The doors have been open for 20 minutes and the customers continue to pour in. The pouring rain doesn’t seem to have deterred anyone as people crowd the entrance water dripping down their brightly coloured rain jackets. Most enter with a frantic look on their faces, excitement making way to a thinly veiled expression of dread as they notice that all the seats are filled. The constant stream of steam from the coffee machine protects the crowd from the frigid air outside and people are quick to remove their coasts and soak in the warm coffee scented air.
Musical themed cups line the counter: Kinky Boots, Annie, An American in Paris. The most in demand cup though is the emerald green Wicked cup. A few minutes earlier these were brought into the café in bulk. At least a hundred of these now sit behind the counter, waiting for a customer to use them. No doubt a few of them will make it onto someone’s Instagram story, or perhaps be sent on Snapchat to someone in an attempt to evoke envy.
“Dancing Through Life” plays in the background, barely audible over the cacophony of excited chatter. A theme is definitely evident. The music is just loud enough that customers can joyfully sing along to their favourite lines while still carrying a conversation.
A second wave of people enters around 1:00. Their faces each dismayed as they realise that most of the customers have settled in for the long run. Phones and computers are out, plugged into the walls of the café, not to lose their charge.
Strangers are seated at the same tables, united by a lack of tables and a love of theatre. Tales of auditions gone bad, shows that amazed, and theatre stars can be heard throughout the building.
It’s 1:15 and all of the cups have been replaced by those with the wicked print. Looking around it becomes evident that the School of Rock decorations, which covered the walls a few days ago, have now been removed, avoiding a clash between shows.
Two hours remain before the moment everyone has been waiting for occurs. To those unaware of the event the collective theme does not seem obvious but those people quickly buy their coffees and leave, blissfully unaware of the opportunity they just missed. Those who know about the event grow more excited as they move closer to a fateful meeting with a famous actress who once made a role iconic.
The bubbly personality she is known for bringing to her roles is quickly spreading across the café, as a third wave of people enter. This time, all of them seem to be here to see her. Sharpies and phones are out as people prepare for her arrival. Some people even have cameras out. One and a half hours remain before her arrival but people are preparing to document her arrival from start to finish.
A clear soprano voice comes out of the speakers and cuts through the noise. The reason most people are here today.
“A Green Defying Gravi-Tea’ the clear voice of a future WestEnd star rings out. Heads turn but only one person stands up to retrieve their coffee. Even the delay of coffee orders does not deter people as they hit the hour mark before her arrival.
The announcement’s been made! She will be here in 15 minutes. People are lining up outside and there isn’t even standing room left inside. Tables have been folded and moved to the side for more room but even this only allows for a few people to join the selected few inside
A motorcycle stops outside at a red light. The slow purring of its motor reminiscent of a slow drumroll speeding up and growing louder as the light turns green.
Everyone stands to see her crossing the road. As she crosses the excitement grows. The door opens and the crowd erupts into cheer.
People are blinded as her sunglasses and thigh high bedazzled boots cross the room. Then the screaming starts.