E and I went to watch Pinter's Betrayal at the Harold Pinter Theatre this afternoon. I absolutely loved The Birthday Party, so I was excited about this one when I saw that Tom Hiddleston is in it. But it wasn't until it was announced that Charlie Cox is in it too that I acted immediately; literally bought tickets on the day that I saw the news. We paid 102 each for stall seats, fifth row from the front; the package came with a glass of champagne (which was way too much for me at 2 in the afternoon and made me flush like an Asian), 'luxury' ice-cream that was more ordinary than luxurious, and the programme.
First, the play: while I do appreciate that Betrayal is quite different from The Birthday Party, in that it is about the intricacies of the relationships between the three characters, and while I appreciate, too, that my only basis for comparison is that these are the only two Pinter players I've watched, I liked The Birthday Party quite a lot more. It simply blew me away when I watched it because of Pinter's absurdly clever use of language - subversive and nonsensical - to convey the absurdity of life. It is more thematically expansive; it makes a point about life; and because the dialogue is frenetic, so was the acting. It was great.
Betrayal was rather more quiet. It didn't blow me away like The Birthday Party did; but I enjoyed it anyway. First, I love parts of the dialogue that were dripping with subtext, where the characters said a lot and said absolutely nothing at the same time. The audience, of course, was in on it; only Jerry (Charlie Cox's character) was oblivious. The brilliance of the dialogue in those scenes reminded me of some parts of The Birthday Party; and I would even say it's Pinteresque, except I can't because I'm not familiar enough with his work to make that sort of claim.
Second, the performances were brilliant: great chemistry between the actors, really loved Zawe Ashton's charisma, Tom Hiddleston is a natural, and while I admit that I am a bit biased (okay, maybe more than a bit) when it comes to Charlie Cox, I enjoyed watching him as the shallow, light-hearted Jerry - a far cry from brooding Matt Murdock in Daredevil. It was a bit odd listening to his native British accent and watching him look at people; but it was great. He was great.
Third, I bought the play afterwards more or less because of a scene towards the end, when Jerry confesses his love for Emma. Charlie's delivery of them was perfection; but more importantly, the poetry and the romance in those lines...I think I melted in the moment. And reading those lines after I bought it nearly made me swoon.
Second, after the play: I had been obsessed with the idea of taking a picture with Charlie after the play for at least a week; and when I get these ideas into my head, I have to do them. I messaged a girl on Instagram who had a picture taken with him when she watched the play a couple of weeks ago, and she told me to leave the theatre immediately when it ends and go round to the side of the theatre to join the queue. The queue, as I found out today, mostly comprised of Tom Hiddleston fans; and because I did exactly as the girl advised, I rushed out of there quickly (didn't even pee even though my bladder was bursting) and was one of the first few people in the queue!
Alas, Charlie came out later than Tom. I took a pic of E with Tom, and when I was right in front of him, I just shook his hand and said, 'Great performance!' or something along those lines. I wasn't trying to be rude, but I didn't see the point of taking a picture with an actor just because he's famous when I'm not particularly a fan of his; and because I love Charlie's work in Daredevil, the person that I really wanted to see was Charlie.
So I asked the security guy next to Tom, 'Can I wait here for Charlie?'
He told me to join the back of the queue. Oh my god, I could've crumbled in disappointment. I didn't want to argue with him because, earlier, he'd made a Tom H fan cry by not allowing her to be in the queue. She had apparently left the show five minutes ago just to stand in the queue and get Tom's photo or whatever; she even had a sketchbook with sketches of him (really good ones, if I may add). I didn't want to mess with him and risk having him ban me from the queue; and so I joined the back of the queue.
Charlie came out after some time. I'd relieved my bladder by then, so I was quite happy to wait a bit. I started talking to two women and a girl in front of me; one of the women liked Daredevil too, which was nice. The queue had already snaked around the theatre, which meant I couldn't see what was going on in front. On my second trip to the front of the queue, I saw Charlie!
I was so excited. I could barely wait for him to come to my bit of the queue...but when he did, the security guy said 'autographs only'. What the hell, I don't want an autograph; I want a photo! When Charlie was right in front of me, I asked him if I could have a picture.
While he did very politely say no (something about how he'd never get out of there if he took a picture with everyone), I was massively disappointed anyway. I did, however, manage to say that he was great in the play and that I love him in Daredevil. He signed our programme book and we started to walk off. E, of course, knew that I was disappointed; I'd been yakking his ear off about a photo with Charlie for at least a week. He suggested that I should go back and at least have a photo where he and I are in the same picture, even if it's not a photo with him; like him in the background walking or something.
I didn't really want to because Charlie had already said he wasn't doing photos; but E pushed me, and I walked back to where Charlie was. Most, if not all, of the fans had gone by then. I honestly had no idea what I was hoping to get, or even trying to do; according to E, when Charlie was walking towards us, E told me to turn around so that he could take a photo. I didn't hear what E said; in fact, I was just sort of standing around, perhaps looking a bit dejected...and the next thing I knew, Charlie walked up to me, put his arm around my shoulder, and let E take a picture.
It all happened so quickly. The whole time Charlie was next to me was probably 3 seconds long. And because it all happened so quickly, all I could do was stand there and smile. I didn't say anything to him, he didn't say anything. He literally strode up to me (he was walking really quickly, like he was in a hurry to get somewhere), put his arm around me and smiled for three seconds, and walked off.
But oh, I was so happy after that. I still am. This is really fangirly of me, and I definitely have fangirly tendencies (see: Jay Chou, Roger Federer, just to name a few); but I really love Daredevil, and his portrayal of Matt Murdock/Daredevil. Like I told E, I don't really care for celebrities or famous people, which was why I didn't have a photo with Tom Hiddleston even though he was right in front of me. I only care when the said celebrity or actor or famous person has made an impact on me; has created something that resonates with me, sometimes quite deeply and personally. Charlie Cox has done exactly that with Matt Murdock/Daredevil, especially Matt Murdock, I would say.
That was why I was all for Charlie, and why I'm really happy that my photo(s) happened! Here they are!
I think this was when he saw us and came over to me.
I know, there are hardly any differences in these pictures, and fucking hell, I look like a tomato (the champagne was potent and it was 2pm and I really dislike drinking in the middle of the day); but oh, this makes me so happy right now, so I'll just post however many I want.
Also, isn't E the sweetest? If he hadn't prodded me to go back, I would've just left. And it was so nice of him to accompany me through my madness! He's the best.