Lynn’s Story


Touching Evil

I have been a fan of Nicola Walker for many, many years, starting from her Touching Evil days with Robson Green (1997-1999). But I’ve never met her before. I live in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, which as you can see on any map, is quite far from the United Kingdom (and New York City, for that matter). As far as I know, Nicola has never been to Canada. Even though I have been to the UK a couple of times, I was never able to catch Nicola filming on location or attend one of her plays. The closest I’ve seen Nicola in a play was going to two of the National Theatre Live filmed productions of her plays. One of those productions was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.

A few months ago I heard that Nicola (along with most of the other cast members of the original Young Vic production) was reprising her role in the Arthur Miller play A View from the Bridge on Broadway. I have already seen this production with some friends when the National Theatre Live production was aired at the local cinema. Now that the show is coming to Broadway, I checked with a couple of friends (Anna and Bettie) online who might be interested and able to go. And thus began the planning for my fall road trip. Tickets for one of the preview performance (on Friday, 6th November) were purchased by Bettie since she lives in New York City.

New Brunswick to NYC

I left my home in New Brunswick and drove down to Anna in Connecticut on Thursday and early Friday morning we took the train into New York City. I don’t think either of us anticipated that NYC would be as warm as it was. By 10am it was already mid 70s (24C). We got to our hostel (Chelsea International Hostel on W20th Street) after getting our MTA (Metro Transit Authority) cards and taking the subway down from Penn Station. We lucked out that there had been a no-show the night before so the room we were supposed to be in was all clean and ready. The only down side was that we had to walk all the way to the top floor (walk-up). That exercise left us hot and sweaty.

We collected our tickets from the theatre and then went for a nice meal at Junior’s at Times Square. I made sure of one more bathroom run before we went to the play; this is important as the show is 90 minutes long with no intermission and if you did have to go out they wouldn’t let you back in. When I saw the National Theatre Live broadcast in cinemas earlier this year, I thought it was powerful but seeing the show live was just fantastic! It is stunning. The acting was top notch, the direction, which went with a very minimal stripped down version of the play, was wonderfully done. Fabulous! I can’t recommend it highly enough – and if I weren’t a long distance away from NYC, I’d go see it again in a heartbeat.

2015-11-11 22.06.08
We had asked ahead of time where the stage door was for meeting the cast after the show; it was on the next street behind (W46th). We headed back there after the show and waited in line. Fortunately for us, there were maybe only 16-17 other people besides us three. After about half an hour the cast came out. I had my Playbill and a Sharpie all ready to go and had it signed by four of the cast.


Nicola Walker was the third person we saw and wow! After all these years of watching her on television, here she is, finally, in person. This is the conversation as much as I can remember it.

Me: Hi, Nicola. I’m Lynn. I came all the way from New Brunswick, Canada to see you in this play.

Nicola: That’s quite a distance. Drive or fly?

Me: Mostly drive. Yesterday to Connecticut, then this morning to NYC by train. So happy to be here. I’ve been a fan of yours since Touching Evil.

Nicola: Wow. That’s a while back. (big surprised smile)

We then talked about some of the reviews the play has been getting from US critics.

Nicola : in London, theatre reviewers would come on opening night and meet with the cast, but in NYC, the critics would just show up through the couple preview weeks without advance notice. I hope the critics liked it.

Bettie: Critics, they’re all bastards!

Nicola: [laughs heartedly] Yes, exactly.


2015-11-18 02.14.08
My friend, Bettie, used my iPhone to take this pic of me and Nicola. As she held up my phone, Nicola noticed my Dr Who Tardis phone cover and she told me, “I love it!” Nicola has done a number of Dr. Who audio programmes.

Me: I love your new shows, River and Unforgotten. (Of course I didn’t mention exactly HOW we were watching both shows on this side of the pond :D). And of course we’re all looking forward to the return of Last Tango in Halifax.”

Nicola: Who did you think did it ? [When we went to see the play, the penultimate ep of Unforgotten had just aired in the UK the night before]

Me: No idea, yet.

Nicola: I’m contractually bound not to say anymore about the finale, but thanks for watching. It’s been great doing the shows, but a bit unfortunate that they’re running pretty concurrently.

Me: It’s been brilliant seeing you. (I think I said; I was kinda nervous. 🙂 )

Nicola : I remember seeing Anna at Anne Reid’s show. Annie is supposed to be back in NYC in February (I think) to do another show.

Anna checked the theatre website and couldn’t find a listing for the show – there were some private shows listed but no details; maybe more information will be available closer to the date.

All too quickly, it was time for us to say goodbye to Nicola. Whilst I’ve met several celebrities over the years, probably none was so much anticipated as with Nicola (in as much as I’d been a fan for nearly 20 years). After the show, we returned to Junior’s for cheesecake where we were pretty much bouncing the entire time. I know I was. It was brilliant. It took a long while for me to get to sleep that night being on an emotional high. I’m actually quite surprised that I remembered my name. I wish I’d thought to mention something about Spooks (MI-5) as her character Ruth Evershed was one of my favourite characters ever.

Editor’s Note

We’re so pleased for you, Lynn, for finally being able to meet Nicola in person. And for sharing with us your comments and pics!

US fans of Last Tango in Halifax : do yourselves a favour and head over to Lynn’s Blog where she has an almost frame by frame analysis for each episode of bits and pieces which the US broadcasters cut from the original UK version. Nothing which affected the main storylines, mind, but enough to be an annoyance to die hard fans!

Read Anna’s account of her running into Nicola at Anne Reid’s cabaret show in New York in October HERE.


Back to Close Encounters main page