A few months ago my friend, Issy, sent another friend, Helen, and me an email explaining that she had “accidentally” booked 3 tickets to see ‘American Psycho: A New MusicalThriller’ at the Almeida Theatre, London. I was aware that Matt Smith was to play Patrick Bateman, around whom the story is based (if you didn’t already know), and from that point onwards it was something I was looking forward to. I later discovered that Jonny Bailey (who I saw in ‘Campus’ and ‘Me and Mrs Jones’ on TV) and Eugene McCoy (who I saw in ‘Jersey Boys’) were also in the cast, which added to my joy.
I did not form any expectations, as I have not read the book, or seen the film – except for the scene prior to the murder in the apartment. Given the small amount of information that I had about the story, I could not imagine how it could be a musical. A play, yes, but a musical? The thought of it seems bizarre.
The morning of the show came, our tickets were for the matinee, and Issy received an email from the Almeida with the news that the afternoon performance had been cancelled due to an illness in the cast. The disappointment was felt deeply, especially as it was the initial reason I had made a trip to London, but we read that the evening’s performance was to go ahead as planned. A short discussion between Helen and me later – ‘Is it worth the trip to the theatre?’ ‘Would it be silly to risk further disappointment if we were unable to get tickets?’ ‘Would I regret not trying, given that I only have this chance to see it?’ – We decided to give it a shot and go to the theatre in hope for returned tickets.
We arrived at the Almeida Theatre at 16:50pm and asked the Box Office staff about returns. The informed us that there were 12 names ahead of us on the list, and if we wanted to remain on it then we must stay in the building. We didn’t exactly have plans, so we sat in the theatre’s café and waited. It was over two hours before the Box Office staff began whittling down their returns waiting list, the tension was mounting as to whether we would get in. We were refraining from getting our hopes up, as it wasn’t worth it, so at 19:20pm we decided to ask the staff for an update, there were only 2 names ahead of us – which came as a surprise, as we didn’t expect there to have been 10 returned tickets. We stayed by the desk, while the 2 people before us were offered and paid for their tickets, the literally at the last minute a single seat became available for £45. Helen told me to accept, whether she was able to get one or not, so I did. Fortunately, another ticket became available just after mine. It wasn’t anywhere near me, but that wasn’t a problem, I was just glad we were both seeing the show.