The unofficial Berena protocol for meeting Catherine in Bath!
Ok guys, so I thought I’d put together a guide for nervous first timers like me.
Firstly, the actors leave quite quickly after the performance. Me and my bestie popped to the bathroom after the performance then went outside to the stage door (to left of theatre if you’re looking straight at it, down the alley, past the pub - Garricks Head I think, people park their motorbikes there so you’ll know you’re in the right place).
Within 15 or so minutes after the performance and bathroom break, the actors start to exit the theatre. Catherine normally comes out first and lights up a cigarette so probably best give her some space to do that first. Being an ex smoker I know how desperate you are for a smoke after being deprived for a few hours.
She’s friendly, polite and chatty so just be the same! She was knackered after the performance though so try not to keep her too long after the other actors have already gone off to the pub.
Be courteous to each other, don’t hog her! I kinda made the mistake of hanging back and 2 other ladies had a really long chat with her leaving less time for us.
Ask questions! I was too nervous to ask about Holby stuff so ended up talking about how on earth she and the other actors remember all the play dialog. The way I look at it, chances are you may not meet Catherine again so take this opportunity to ask what you want, so think about your questions before hand so you can fire them off appropriately and politely before nerves get the better of you. She’s a good sport so any burning berena questions, just get them in there! again, this may be the only time you meet her so why not?! - obviously just be respectful about it!
Remember a sharpie! and anything you want signed, again ask politely and I’m sure Catherine will oblige. If you don’t have anything to sign, buy a show program at the start, they’re £3.
Same with selfies, make sure you ask first. I actually automatically put my arm around Catherine’s waist without thinking so I said “sorry, is this ok” and she said yes so I know it’s obvious but always ask, we don’t want a reputation for being a bit of a mental fandom!
Also on the photo note, the stage door is really dimly lit so the photos won’t be great, again ask if ok and maybe get a mate to switch on their phone torch to light the area up before photos - will look much better than a flash photo!
Gifts - Catherine will come out with her handbag and coat in her arms, so any gifts I’d suggest popping them in a bag so she can carry them away easily. Also, maybe get her flowers to brighten up her hotel room? - a traditional gift for actors after a show. She’ll thank you loads for coming to the show which is really sweet so make sure you let her know how grateful we are for berena and her taking the time to stop and talk and have pics.
Other things of note to visitors to Bath/UK, although tempting, do not eat at Pizza Express, it’s just up from the theatre but it’s expensive and rubbish (skimp on portions and ingredients, terrible service, charge you a fortune!) walk past the theatre and carry on along on Westgate Street and you’ll find a load of nice eateries at reasonable prices!
If you want snacks, there’s a Sainsbury’s local and a Tesco Express if you carry on away from the theatre on Westgate Street. Also plenty of coffee shops and bars.
If you’re in doubt about the crowd being berena, just ask!
I live in the City just over from Bath and know the area well so if you need any help, just send me a message!
Hopefully by me doing this we can build up a “pay it forward” guide to meeting CRuss or JRed at events so we’re all in the know before we go! - it’s really not intended to be patronising at all so please don’t take it that way x