On Monday Dan and I went to the Leicester Square Theatre, London to see two heros of mine on stage, the wonderful Stephen Fry, and Richard Herring. Stephen was this weeks guest on Richard’s Podcast ‘The Richard Herring Leicester Square Theatre Podcast‘, or as all the cool kids are calling it RHLSTP (rhlstp)! I’ve been an avid listener to all of the podcasts for a while now, and this was the very first time I’d been to a recording of on, the tickets are £14 each, and it’s a fantastically cheap night out.
The format of the show is simple, there is a warm up by Richard Herring of about 30 mins where he talks to the audience and does a bit of stand up, a quick interval, and then Richard comes back with the guest and the podcast is recorded. The record is normally about and a half long, and Richard will interview the guest with some sensible questions interspersed with some ‘Emergency Ones’ like ‘Have you tried to suck your own cock?’ and ‘What would you prefer to have, a hand made of ham or an arm pit that dispenses sun cream?’. It tends to get a bit surreal and random at times, but it’s very funny.
There was a mild bit of peril at the start because when Richard was doing his warm up at the start there was no sign of Stephen Fry. The 30 minutes flew by with Richard starting to look a little nervous that he hadn’t had the ‘thumbs up’ to signal Fry’s arrival, Stephen then emerged quickly racing down the slips to get to the stage with a few cheers and claps celebrating his arrival! Richard wrapped up the first half and after twenty minutes the show started. (You can listen to this week’s warm up on Soundcloud)
Stephen was fantastic, he really was, his anecdotes were pretty mind blowing, he’s had such an incredible life and met some amazing people. He seems like such a lovely, warm yet fragile man, who despite all his success, fame and fortune is just as broken as the rest of us. Richard was visibly in awe of him and a massive fan, and conducted the interview brilliantly, the beauty of these podcasts is that there isn’t a tight schedule, or an edit, they are put out pretty much as they are recorded.
Stephen was brutally honest about his life, and his depression, and it was incredible to be in the audience of. The last twenty minutes or so were just so frank and honest, more than I’ve ever seen a celebrity be on stage. The mood was sombre and respectful as Stephen spoke and I really was blown away by his revelations.
When the evening ended Dan and I hung back with AndyMcH to see if we could meet Stephen, the theatre cleared out and the bars remained closed, it wasn’t looking hopeful. I spotted Catie Wilkins, Richard’s better half, at the bar, and decided to introduce myself, we’d spoken over email and Twitter before so I thought I’d at least say hello to her. Then soon after Stephen appeared with Richard at the bar, STEPHEN FRY WAS RIGHT THERE! *points*. AndyMcH looked primed to say ‘Hello’ after Richard had introduced Stephen to Catie, but before he got a chance Stephen explained he had an early call in the morning and really had to go. With that, he was gone, I was mildly disappointed he hadn’t stopped, but it was good to see him so close!
The bar re-opened and Dan and I consumed several drinks as we awkwardly stood around, half chipping in to conversations, half ear-wigging them. After a while we said our goodbyes and fled into the night..
It really was a fantastic night and I’m really pleased I was there, if you’re even a small fan of Stephen Fry, I’d recommend getting the video download of the show from here. There is a free audio version of the show going up tomorrow (will link when it’s live), although I think the video version is well worth the £3.50 and helps support the show.
Header Image (c) Go Faster Stripe / Richard Herring / Stephen Fry – Other Image stolen from AndyMcH