We arrived at Kapow at eight this morning and once they let us in went straight to the signing booth. So we basically queued from nine in the morning for nearly four hours.
I had a packet of crisps and a donut to eat through all of that (having had absolutely no breakfast) and by the time the cast actually arrived I was getting a bit worried that I was going to pass out - that long on my feet without real food was NOT FUN. But - BUT. oh my god. Totally worth it. Also actually, aside from the 'nearly going to pass out' issue the queuing experience wasn't at all bad. Far, far better than Expo, anyway. The staff were engaged, interested and helpful - they asked us how we were doing, they kept us updated about where the cast were and they were generally friendly and savvy about how to run things. It was extremely reassuring, and the people in the front of the queue with us were awesome.
( Front of queue peeps and me with the 'MERLIN SIGNING!' sign we were holding up so that other fangirls would know where to go :P )
To entertain ourselves we played with doylefan22 's Morgana and Gwen dolls, and sent Bradley a twitpic of us sayign 'GREETINGS FROM THE FRONT OF THE QUEUE!'
Still, I really really wish the cast had got there on time because I know they didn't get through even half the queue of people waiting which is SO sad. I felt awful for the people at the back. D:
KATIE MCGRATH. KATIE KATIE KATIE OMG.
So the cast finally arrived and because me and doylefan22 WERE the front of the queue Katie and Angel were RIGHT FREAKING THERE. And the moment Katie spotted me she waved and said 'HI! HI HUGO! How are you?!' and I was all giggle!squeeing.
Here, in JUST ABOUT the right order is what happened next:
- I was all ‘you shouldn’t call me that - Bradders complained on the dvds.’
- And Katie said ‘Bradley has Hugo envy. Ignore him. HOW ARE YOU, HUGO?’
- And I was like ‘I am really tired but I’m fine. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SIGN ALL MY STUFF?’
- And she signed all my stuff and her and Angel were TOTALLY gorgeous sweethearts who were all ‘omg bless you poor things’ when we told them we’d been there since nine and thanked us for coming.
- We showed them our sign
- doylefan22 showed the girls the little Gwen and Morgana dolls she’d made (which are ADORABLE) and the girls MELTED and Katie was like ‘YOU GUYS ALWAYS MAKE THE BEST STUFF.’
- Also Katie does tapestry. Tapestry. And the woman wonders why her fangirls love her so.
- And she said to me ‘I LOVE your outfit.’
- And I was all ‘awwww KATIE….’
- And she said ‘You are always so well dressed!’
- And I said ‘I try…’
- And she said ‘YOU SUCCEED.’
- And I wanted to MARRY HER omg.
- And then the boys were all ‘HELLO. We should sign stuff for you too, y/y?’
- And they signed our stuff and Bradley went ‘OH YOU SENT ME A PIC ON TWITTER. YOU’RE THE FRONT OF THE QUEUE.’
- And we said ‘YES!’
- And Bradley was side-eyeing me all ‘I REMEMBER YOU.’
- And I was like ‘yes you probably do.’
- And he said ‘I recognise your voice. You always ask questions. You like to ask LONG questions.’
- And I said ‘yes, I like to chatter.’
- And they signed all our stuff and were really nice and I had to spell my name twice for Bradley (two silent letters - admittedly it’s NOT a signing-friendly name).
ANYWAY. Then to the panel queue, to sit down after four hours of standing which was SUCH a relief, omg. We all collapsed, and examined our signed things and shared our squee.
The panel itself was a lot better than the Expo ones, chiefly because, miracle of miracles, we should actually hear the cast. The accustics were MUCH better. Although I actually physically couldn't see Katie's face at first - I ended up having to kneel up on my chair - the stage the cast was on was a bit too low in relation to the audience.
Anyway, Katie waved at me the moment she spotted me and I could have DIED.
This is as much as I remember from the panel:
+Katie being all FUCK YEAH when the compere said 'And Katie's from Ireland so she's just great.'
+I asked the first question. What I wanted to ask, basically, was whether the loss of Morgana's 'grey areas' was deliberate or simply the result of time-constrictions on the episodes meaning that they just don't have the time to keep in the scenes where we get better windows into Morgana's motivations (and I think what I came out from that with was that yes, it is a time-constriction issue, which I guessed - but I also kind of wanted to make the point that we're NOT seeing all the grey ares they're filming and that's kind of sad). Anyway, after they'd answered my question Katie grinned at me, mouthed thank you! and gave me two thumbs up (I thumbsed-up back. ^_^)
+The character swap question - in which Angel said she'd be Arthur, because she'd get a sword, and Katie was like '...I want to keep my character!' and Angel said 'well you be Merlin then - if I'm Arthur, you have to be Merlin.' And Katie was like 'OKAY!' and I was like '....oh GIRLS.' Also Bradley going 'wellllll I suppose I'd want to be someone who's both magic and evil, since Arthur is not evil and has no magic.' And from the audience I said 'so, you'd be Morgana then, essentially.' and that got a laugh. :P
One of the things that actually kept the atmosphere of this panel so lovely was that calling things from the audience was fairly acceptable but no one over-used the privilige to shout stuff that was embarassing or inappropriate. It was all friendly stuff, and the accoustics made it easy for everyone to make themselves heard without having to shout. There was quite a bit of banter between the cast, the compere and people from the audience interjecting throughout. It was all kinds of hilarious.
My memory of much of the panel is honestly pretty blurry. I was SO exhausted by that point - mostly I remember it being a really great, relaxed, friendly atmosphere and also that it went by far, far too quickly.
( Couple of panel pics: )
After it was over we all trailed out, collected various people and went off to meet up with la_esmeralda_ and kepp0xy (who hadn't been able to make it cause they were working) in a nearby pub to debrief, squee and EAT.
But yes - overall kapow! was a really, really positive experience. The signing needed to have been slightly better organised but the atmosphere and how firnedly it all was more than made up for that. I hope the cast attend next year as well. But now, seriously, I have to crash.