This weekend will be a tough one, a very emotional one for me. After 52 shows with the British production company DLAP Group, I will watch their final show of Rock of Ages in Swansea on Saturday. DLAP is returning the rights, so that my 87th show overall will be a show of farewell. Even though actors have come and gone since I visited a DLAP show for the first time in September 2018, some became friends or have been on stage during the majority of shows.
Even though I am sure there will a British Rock of Ages production one day again (either as a tour or in one of the West End theaters), these 52 shows will stay special to me. And I will miss the people I frequently met deeply. This posting is saying good-bye to a lot of amazing souls and people who gave me two and a half hours of distraction in dark and sad times.
Finally, I also share my archive of U.K. shows with you. Most of the pictures have been taken with a mobile phone camera at the end of the show, so they might be slightly monotonous and also don’t meet perfect quality. But I felt it is good to share them – maybe they make somebody smile and think of memories she or he had.
My Farewell Thoughts on the U.K. Rock of Ages Shows
I knew since a bunch of weeks that I will do this posting… and when I will do this posting. Finding a concept for this posting was very difficult for me. I finally just write what I feel right now. One thing I did not want to do is give you my favorite actors for certain roles, certain characters. I might have favorites here and there, but I overall appreciated everyone in a certain way. Nonetheless, I need to start this posting by praising three people.
A Big Thanks to Erin Bell
There are two actors which have been there the whole time without any intermission. Not only as there is the golden Ladies First rule, she deserves to be mentioned first. Apart from being on stage (I feel) practically all of the 52 shows I will have seen, she is so important for the cast caring being the dance captain of the team as well. Following her Instagram account lead to many amazing moments – and I am sure it will be great to keep on following her after this Rock of Ages era. Thank you so much Erin. I might not always have found the words, but I am extremely thankful for all that.
A Big Thanks to Vas Constanti
What Erin is on the female side is Vas on the male actor side. He has been on the DLAP tour since the beginning. Thus, he is (without really having a statistic, but I am very sure about it) the male actor I have seem most frequently on a stage. And – to be straight – he will always be. As nobody will ever beat Erin’s count in my life. Not only because Vas always played the role of one of the Germans, Hertz Klinemann, he was special to me. He because also one of my closest friends on the acting side. Vas, look forward to see you in whatever other role soon – thanks a huge lot for all the good times on and off stage. Danke!
And then, there is Rhiannon Chesterman
Rhiannon Chesterman played the roles of Regina and Sherrie before she left the tour. If I remember correctly, the last time I saw Rhiannon live on stage was on one of my birthdays – but better don’t think this way. Rhiannon has not been an amazing actor, who fascinated me in her performance. She is a great heart. And her fighting spirit to go on all the time, take a next step, whichever challenge life gave her. Especially during Covid-19 restriction, I was so amazed by her fighting spirit. I would have loved her as Scaramouche in We Will Rock You on a cruise ship – but I just did not find the right opportunity. From great chats to making me visit her favorite fish and chips in Belfast, there are so many ways Rhiannon gave me memorable moments. Thank you so much.
Thank you, Nick, Dan, Rhys, Liam and all the Creative Team
The typical first reaction when I state that I have seen Rock of Ages more than 80 times worldwide, is that people believe that I am somehow mad (likely I am…). But then they tend to ask something like Ain’t that terribly boring? (especially when they find out that I know the script by heart etc.). Finally, the reason why I loved every single one of these 52 shows is because it not just a normal show. It’s not like the actors are on stage at 19:30, they play until 22:00 the same way every day, before the audience is doing some applause and then going home.
Rock of Ages much more feels like a party, an interactive happening. Of course, there is a script and there is choreo. Most of the stuff on stage is happening according to it. But especially the role of Lonny is doing so much interaction with the people. You clap, sing, party and laugh with the actors. In that regard, the British tour is outstanding.
Apart from the actors, a big part of that is that the creative team like Nick Winston, Dan Looney, Rhys West or Liam Holmes is allowing them to do that. Without that, I definitely would not have visited spots like Sunderland, Milton Keynes or Peterborough and had an amazing time there. My thanks definitely belongs to these people (and all the other) who allow that kind of special play. I am also very grateful that the German tour is step by step taking that direction as well.
Thanks to the Band and Crew
Finally, these guys are the only ones who are on stage or on demand practically on stage all the time. Alex Ward and Liam Stevenson on the strings and bass have some stage presence, but the drums, the sound, the stage crew and tour management are the guys who drive the show as well as the artist. I am very grateful for your effort!
Thanks to the RoAdies
One of the key things I love about Rock of Ages is that it has been giving me friends. First of all, there is the legendary Adrian who is one of the most amazing people I met in entertaining, having watched the show several hundred times. The show also gave me friends like Kate, Alison and many more. All of them are amazing hearts, very different, but great people. I also ran into so many interesting people in all the different shows, Hope this one will continue, the musical it never ends… It might just pop up somewhere else.
Thanks to this Weekend’s Cast
I just felt it is somehow not right to skip all the other actors, who might be on stage this weekend. All of them will finally turn this weekend into something special to me. And as I am sure I miss some of them in Swansea, that’s just a brief, personal way to thank them in here. The order is just the order on the website – so there is no personal preference reflected in this ordering:
- Kevin Kennedy, you are dying in each and every show you have taken part of at the end… I am sure you won’t die in my heart.
- Gabby Williams, I still remember the first time I saw you as Regina, the first time I saw you as Sherrie and the way we discussed about it. There are a lot of memories. I thank you.
- Sam Turrell, here and there, you gave us some great (unintended) laughs. But you made Sherrie happy for so many nights… How can this be bad? Thank you so much!
- Tim Oxbrow, you recently asked how life will be without me and Adrian. Time to find out now. But I am sure we will meet again some place soon.
- Cameron Sharp, being part of the 2014 cast, you are finally the actor on stage I have seen over the longest period. Thank you!
- Jenny Fitzpatrick, hope that none of us is getting ill again 🙂 The role of Justice is definitely a special part of this show – and I loved to see you on stage with it.
- David Breeds, my heart breaks every night that you as a somewhat-German are not receiving an Oscar each and every night. I love what you are doing on stage and how you interact with Vas. Your German translations on stage are definitely… Creative 🙂 And I loved your Robin Hood. Dankeschön 🙂
- Stephanie Chandos, especially during the recent Ostend shows I recognized how much you adopted the role of Regina and played it your way. Definitely made me smile.
- Adam Strong, damn, we also know since quite a while now. Still feel gifted that I saw you in We Will Rock You as well. I am sure we will meet at some West End show very soon.
- Scott Hayward, In Ostend, I saw you as Drew for the fifth time already. Some sort of most frequent swing (if there wasn’t Phoebe) in my statistics. Keep my fingers crossed that there will be some big roles for you soon.
- Darius James, how could I dare not to have very positive feelings thinking of you?You will be the sandwich man forever! And in the two Lonny shows I saw you, you did so good as well. Thank you.
- Recee Duncan, even though you started so many shows with robbing Sherrie, I just loved to see you on stage. Thanks a lot.
- Phoebe Samuel-Gray, I will never forget this 30th September 2021 in Milton Keynes, the first show with the new cast I saw. And the first time I saw you as Justice. There is an overall of eight Justice shows of you I saw. You are so gifted. Look forward to see you on stage one day again.
- Tianna Sealy-Jewiss, even though you are “just” a cast member, you add so much to the show and the bunch of creatives. Keep my fingers crossed. Thank you so much.
- Janine Somcio, a bit of German touch to the musical at least. So great to see you on stage in the cast.
Rock of Ages UK – My Personal Gallery
Here are 412 major size pictures of the last years of Rock of Ages UK touring. Please note that most of the pictures have been taken with a mobile phone and thus don’t reflect best quality.. The gallery is located in the concert gallery:
Rock of Ages (Musical)
Here are all postings related to the musical Rock of Ages: