Hollywood star Tom Hiddleston left a lasting impression on stunned Brummies as he made a surprise appearance at Birmingham Rep – but many theatre staff missed out on seeing him up-close due to remote working.
In a top secret move, the Thor actor appeared at the Birmingham theatre in Broad Street as the mystery guest star in The Play What I Wrote last night (December 3).
Each of the shows has a mystery guest star – and previous guests have included Ralph Fiennes, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe and even Kylie Minogue during stints in the West End.
Theatre-goers revealed that as a double-bluff, despite clues by the Rep on social media that Hiddleston, who plays Loki in the Marvel movies, may be appearing, they led them to believe that the only person available on the night was Ross Kemp.
Kathryn Barnes said: “It was a big surprise! They’d name dropped him as being a guest star but then said the only one who could play Tom Hiddleston would be Ross Kemp – so I thought it would be him!
“Then one of the characters was dressed as Loki and I thought ‘no, it can’t be, can it?!’
“When he came on it was silent for a second because no-one could quite believe it and then everyone went wild!”
While audience members gushed at seeing the award-winning actor, an insider said many Birmingham Rep theatre staff missed out to brushing shoulders with the heart-throb as due to remote working, more staff have been working from home and not in the building as normal.
Dressed in a bright yellow waistcoat and Georgian style attire, the actor made a strong comedy debut, but charmed them even more on the streets outside the theatre, stopping for photos.
Sam Butters, an actor aspiring to reach Hiddleston’s Hollywood heights, met him as he left the theatre in Centenary Square.
He thanked Hiddleston for “giving your time and energy to give us some incredible acting advice and being a GEM. (We know your smiling under that mask)” in a post on Twitter.
Lee Greenhough was watching the show and tweeted his surprise saying, “When Tom Hiddleston turns up out of nowhere. What a legend.”
Others praised Hiddleston for his first comedy role, saying it was “great”.
This is the latest Hollywood star to visit Birmingham in recent months. Tom Cruise was filming for Mission Impossible 7 while Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston came to Birmingham Rep to watch Tom Jones-themed play What’s New Pussycat? in October.
The city has also been used recently as the backdrop for Amazon production Citadel starring Richard Madden of Game of Thrones fame and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
It is due for release in 2022.
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