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The Umbrella Organisation

The Umbrella Organisation

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Clapham meet which preceeded the Sherlock screening
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rakspatel wrote in mycroft_brolly
The first Sherlock meet that I ever ran was on Thursday 6 January 2011, and was a meet that I held at Venn Street Records. The meet preceeded the special Sherlock screening at the Clapham Picturehouse.



This is my write-up of the meet that I organised and ran. It is an original piece of writing.

There are no accompanying photos because I disagree with taking photos of people (fellow fans) and then posting them on the internet. In my humble opinion, this is an invasion of their privacy and so I will not be doing it.

The big day had finally arrived – Thursday 6 January 2011. The day of the special Sherlock screening at the Clapham Picturehouse, followed by Q&A with the series co-creators and co-writers, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat.

I thought back to roughly a month ago when the email from the Clapham Pciturehouse had arrived in my inbox informing me of the event. I vividly remembered just staring at my computer screen, in shock, and totally in awe. Sherlock on the big screen. That was amazing enough on its own. But followed by Q&A with Mark and Steven? Live? I almost fell off my chair!!!

Needless to say, as soon as the Box Office opened the next morning I booked myself a ticket and promoted the event on Cumberbatchfans and Sherlock BBC. The event sold out super quick. Then everyone coming started exchanging messages about a potential meet before the screening and, as it was my local cinema and I knew the area, I volunteered to organise it.

I was expecting about 5 or 10 people to say they were coming but more and more people started to say they were coming to the meet. The final scores on the doors was 28. Bloody hell!!! What had I done? Paniced, I quickly messaged a fellow Cumberbatchfan (Marie) to ask if she would co-host the meet with me and also if she would consider being the official photographer for the event. Luckily for me, she was thrilled to do so and agreed straight away.

And now the big day had arrived. And I was nervous as hell. 26 new people to meet and greet. Marie was the only person coming to the meet who I had actually met before!!! And, I had never even been to a fan meet before, let alone organised one!!!

12pm. The heavens opened and down came the rain. Tons and tons of it. Still nothing was going to stop me from going to the meet and seeing Sherlock on the big screen and hearing Mark and Steven talk!!!

I got to Venn Street Records, the venue for the meet, at 6pm. The official start time for the meet was 6.30pm. So I waited nervously on my own in our special reserved area. Would anyone actually come? Then Marie turned up with her camera and all was well!!!

Santheum – our first attendee – turned up at about 6.20pm. It was really easy to talk to her and we were soon chatting away. She showed us some of the amazing sketches that she had done of the Sherlock cast, including of course Mark. The party had started!!!

One of the comments that had emerged from a previous meet that I had not attended was that people even at the end of the day did not actually find out who was who. So I had decided on getting badges for our meet. When I got to know Marie, and discovered that she was an artistic genius, I got her on board to help out with the badges. She had been very busy and come up trumps!!! I had a Sherlock badge (well, I should be entitled to some perks for organising the meet!!!), Marie had John, TurkFox had Jim, and everyone else had Sherlock and John. Luckily I am Team Sherlock and Marie is Team John so we didn’t have to fight over who got which badge!!! Marie and I had wondered whether people might be too shy or might not want to wear badges but everyone entered into the spirit of the occasion and wore their badges with pride!!!

There were prizes. I presented gold medals (Ok, so they were made of chocolate!!!) to the following:
- Tea_devotee and troublesize - For being the furthest travelled for the meet. They both came from Australia!!! (OK I admit they did not come from Oz specifically to attend the meet, but they are Aussies who happened to be in London at the right time but it still counts!!!).
- TurkFox - For the genius of Andrew Scott online.
- Applebeing - For having the most brilliant gorgeous scrumptious comprehensive collection of Benedict avatars/icons on the whole of Cumberbatchfans!!! She changes her identity all the time but every single avatar she uses makes my jaw drop.
- Marie - For her fabulous fan art which recently featured on Addicted to Sherlock and here at the forum.

7.30pm. By now the party was in full swing and everyone had turned up. We had taken over the whole of the top section of the bar and everyone was chatting away to everyone else about Sherlock. It was awesome!!! The bar were doing 2 for 1 on cocktails, but you could only have 2 of the same cocktail. So people bought 2 of the same drink and then there was a drinks exchange scheme running so we could all try a bit of everything. I normally don’t drink but I was too tempted by their pina coladas which were sheer heaven. It helped me come out of my shell and I was soon able to mix freely and chat to everyone.

I loved the fact that people had really made a good attempt at Sherlockian dress. I was wearing my long black swishy ankle-length Sherlock coat, and I was also wearing my “Sedimentary, My Dear Watson” Holmes/Watson tee shirt underneath. The winners of the prize for the best Sherlockian dress, aside of TurkFox as Jim of course, were Sarannah and her twin sister. One wore an amazing Sherlockian coat and the other a John jumper so they had our dynamic duo covered between them!!! Second prize goes to applebeing as she had a homage to both Sherlock and John. She was wearing a shiny purple Sherlock shirt and a John jumper skirt!!! Two for the price of one!!! One for the knitting contingent (I have to cater for everyone here!!!). There were quite a few impressive John jumpers on display, some personally knitted by the wearers!!!

TurkFox, especially when in cosplay, bears THE most uncanny resemblence to Andrew Scott - she has the same facial features, the same hair, and even - really scarily!!! - the same facial expressions. Moriarty of course has a brother in Canon, and I personally think that for Sherlock, they should reimagine the brother as a scary evil little sister. And, if they do that, there really is only one person who can play that role and that is our very own TurkFox. I have to say also that her cosplay was pretty stunning, right down to the underpants!!!

TurkFox has more strings to her bow than I can mention and I am completely in awe of her talent. She runs the genius that is Andrew Scott online, she writes amazing fan fiction, she can draw cool sketches and comics, and she is THE best Jim cosplay in town!!! It is a delight to have such a talented forum member and we are very lucky to have her!!!

Bolly showed me a photo on her phone of The Coat - her Coat - hanging up in her room at home - and that almost caused me to pass out!!! God knows what I would have been like if she had actually brought it along with her!!!

It was really great to meet up face to face with people I have just been casually bumping into on the internet through the livejournal communities. There are a few people who you bump into a lot, and there are others who barely cross your path. It was great to put real life faces to screennames and to be able to make a few genuine and real connections.

And all too soon it was over. It was 8.15pm and the Clapham Picturehouse beckoned. But that is a whole new story!!!

Postscript:
I took along my huge red doorstop The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes (Wordsworth edition) and got Mark Gatiss to sign it for me. So the book, despite not being a Slinger or a Baring-Gould, is now just absolutely perfect and I will treasure it forever. I am one happy bunny. He seemed quite amused that I had brought a huge great red brick with me!!!

Santheum had drawn a brilliant sketch of Mark and got him to sign that for her. I really wish I could draw/sketch!!!

Mark Gatiss comes across as incredibly charming, warm, friendly, approachable and just a genuinely nice person. I have fallen for him big time!!!

Venue

Finally, last but not least, I would like to say a huge BIG THANK YOU to Tom, the Director of Venn Street Records and all his wonderful bar staff, who really looked after us on the night and ensued that we had a night to remember.

I highly recommend the venue:
http://www.vennstreetrecords.com/
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