Tuesday, 23 February 2016


So, tonight Beyond The Fence opened in the West End. It was a somewhat surreal experience, made all the more surreal because I only slept for an hour last night and have been nursing a cut on my forehead and bruises down my arms all day. I had to keep reminding myself to drink things in. Walking into a theatre with a huge lit up marquee with "Beyond The Fence" written all over it, and our names on a poster outside, is something which isn't going to happen to me every day of my life. In fact, I may never experience it again after this two-week run.

The cast were brilliant and technical issues were limited to a few glitches on the projections. We finally got to see which jokes were landing, and, largely speaking, our instincts were good.

Michelle of the Turkie was there, along with Nathan's Dad and Wicked Step Mother and Ruby and Ben from the original cast of Brass. No one from this year's casts has yet been told if he or she has been given a part. I think they're expecting the news on Thursday. It's a horrible wait for people. And possibly worse for me because I know that some of them are going to be hugely disappointed whilst others will be thrilled. The theatre world is a cut throat place. You go up and down like a yoyo.

Fiona came up to see me in Highgate today. Her presence was like a breath of fresh air. For some bizarre reason we met in the local post office and I got hugely emotional when I saw her face. When I was younger I had a recurring dream about losing my mind, and locking myself in a loo cubical, not being able to work out who I was. In the dream the only voice I could recognise from the outside was Fiona's. It was an odd dream: probably an indication of how much I value her friendship whilst simultaneously telling me quite how much I fear losing my mind. I thought about that dream as I walked into the post office. Fiona gave me a big "I'm here now" hug and everything slotted into perspective. Here's to old friends.

We spent the afternoon together like we've spent so many an afternoon, walking for miles and talking quickly.

I've actually felt incredibly loved and supported throughout the night and today. Lots of people texted and emailed to wish us luck for the show, and others called when they realised there was something wrong, including Matt Lucas, who phoned from LA at 4am this morning as I sat up staring wistfully at the television set. It was so lovely to hear his voice, half way across the world.

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