Before you go… #3

John Dagleish, George Maguire, Adam Sopp and Ned Derrington in Sunny Afternoon. Photograph by Kevin Cummins
John Dagleish, George Maguire, Adam Sopp and Ned Derrington in Sunny Afternoon.
Photograph by Kevin Cummins

It’s here. Doomsday.

It really doesn’t feel like I’ve been to every show this week. There has been a strange mix of emotions & an odd feeling around the group that I can’t quite put my finger on. It has definitely been one of the best set of shows that I’ve gone to – in particular Thursday night.

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It was a special day for the small core of Afternooners, as we had prepared ourselves for it to be our ‘official’ goodbye to the four boys & lovely Lillie – it was an emotional, yet jubilant, time for us all. Really couldn’t have gone much better than it did.

And then there was the show… Oddly we all felt a kind of buzz around the auditorium before it started & it just kicked on from there! Most definitely one of the best shows I’ve been to. A respectful & enthusiastic audience, the cast on top form & prosecco at the table! I was also especially happy, as a couple of my leaving gifts made it onto the stage. I may not have been onstage during the show, but I’ve managed to contribute a bit of costume & a prop at this late stage! Not too shabby. It really made my night, and proves beyond any doubt that this is the very best group of people around. Unsurprisingly, Thursday marked the turning point for me from oddly cheerful to random bursts of tears…

Last night was another good one, though with it being in the back of our minds that it was the penultimate day, we were all getting much more emotional. It was certainly the worst I’ve felt this week. Also contributing to this was Jess & I being up in the dress circle – not because it was the dress, but because it meant we could see the whole picture in one eyeshot. Another stage in the goodbyes!

One standout moment for us in every show is A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy, so getting to see it properly was very good but also a killer. An experience to treasure, even if it was completely heartbreaking.

Thankfully being sat up on the aisle meant I could have one last bop with Tam in the finale. We had a nice little chat & hug, and sang to each other one more time – very special indeed.

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We did end the night on a note of celebration with the cast, which lifted all of our spirits somewhat. Clinking glasses (or, in my case, the whole bottle of champagne!) with friends & the amazing cast we’ve got to know was very special – another memory to add to the collection.

I am just about prepared for what is about to happen. But please bear with us all – we know we have the good times to remember, but that doesn’t make today any less sad.

“What we had was unprecedented & unrepeated. A slim letterbox in time, a sliver of light in the darkness, a moment of dawn. Now it’s gone. It’s all gone…”

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