Ruth’s View from the Young Vic


As a birthday treat to myself I decided to spend a few days in London in order to see Nicola in A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic.

The play is quite dark and there are a couple of moments that are supposed to make you feel a little uncomfortable. There are a few laughs too though. The finale is very intense with some fantastic staging. All I’ll say is I wouldn’t like to be the one to clear it up after the performance. (Those who’ve seen it will know what I mean!!)

The stage is a little like that of Curious Incident, with blocks round the edge for actors to sit on. It’s very minimalist too, when it comes to props and costumes etc. Nicola wears a grey knee length skirt and a green blouse throughout, with her hair tied back. All the cast perform in bare feet. Nicola’s New York accent is pretty good, although there were one or two words where it faltered slightly.

I was sat on the front row on the side and at times Nicola was really close up. I wonder if second row might have been better because of the raised blocks at the side of the stage. They are see through but with black edges, the top of which was right in my eyeline.

After the show I waited by the backstage door, which is inside and opens up into the bar/foyer. There were a few autograph hunters there and Nicola signed a couple of photos for them before moving on to others. There was one other fan who wanted their programme signed but didn’t really chat to Nicola and then another woman who Nicola clearly knew because she greeted her very warmly, with a big hug and said, “I didn’t know you were coming. Although that’s probably a good thing or I’d have been really nervous.”

Then she spotted me.



“Did I know you were coming tonight?”

“Yeah, Lisa brought you a…”

“Oh, the note! Yes. I thought that said next Monday.”

“No, but don’t worry.”

She introduced me to her friend by saying. “I know Ruth from up North.”

“From your show?” asked her friend (I’m assuming she meant Last Tango).

“No, no. She’s a top notch fan. Really dedicated. Gives a lot of support. Are you staying over tonight?” Nicola asked me.

“Yeah, I’m in a Travelodge round the corner.”

“It’s a fucking long way to come. Thank you!”

“Well, Sofie is coming all the way from Belgium soon.”

“You’re joking! Team Belgium’s coming?”

“Yeah.” I told her when to expect Sofie and she nodded, as if committing it to memory.

She asked me, “Did you enjoy the play?”

“Yes, it was very intense. I thought you were very good.”

“Yeah, it is intense,” she agreed. She noticed my programme in my hand and asked, “Do you want me to sign this?”


click on image to see a larger pic

click on image to see a larger pic

She commented that she didn’t like the photo they’d used for the programme. She showed it to her friend, ‘look at it!”

“I wondered if you’d sign my Last Tango DVD as well?” I asked. (I now have both series one and two signed)


“Is this the only time you’re coming to see the play?” she asked.

“Yeah, I think it’s the only time I can get down,” I said.

“I’m up north again in Juuuuuuu…?” She looked uncertain, and looked to me for help! I was no use. She finally settled on “July. Maybe I’ll see you then?”

“Well, Sofie is coming over for a few days in August. We’re seeing Streetcar here and then she’s coming up to Manchester for a few days. Maybe we’ll get up to see you.”

I asked for a photo and she said, “Yes!” Her friend very kindly took it, though she warned us that she wasn’t very good at taking pictures. She took two and declared that we both looked very smiley.


Nicola looked at them and said, “We’re gorgeous!”

With that I left her, with a cheery “see you soon” and a wave, not wanting to encroach on her time with her friend. It was only when I got back to my hotel that I realised I had completely forgotten to congratulate her on her BAFTA nomination. D’oh! I decided that I would write to her when I got home and tell her that way.

The following day, I found myself back at the Young Vic again even though I wasn’t going to that evening’s performance. After waiting for a while, Nicola came out to the bar area. She smiled as she saw me and said, “Hello Ruth,” and gave me a hug.

“Hi,” I replied. “I wanted to come back because I forgot to say last night, congratulations on your BAFTA nomination!”

“Thank you,” she smiled. “Can you believe it, me, a BAFTA nomination? And I’m up against Sarah [Lancashire] and Claire Rushbrook, who’s my best friend!! So I’m thinking we should all go in matching outfits. My friend thinks we should channel the Three Degrees.” We chuckled. “My money is on Shirley [Henderson]. I don’t know Shirley so I’ll be thrilled if she wins.”

I told her I thought it was well deserved and it was about time, especially as she’d missed out last year.

“They all (Anne, Derek and Sarah) got one last year so I was thinking that I must be the weak link, so yes it’s good. It’s good for the show too. And I can go cos it’s a Sunday. I didn’t think I’d be able to but I can.”

“Did you have fun catching up with your friend yesterday evening?”

“Yeah! I didn’t stay long because we’re still in previews and when you’re in previews you work during the day too. Making changes and stuff. We’re changing the first (I think she said first, could have been third) scene a little at the moment. Taking out some lines which is y’know …” She made a panicked face. “The show will get better. I sometimes think that it’s not good to see a show in previews, but with this one it should be alright.”

Nicola then said that she was particularly glad Sofie was going to be able to come and see the play, as the director is Belgian. “I’m working with Team Belgium!” she exclaimed. “She’s probably seen loads of his stuff, although his theatre company is in Amsterdam. But yeah, he’s one of her own.”

I asked her if she was going to the Olivier Awards and she said no, she didn’t get an invite.

“Ah right, we just wondered because we’d saw Mark (Strong) presenting and wondered if you were going.”

“Yeah, he told me. I don’t know how he does that. Presenting is so nerve wrecking. I was thinking I could just turn up with last year’s award under my arm and say ‘Excuse me, but can I come in please?’”

Nicola looked at her phone and said she didn’t have long before she had to go back inside, but she needed to nip out to the post box. She was posting something to Liga.

“Do you know Liga?”

“Only from twitter,” I told her.

So she nipped out and then came back over, looking at her phone.

“I’ve got four minutes.”

“That’s fine,” I said, “Thanks for stopping to chat.”

“Well I’ll see you later in the run. And then …”

“Summer, when you’re back …”

“When I’m back up north,” she smiled. “I’m looking forward to it.”

I say this every time I see her, but she’s so amazing and she’ll never know how much of a lift she gave me just by stopping to chat.

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