May 1990, I was 10 years old and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was showing at The Kings Theatre, Southsea, where my Mum worked. She took me to see the show, which I had seen before with Mike Holloway and Jess Conrad, but the guy on stage this time was wonderful - Richard Swerrun. I went back to see the show nearly every day that week, I would also sit in the front window of our house, which was across the road from the theatre, to see the cast arriving for the show. One day I finally got the chance to meet Richard, he was lovely, he was polite, friendly and gave me a big hug before having our photo taken.
I did not think that I would see him again after that week but not long after coming to the Kings, Joseph went to the Hippodrome in Bristol. My Mum got tickets and off we went, as the show started there was Richard on the stage!! I couldn't believe it. My Mum had more than that up her sleeve, after the show we went around to the stage door and all the guy's who played the brothers all said 'hello', they remembered me which was great.
We were then taken into a dressing room and there was Richard, I said a shy 'hello' and he said 'Don't I get a hug and a kiss?' so I kissed him on the check and he lifted me up on to his lap - it's a shame I'm too big for that now! - my Mum had the photo of him and I blown up and had brought it with her for him to sign (see above). Anyway he was really pleased to see me and we stayed in contact as much as we could with him travelling from theatre to theatre.
We slowly lost touch between 1991 - 1994, we managed to get back in touch a few times, but we did not meet again untill 1997 when he was back in Joseph, I went to the Festival Theatre in Chichester, I was really nervous having not met him since I was 10. But when we met he threw his arms around me and hugged me as if we had been friends forever. We talked for ages and we have been close friends ever since.
When the show returned to the Kings in 1998, I was working at the theatre also. Richard came down a month before the show to promote it, we went to a local shopping centre where a few of us gave out leaflets whilst Richard sang 'Any Dream Will Do'. It was a great day, when the show finally came to the theatre it was great to be able to see him everyday.
Now that he has left Joseph I will still stay in touch with him and see him when I can, he's promised to stay in touch. I will still go and see Joseph, although the show won't be the same without him.