New Lady of the Lake, goes on stage for the first time
I was there!
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I spotted Nina in 'West End Show' months ago and, being a seasoned Python fan, I knew instinctively, as soon as I saw her sing her very silly version of "I Will Survive" as part of her audition, that she was going to win the competition.
So you can imagine how much I was looking forward to seeing her on stage last night, and how anxious I got as she rose from beneath the stage to sing her very first words (to Galahad), "Come With Me". I really was on the edge of my seat!
But, as Nina told me afterwards, I was nowhere near as nervous as she was! The Palace Theatre was filled with Swedish people; her family, friends, judges from West End Star, and both UK and Swedish media. No pressure!
Her performance? She looked stunning (the first time we'd seen her with proper wig and make up etc) and she wowed us - no question about that. She didn't look a bit nervous and she delivered each song with gusto and without a hitch, and, at the end of the show, she received a well-deserved standing ovation.
I was lucky enough to have been invited to the after-show party which took place at 1 Leicester Square, ostensibly to interview Nina for this very website. There were well over 100 people there, including most of the cast, crew, media and LOTS of Swedish people.
Obviously, I got chatting with the current King Arthur, Peter Davison, as well as several of the (very pretty) Ensemble girls (specifically Emma Green and Luzahnn Taylor); the Standby actor Ross Dawes who played Sir Robin that night (Robert Hands had the day off); Andrew Spillett (Patsy); Daniel Smith (Assistant Stage Manager); 'West End Star' finalists Karin Funk, Josefin Wassler, Susanne Petersson, Divina Sarkany, Viktoria Krantz and Linda Holmgren; Niklas Andersson (who sang a duet with the finalists); Anders Albien, Ulrica Uhlin and Reuben Sallmander (the three 'West End Star' judges); and even London's next King Arthur (from March 2008), Alan Dale. Rather a lot really!
I went with my 11-year old son Harry. Even though it was term time, and he was going to be knackered the next day, and the school were going to (rightly) label me as a very bad parent - he deserved it because this was the 4th time he & I had seen Spamalot and he really wanted to meet Nina. So did I!
It was hugs all round and it was wonderful to meet her. She is SO friendly and real. She kindly thanked me for my support (my little "Vote for Nina" blogging campaign) and asked if we could do the interview for PythOnline another time as she was a bit busy right now! Everybody wanted to talk to her, congratulate her, photograph her.
So that's something to look forward to hey? I'll blog it when I've got it.
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See also: Nina Söderquist becomes a West End Star.