So begins my 2020 con season.
After a week of cancellations my first event of 2020 was finally upon me having lost most of the guests I wanted i was left with only know guest that I wanted to meet and no booked photo shoots. I had a few other guests to get autos for friends but for me this was to be the quietest event for some time.
I arrived about 20 minutes before the doors opened as I was in not rush but was awake so rather be queuing than not. The weather was terrible - heavy rain and winds. Usually Showmasters are good at having internal queuing for entry but this time it wasn’t available, so we were all left to queue in the elements. It took me about 30 minutes to gain entry and make my way inside. I headed upstairs and went to my first guest of the day
David Labrava - Happy- Sons of Anarchy
I was his first meet of the day as he was just arriving as I turned up so I thought I Amy as well wait and get him now out of the way and it’s sometimes nice to be their first. He wasn’t the greatest of meets. He seemed distracted and looking around for someone and checking his phone. He signed the photo and He didn’t engage much I asked for a photo with him and he said he was charging £10 for this. I’m not a fan of paying for selfies and I know showmasters doesn’t usually allow a charge A but my friend wanted on so we decided to share it to save the money. Just as we were about to compete the transaction he went away from his desk and had a conversation with I assume his manager/agent and he came back looking even more unhappy saying he wasn’t allowed to charge and wasn’t going to do selfies. But as he had agreed with me and my phone was ready he told me to take it quick. So I did and went on my way. This was the worst guest interaction I have had for a long time and definitely the worst of this weekend. It was even more sad as he played one of my friends favourite Sons of Anarchy characters.
Ivanna Banqueo- Pans Labyrinth
This was the guest I wanted. I have tried multiple time’s it meet her but she has always cancelled - Dortmund , Wales .. but finally she was there .. sitting in front of me . She was so amazing . Beautiful and sweet. Really took her time and appreciated my rare pan’s labyrinth dvd. Was really lovely and a great meet and free photo with yay.
Brad Loree - Micheal Myers - Halloween Resurrection.
He was a very lovely man, fun and engaging. He mistook my friend as my girlfriend she protested a bit too much that it wasn’t the case ... thanks. He said he was unable to do any photos with but was still a nice chat and a worth while meet.
Daniel Portman- Poderick Game of thrones
I met him last year but he wasn’t doing photos with when I went up to his table but this year he was and I had to get an auto for a friend so I went up and had a brief chat and watched my “ non girlfriend “ swoon over him. Got my photo with at last.
Tom Hoppper- Luther - Umbrella Academy
Wow this guy has gotten ripped. Last time I saw him he was big but this is something else . We had a brief chat about his time on Merlin and the umbrella academy. Sadly he had very few images From umbrella Academy. No photos with
Ben Crompton - Game of Thrones
A very nice man, joking that he’s not that old but he seems to always be playing dad roles and how he was happy to last as long as he did on thrones and his character ended the show in a memorable way. Was a friendly guy and a nice free photo with.
Gethin Anthony- Renley Baratheon - Game of Thrones
Again another lovely guy. Really down to earth and we had a fun chat about how he has a unique death in the show. Death by a vagina smoke monster - can’t get more original than that. He said behind the scenes him and a director would joke and plan the most random ways to kill off characters . He said that after season one and the death my gold crown he didn’t think there could be a more unique way to die ... but he found it with the Vagina smoke monster. Really nice meet and a free photo with.
Charles Dance- Tywin Lannister Game of Thrones (and the guest who always cancels )
He was here !!! In the flesh !! After countless event cancellations, he was in the building. I have met him before but I have had my Tywin pop waiting to be signed for many years now so I finally managed to get that done. He was as dry witted as you expect. Not the best meet of the day but still a lovely autograph and quote added. Alas no photos with.
Mark Dacascos -The Crow
I met him with a friend, I didn’t really know who he was but he has a familiar face and I know I’ve seen many things with him in. He was very warm and taking so much time with his fans . Really what you want from a guest especially a diamond guest. Got my free photo with and moved on.
My last guest meet of the day
Ian McDairmid - Emperor Palpatine - Star was
Another guest that over the years I’ve wanted to meet but the price is just too high for the level of meet I want. Luckily I was asked to get his auto for a friend so I have finally managed to meet him. I had tried a few times through the day to get into his line but kept being turned away as he was signing slow and then boom randomly it all just vanished and he became an open queue. We spoke
About the latest movie and how he had known of his return for 2 years and had to keep it a secret, that it was only his body that was killed in Jedi that this was the Sith version of a force ghost. The family in front hit a photo with but when we tried to take any photos we were told no. I did manage a sneaky photo with as I left tho.
So that was my celeb meets 9 guests, 2 autos and 7 selfies. Overall they were good meets.
I did find I had a lot of down time and so I did try to stretch the day out as best I could but after a walk around the stalls I didn’t really have much to do. None of the panels really interested me this time and was weird not having any photo shoots. Overall I didn’t enjoy the day as much as I did last years spring but that maybe because of the calibre or guests as last year I met a fair few.
I can’t comment on the photo sessions this time as I didn’t use them but I know one friend missed their shoot as they moved them ahead and didn’t seem to tell anyone - the time tables on the walls were not updated until later on the day. Then I was told one shoot over ran. But I only heard bits and pieces.
Other than the queuing outside in the rain there wasn’t anything negative about the event it self it was a smaller sized hall than summer and did feel a bit tight in sections but other areas had lots of room. It was hard to gage how busy it was due to this. But it seemed steady and I think busier than last year, but that could be the layout.
Overall not a bad day out. The final guest list may not have been the strongest but they were some very fan friendly guests and at mostly reasonable prices.
Tho I have heard that Mark Dacascos diamond pass gift mug has Brandon lees face on by mistake. So that’s defiantly a unique gift.
I do still think that with showmasters being the last big event to not allow joint photo shoots it is hindering their sales a bit. At wales and Liverpool my friend and I purchased 15+ shoots but ok average for showmasters it’s 5. This is just due to costs etc. I believe more sales would happen if they allowed the photo shoots to be shared. Especially when guest prices are going past the £40 mark. Or even if they did a combo deal- like other events do with selfies and autos but did a photo and auto package with a slight reduction in price.
Event rating 8/10
James McAvoy -Cyrano de Bergerac - Playhouse Theatre
Bafta Movie Award (Bafta) An
Jo Hartley, Gillian Anderson, Taron Egerton
Emilia Clarke, Leigh Gill, Lulu Wang, Adam Driver,Vanessa Kirby,Sam Mendes ,Zazie Beetz,Naomi Ackie,Jack Lowden ,Kathleen Kennedy,Rian Johnson, Olivia Coleman,Victoria Silvestead, Graham Norton, Jess Buckley ,Daniel Kaluuya, Holfin Golan,Ram Bergman, Naomi Harris, Micheal Giachinno, Micheal Ward, Rose Williams ,George McKay
London Film and Comic-con Spring
David LaBrava, Mark Deacascos, Ivanna Banquero, Ian McDamid, Daniel Portman, Brad Loree, Ben Crompton, Gethin Anthony.
Met but no photo with:
Tom Hopper, Charles Dance
John Kani- Kunene as they King- Ambassadors Theatre
David Mitchell - Upstart Crow- Gielgud Theatre
Steve Spiers - Upstart Crow- Gielgud Theatre
Gemma Whelan - Upstart Crow- Gielgud Theatre
Richard Wight- Uncle Vanya- Howard Pinter Theatre
Ciaran Hinds - Howard Pinter Theatre