that queue when H said, ‘Even if you had an autograph you wouldn’t have sold it.” He’s probably right. I would have been tempted though. I got back to the autograph-requesting lady and was honest that with £80 per ticket my chances of watching the play again were as slim as Tom Hiddleston having dinner with me. She sent back a lot of teary emojis and is probably now asking other theatre-goers. She didn’t follow me on twitter, though. Still, I hope she finds someone to get her an autograph!
Just when I thought that this would be the end of the autograph saga, there came a new scandal. The Autograph Chasers! The people who rush out of the theatre, barge people out of their way, elbow old women, use their handbags and umbrella as weapons, just to get ahead in the queue for autographs. The Autograph Chasers are worse than people whose phones ring during the show. Because the phone-ringers are only ignorant, but The Autograph Chasers are ignorant and disrespectful. At the end of the matinee performance, when the actors came out to take a bow (the second time), Tom Hiddleston gave a wry look to the people at the back. At the time, I thought it was directed towards the guy/gal whose phone had rung during an intense bit in the show. It was only later I found out that he was pissed off at the people who couldn’t even wait to applaud him before running out to join the queues. There are accounts on twitter of people leaving the show ten minutes early or feigning illness to get out, only to join the autograph queue. SHAME!
I never thought the British public will have to be taught on how to behave at a show. We are supposed to be polite, respectful and appreciative of the effort and hard work the actors put in each and every show. They give a brilliant performance at a matinee, only to repeat it in the evening and then start all over again the next day. Tom Hiddleston is first and foremost an actor and he should be given the respect he’s due by the audience staying until he has walked off the stage. But, I suppose, some people only seem to appreciate their own bragging rights.