Having a film award ceremony in February in the UK has always struck me as odd. If it’s not raining it’s snowing, and no matter what – it is going to be very cold.
That said, the BAFTAS were held last weekend, and as with age old tradition, I decided to camp out for the red carpet.
In previous years this has not been too traumatic, never below zero anyway. But this year was an exception. Over the past few weeks we have had some of the coldest temperatures ever, in some places plummeting to -16. Did this put us off, it did not!
So at 2am Saturday morning, we arrived, camping chairs, sleeping bags and all, and set up shop down the side of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. We were numbers 1 to 4 in the line, ( personally I was number 4)
That night it got down to -7. I can safely say I have never been so cold in my life. The worst part of all this was at about 5.30 am, when nature called, and I had to make myself get out of my sleeping bag, and walk 15 mins to the nearest 24 hours facilities. As soon as I returned I was back in that bag.
As the day went on, more people (very slowly) joined the queue. Very slowly. In previous years by 11am on the Saturday there are 50+ people, but by then there was only 10. We think this is due to the weather putting people off. ( That and there being no Twilight stars in attendance).
To pass time during the day we made human pyramids for a stag party, got free ice cream, and owled away.
There were a lot of difficulties with the Theatre Royal this year that there have not been in past years, they did not like the fact that we were waiting down the side of their building, even though all the fire exits were clear, and half the path. This was something that obviously BAFTA had assumed would be ok, and never liaised with the theatre. Consequently there was always the threat of being moved out of the way, and loosing our place in the line.
When the evening show happened the theatre decided that we were in the way and told us to leave. So we decided to take it upon us to create a list of the people in the line, and told people to go, and not come back till the theatre had locked up at 10.30. This method was actually very successful, both that evening, and in the morning when the wristbands were given out, as we had a list of the first 100+ people in the line, and therefore no one could push in, and people could not sneak their friends in in the morning.
Wristbands were handed out at 8am on the Sunday, after which we were free to go, and come back at 12.30. Being very protective of our place in line, there was always two from our troupe there, to ensure our place, as people can be very rude and pushy, even if their wristband says 504, and not 004.
They moved us into the pens around 1pm, to avoid problems with the theatre, who had a Sunday Matinee, and from then on, in all honesty, it’s a bit of a blur.
We watched the carpet be put down, and the comings and goings of crew members. As this is possiably an area I could go into when I graduate, I am normally watching the entire thing, making mental notes as to what is going on, and who does what.
The stars started arriving just before 5pm, and by 7pm it was all over. The following photos are a few of what I took that night, in no particular order…
|This is what you look like after 2 nights at -7|
|I really do like this picture of Tom Hiddleston and me – even if I look rough as!|
|And the general madness of the red carpet.|
It was all very much worth it, and as much as I say it was really cold, I will most likely do it again next year, that is unless I am working for the company that sets it all up!
(top to bottom)
Brad Pitt, Colin Firth, Chris Hemsworth, Christina Hendricks, Chris O’Dowd, Eddie Redmayne, George Clooney, Jessica Chastain, Me and John Hamm, Richard E Grant, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Hiddleston and me, and just general carpetness!)