After the unwelcoming place near Buxton, it’s a joy to have stayed in the Malmaison on the Liverpool docks (‘malmaison’ = ‘bad house’, still don’t get that) where the staff could not be any more accommodating and delightful. I am assured by a friend who knows someone who knows someone that my particular room was once occupied by Amy Winehouse, which is very exciting. Have searched the room for any trace, but housekeeping have presumably done an excellent job in the meantime. Oh dear, we couldn’t be any less rock and roll as a touring troupe.

Liverpool has been immense fun. It’s a tricky room to play: the beautiful Empire auditorium is set far away from the stage, and sucks up most of the sound of the audience, so it takes a bit of acclimatising to realise that the audience are actually enjoying it. The tiny Buxton Opera House threw back much more noise at me. Having said that, the roar at the end of both shows here was quite something, and, if I may be so fat-headed, the spontaneous 2000-strong standing ovations looked just amazing from my perspective on the stage. So thank you Liverpool, you were spectacular. Some really touching gifts and letters from people, and a warmth andย loveliness at stage door which are hard to come by anywhere else in the country. (Having said that, the first night did bring one pissed guy up on stage in the first half, but for the brief time I kept him up there he was pretty funny).

I’ve noted that people are very kindly tweeting in the interval – please do your best not to give anything away that you’ve seen in the first half though, if you don’t mind. It’s lovely to meet so many of my Twitter followers after the show. On that subject, I hope you won’t mind me saying that it’s very hard to avoid offending a handful of Twitter followers to whom I can’t give the individual attention and dialogue they seem to need. It does take the fun out of using Twitter. I’d love to continue using it, as I do enjoy it most of the time, and I hope those few will take a deep breath and use Twitter in the casual spirit it’s best enjoyed in. Thank you all for the enthusiastic tweets after the shows – they make lovely reading and are very much appreciated. In particular I’m very grateful that you’re all good enough not to tweet any spoilers: the show is so much better when you don’t know what’s coming.

Tomorrow we’re off to Bristol, which feels like my spiritual home. To play the Hippodrome, where I queued so many nights as a student, alone, to watch touring opera companies… it’s such a delight. I shall be touring old haunts tomorrow and enjoying myself immensely.

I await my gorgeous crew for soup and booze, and then it’s an early start. I’ve just had a pizza that I should have probably avoided. And my ludicrously fancy suite has a bathtub in the front room – imagine that! To think that Amy probably sat in it, enjoying a glass of wine and watching telly.

Getting very tired. Ner-night, trust you’re all splendid.