Leila (Contains some spollers from Sheila's book)
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Date Posted: Sunday, October 19, 12:46:53pm
In reply to:
's message, "A Platform with Sheila Hancock," on Friday, October 17, 10:30:14am
A Platform with Sheila Hancock,
The National Theatre, The South Bank, London,
Wednesday 15th October 2008
I am writing this review on the 22.00 train from London St. Pancras to Nottingham, if Sheila reads this, I made it safely and without incident. I have just been to see Sheila Hancock doing a Platform and The National Theatre.
I arrived earlier at the National, a good thing really as the theatre holds three Theatre and the Cottesloe is the smallest and were I would be heading, well if I could find it I would. Its not in the main foyer, as the other two theatres are, you have to make your away around the theatre to the other side, passed the stage door. Once I had found it I was happier, we were let in at 17.50 for the platform to start at 18.00.
As with the Platform I saw in 2005 at the National Sandi Toksvig was our host for the evening. Sandi entered and said hello, which some of the audience said back to which she joked, ‘A National audience with speaks back.’. She told us the same story, she told us back in 2005 about the first time she meet Sheila, when they were working together on the hit musical Annie in 1979, calling Sheila the ‘great’ Ms Hancock. With that Sheila entered. They started by talking about why Sheila had gone to France after The Two of Us was realised. Sheila explained that she had gone into a deep depression at Christmas, she had spent it surround by her children, their partners and grandchildren talking about John, however the person they seemed to be talking about wasn’t the John she wanted back she said she wanted the grumpy man back, the one who was ‘Hell at Christmas.’ So after New Year Sheila head to France, however she got more depressed there surround by memories of John, She explained that she could even still smell his cigarette smoke. Also her Walnut tree gave good walnuts for the first time ever, she told us about John writing into Garden’s Question time. ‘Morse writing in’
Sheila said some rest bite came with the Daily Mail asking her to write a travel article. Sandi joked that she was now a friend of the Daily Mail. Sheila decided to travel on her own and show it could be, so she went to Italy. She went on to talk about getting her bag in the over head carriage on a plane, complaining that BA don’t help you because they are not insured, however EasyJet will help you! Sheila said she got to Italy and no one was there to help her, so she had to relay on her Italian, which she had learnt in review with Kenneth Williams. However she got to the hotel and was very proud of herself, however she panicked once she had unpacked. Not knowing what to do. She went to the restaurant, however she felt so embarrassed that she was on her own that she played up to the couple next to her, like she had been stood up. She said it was wrong but it was the only thing she could think to do. She talked briefly about her other journeys before Sandi opened it to questions.
Someone asked about Sheila working Bettie Davis, she said she was difficult. Someone asked if she worked with organisation dealing with Death. She said she does, I asked about her getting arrested, she told the story.
Sheila had us all laughing, Sandi then told us that Sheila would be in the upper foyer signing copies of her book, I managed to join the back of the queue, however as always people joined behind me. Sheila was saying Hello to everyone. When she got to me she looked up and said Hello, oh Hello Leila, I smiled and asked her how she was, she said fine, and asked me to wait, so we could have a chat.
I waited and Sheila signed books for everyone, and some for the local book shop in the National Theatre. Before getting up to talk to me. when she said my name, another lady looked at me, and said ‘did you say Leila’ it was Clare Eden, Sheila’s PA, with whom I had been emailing for a few years. Sheila also claimed she inherited me, saying that I was a fan of her husband however she had inherited me. Sheila and I had a long chat and it was brilliant, I had a great time and I am glad I got the ticket for passing my exams. Leaving Sheila with a kiss and a hug, and her telling me I can do anything, I headed towards the train, I love London and can’t wait to return.
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