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Ben Barnes


Having used Ben's image to inspire my ongoing writing for the Tales of Roumanhi series, I was never under the illlusion that I would actually get to meet the rising star of stage and movies. But then I came across information on the web which said he was acting in a play called Birdsong in London. The show had already been running for a couple of months and as I live in the country and there were no late trains my option for watching the show was limited to matinees, which were only on Thursdays and Saturdays. I decided to buy tickets for December 18th - quite expensive at nearly £60 and with the train tickets on top it was not a cheap outing, However, the chance to see someone so important to my work was an opportunity I couldn't miss, and I had every intention of leaving a copy of Liberation for him at the stage door. But Alas...the snow came, I couldn't get into London and I lost my money as well as spending a weekend full of disappointment,

With the weather remaining bad and the show destined to close in January, I was not sure whether to take the risk and buy another ticket, but the desire to see him overcame my fears and so armed with my tickets and my book I headed off to London on New Year's Eve and left Liberation at the stage door. I realised Ben would have to enter that stage door and so I waited on my own in the cold summoning my courage to speak to him. He came ambling up about an hour before the show started and we had a quick chat, I took a blurred picture and he hurried off to prepare, wishing me a happy New Year.

The show was superb and his acting was outstanding, but I wanted a better picture and so I braved the cold again and waited with a crowd of people for him to emerge. He is so kind to his fans and good as gold he came out for photogrpahs and autographs and he remembered I had left a book and, to my great surprise and joy, thanked me for it.

Having posted a video of my encounter on Youtube, I made some new friends and decided to head back to London on the last day of the show in order to meet them. It was also with the idea of seeing Ben again and trying to get an autograph on the first ever copy of Liberation to roll off the press. Ben spent some time with the fans before the show but was clearly in a hurry and only had time for autographs, but he promised he would try to find time between the matinee and the last evening performance to have some photos taken. Sure enough he appeared and was as friendly and helpful as ever.

The picture on the left is a photoshop bit of fun where I have made it look as if Ben, in his role as the Captain, is reading and quoting from Liberation.

The picture on the right is Ben's autograph in the first copy of Liberation - and a very happy author.

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