On Saturday I got to fufill one of my dreams I’d had for a long time. I got to go and see Billie Piper on stage. I’d waited years for it having been a fan since 2006 when I first saw her in Phillip Pullmans The Ruby in the Smoke. Dr Who followed. Rose and 10 were my favourite. Since then I’ve devoured everything she’s been in. Mostly rewatching Mansfield Park and Secret Diary of a Call Girl over and over. Hannah and Ben though. Still not over it. I still can’t listen to Someone like You by Adele without it giving me all the feelings.
I remember asking my mum over and over again if I could get Billie’s autobiography,Growing Pains when I was around 11. When she gave in I devoured it in a few days. The first book I remember doing that with. It still remains a favourite. So much so that I have two copies. The hardback and the paperback(which includes an extra few chapters). Needless to say you can probably guess which one I lugged around London with me that day. The hardback obvs.
Needless to say having waited ages to see Billie on stage I booked tickets,luckily before it sold out to see her in Yerma. A play based on Federico Garcia’s Lorca which had been modernised and brought up to date by the amazing Simon Stone. The story follows a successful journalist,who is only referred to as Her,and her husband John as they try to conceive. After various years and countless rounds of IVF and still no progress,Her begins to lose control reaching a tragic end.
Set in a glass box,the set change are easily executed through the use of a blackout after each scene,giving the people behind the scenes the chance to quickly change the set from an expensive studio apartment in London Marleybone,to their back garden and a muddy festival ground with rain pattering against the glass.
Billie Piper is absolutely outstanding in this role. I couldn’t take my eyes off her or the rest of the cast. I felt so much for her character. To think how true this situation is to so many women is heartbreaking.
Alongside Billie,Brendan Cowell’s performance as Her’s husband, John was brilliant. Particularly in the festival scene near the end. You could see how worried he was and how much that he too was effective. I feel like most women forget that their husbands too are involved and also feel frustrated but this showed so well that they too go through the same feelings.
I was so in this play that after the 1hr,40mins my mouth had turned so dry that I hadn’t needed a drink so much in my life. I also had to sit until most of the auditorium had cleared before I could get up. I was shaking so much that I had to remind myself to breathe through the sheer intensity of it.
If you can beg,borrow or steal a ticket for this absolutely heartbreak,incredible play. It’s most definitely worth waiting in the long returns queue to witness this amazing masterpiece of theatre.
After regaining my sort of normal composure I made my way into the bar to hopefully meet Billie and tell her how amazing her performance was. Shoutout to the lovely girl I met waiting,it was lovely to meet you.
Billie came out not long later and signed for everyone who was there and took photos. She signed my copy of Growing Pains and I managed to squeak a ‘I’ve been a fan of yours for years so to see you on stage was absolutely amazing’. To which she replied ‘ah Thankyou so much’. We then took these lovely photos. Shoutout to Tim for putting up with me going completely insane after these were taken.