Not only did I get a hug off Catherine Russell. When I asked her to sign my hoodie just under the logo she said “So you want me to sign your tit?” My jaw has already hit the floor bearing in mind. Then she utters “ooh it’s my lucky day”.
If people are going to bitch about Holby please for the love of fucks DON’T put Catherine’s name(twitter tag) in the post! She doesn’t deserve to be yelled at or told how annoyed you are with the Berena storyline. She has been good/kind enough to respond to our tweets and to tweet things like keep the faith so that people will feel more at ease. Also the woman is in the middle of doing two shows a day, travelling and signing/taking pics with people in the audience she doesn’t deserve to be bombarded with complaints and people questioning her and the show.
Had such an amazing night watching What The Butler Saw- Catherine was absolutely incredible on stage, she looked drop-dead gorgeous 24/7 so I missed most of the play because I was just watching her facial expressions and body posture 😍❤
Then I met her afterwards, and she said that she didn’t do signatures for tattoo purposes which I found funny, then while she signed my postcard (pics 2+3) I explained to her that I was writing about her and the Berena storyline and it’s representation for the LGBT+ community for my media coursework (her reaction was the first picture 😂). Then I sneakily asked her for a picture because I had some weird surge of courage (pic 2!) I was still shaking after though!
So all in all an amazing evening- well worth my 2 hour drive from Yorkshire and the cost for a hotel room 😂❤
Let me tell y’all about the time I flew to The UK to see Catherine Russell in WTBS (Holby storyline spoilers at the end, it’s not that shocking though).
So, I flew from The Netherlands to The UK, which, thank god, is not that far. First time flying alone and I usually let other people figure out all the stuff of where to go and what time and yadayada but I did it and I’m proud of myself.
I sat front row, right by the door where Catherine went behind most of the time. And I could hear her cough behind that door, almost everytime she went back there. The show was great, I didn’t get all of the jokes, sometimes because Catherine was on stage and y’know she distracted me from the storyline and sometimes I just didn’t know a word.
After the show there was a Q&A with the director and some of the actors and Catherine was on that panel to. I made a sound recording of it which I’ll try to get up here this week.
After that we waited for Catherine, and god she is the most lovely celebrity I have ever met in my life. She wanted to go out for a smoke but was kind enough to take pictures with us in front of that screen thingy.
Outside she signed our books and she stayed for a long time and talked about getting older in the media, doing theatre and tv, her hair and cutting it and then being grey and when she gets back to Holby she’ll be asked to colour it again. And more.
HOLBY SPOILERS NEXT So she talked about getting time of off Holby to do this and I asked “But why will Serena go away?” Thinking she will never answer that question. But she said that they wrote this incredibly sad storyline with Elinor dying and with Jasmine so that she could get time off and that it will get worse and Serena will need to take a break. So that confirms what we expected, especially after that spring trailer.
I went to WTBS again on thursday, cause I didn’t see the point in flying to just go once. I took a picture with her again.
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
A few photos from Leicester… (well technically the top one of @girlonabridge and I was taken in Belfast, but y'know. Aeroplane and all that.)
We had a fab get together with the lovely @tea-and-procrastination - our hotel was literally stumbling distance from the Curve - seriously folks, for those who need and haven’t booked yet, look at the Ramada Encore. It was also cheaper than either Premier Inn or Travel Lodge when I booked in Jan.
The play is gleefully disgraceful, it’s a DELIGHT. Catherine is right when she says it take a shot at everyone. And imo, because of that, you can laugh at all the jokes. (Including the ones aimed at lesbians.)
I personally recommend going in NOT having read the play. (And Catherine thinks I made the right call on that.) you can see a play once you’ve read it as many times as you like - but you can only see it with fresh eyes once. (And I say this as the queen of spoilers for general drama.)
It’s a pressurehead of steam that builds and blows up, builds more and blows up more… utterly, truly hilarious. And Catherine is fabulous - to no one’s surprise 😜 I don’t know why they’re billing it as Rufus Hound particularly, because it really is an ensemble show.
The place to meet Catherine is at the lift to their dressing rooms, which is found on the cafe side (use the cafe entrance if going in) beyond the toilets, on your left.
Meeting Catherine was glorious. She was in a bit of a rush - partly to get on the road back to London, mainly to get a smoke in first, so she begged that we chat outside so she could do so. She seemed genuinely - delightedly - shocked that @girlonabridge and I had come from NI. She recognised my face! I made a comment about “I tweet you fairly regularly…” “…I know, I recognise your face…” “…but my wife is more restrained. This is my wife.” (Indicating M.) “Hello wife!” I shit you not. Catherine would tell Dad jokes, I am Certain.
We talked about the links between acting and law, and she gave me advice on how to deal with nerves pre performing (which I doubt I’ll ever forget!) and about her cats, and generally about the show and how fabulous it was. She was very taken with the adjective “gleeful”.
In short (because I was supposed to leave for uni ten minutes ago and I haven’t got out of bed yet) - she’s a DARLING.
She didn’t look at the scarf then and there because she was smoking, but promised she was looking forward to opening it when she got home - and her tweet that it was “amazing” is still making me grin.
As for the play, we continued erupting into giggles for about two hours that night, and again on Sunday.
We also ensured hysteria on Sunday morning by playing Fanfic Reviews (the Fanfic version of Book Reviews, which is the fun variant of Consequences paper game) in the Costa near the train station. 10/10 would recommend.
Kinda want the AU fic/edits where Serena joins the local theatre group and gets cast as Mrs Prentice in their version of WTBS which leads to Bernie basically becoming a proud lesbian gf all over facebook etc sharing the adverts and behind the scenes posts with comments like “I know I’ll be front row every night” and “don’t worry, her costars know she’s all mine really.”
The kids are both thrilled that Bernie is finally embracing social media (as it is so much easier to communicate on) and horrified by the image of Serena in lingerie on stage (or at all really, she is their parent). Meanwhile the extended AAU family are used to this behaviour on the ward. Jac Naylor just comments with “I’d rather work on Keller” and Bernie’s army buddies tease the major a lot.
I’m finally back in Prague. This weekend in Leicester has been magical and I’ll never forget it. Catherine is the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met in my life. The play was hilarious and a must see. I’ve met a lot of amazing people and fellow Berena shippers. And I can proudly say this has been the best trip I’ve ever been on. So thank you to everyone.
I’m positing this on here too, because I know not everyone has Twitter! 😌
The deadline is the morning of the last show in Bath, as I think it would be nice for her to see all the appreciation after the last show!
I’d love for as many fans to get involved! 😌
Email your messages (and any drawings, poems,edits etc if you want to) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Things to include:
1) a sweet message (as long, or as short as you like - if you’ve met her, you can also attach your picture with her if you’d like)
2) 1 word you would use to describe Catherine
3) any of your favourite photos of her throughout her career (as there will be a memories section)
Please add your name, age (optional) and where you’re from (optional).
Thank you & hope people like the idea! X
Please reblog to spread the word so fans that don’t follow me still have the opportunity to join in! 🤗