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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

two chicks walk into a bar…

On our last night in the Stratford-upon-Avon, my friend Bonnie and I ensconced ourselves in the Dirty Duck while that night’s performance of Love’s Labour’s Lost was in progress down the road, so that we’d be perfectly situated for accidentally running into actors from the show afterward. And we did: we met a couple of cast members — Ricky Champ, who plays Costard (he gets to steal Shakespeare’s famous stage direction, “exits, chased by a bear,” which appears in The Winter’s Tale but works well here, too), and Joe Dixon, who plays Don Armado (who, I think, if the production had allowed the company individual bows instead of just a group one, would probably have gotten more raucous applause than even David Tennant: he completely steals the show). They were simply delightful, and by all appearances genuinely happy to have us fawn all over them.
Then we met Rosie and Janine:

That’s Rosie on the left, Janine on the right.

They had just come from the show and asked if they could sit at the empty seats at our table. Of course we said yes. It turned out to be like that scene in Shaun of the Dead, when Shaun’s gang is making its way through the zombie-riddled streets of London toward the safety of the local pub, and they run into their doppelgangers doing the same, going in the other direction. Rosie and Janine turned out to be our mirror images, not really physically — although kind of, too, in a way — but spiritually. We had quite a long chat about theater and this production of Love’s Labour’s Lost in particular before we all got around to admitting what huge, slavering, David Tennant-and-Christopher Eccleston-crazy fans of Doctor Who we all are: when Janine uttered the phrase “Time Lord sandwich,” accompanied by a wicked grin, I knew that she and I were twins separated at birth.

Much drinking ensued:

And then came the really cool part. It transpired that Rosie — much like Bonnie — is an artist and an actress. And when she revealed that she had once been killed by a Cyberman, Bonnie and I knew exactly what she meant even before she explained: she appeared as an extra in the Doctor Who episode “Rise of the Cybermen” as a guest at the party hosted by the alt-universe versions of Pete and Jackie Tyler.

Here she is, cowering behind the President of Great Britain after the Cybermen crash the party:

And earlier — oh my — getting a nibble from Rose and a big smile from the Doctor:

Then I had to get on a plane and come home, just as I was starting to make friends. Damn.

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