Arcade Con 2013
By Rachel Barcoe
This was my first time to attend Arcade Con in Dublin. What drew me to it this year was the special guest Gareth David Lloyd. I decided to splash out and buy the VIP ticket as it included a brunch attended by all special guests.
On Friday, I arrived at the Ballsbridge Hotel and checked in before heading out to join the large queue to enter Arcade Con. It was an unusually hot day and I was grateful for the staff of the con handing out cups of water while we patiently waited. I looked up as I heard a member of Con staff ask if there were people with VIP passes. I was taken quickly from the queue, introduced to a member of staff who would answer any questions over the weekend and escorted to a separate desk where I was given a cupcake, my gift bag (filled with a poster of Wolverine, a book, vouchers, sweets, a ball and a map of the convention) and my gold pass. Now free to roam the con.
I went first to the Trade Room to look through the various stalls before heading to look around the Ballroom, Games Room, Screening Room and the Panel Rooms. Hunger getting the better of me I left the con and went for a walk in to Dublin City Centre (only 20 minutes away). When I made it back to the hotel, I checked the times of events. The brunch, Gareth’s panel and autograph session were on Saturday so headed for an early night.
Saturday morning brought the VIP brunch and the first chance to see Gareth. The chairs in the room were laid out in a large circle with tea, coffee and pastries at the top. We sat and waited for the arrival of the special guests while munching on the pastries. The doors opened with the arrival of Gareth, Virginia Hey, Simon Becker and Matt Elliott. As everyone took their seats I was shocked when Gareth sat down beside me and we had the chance to chat for a few minutes. Everyone was asked to introduce themselves and what brought them to the con. I said I was a big Sci-Fi and Torchwood fan to which Gareth said “Thanks”. When the introductions were over we were allowed to mingle amongst ourselves. I was sending a message to a friend when Gareth came over to me and said “Rachel grab a chair”. We were quickly joined by a few others including Virginia Hey and chatted until Gareth had to leave for his panel.
One of the first questions Gareth was asked at the panel was “What’s it like to kiss John Barrowman?” He asked how come no one ever asks John what it is like is to kiss him.
He described John as awful, sloppy, always likes to stick his tongue in before laughing and saying he is a gentleman except for when they did the kiss in season two that went on for a further 30 seconds because John asked the Director to keep rolling.
There was a question about what he thought of the memorial wall in Cardiff and he said that he was flattered by it. He thought that it was hilarious that he has never been recognised when he goes to visit.
Asked if he would like to play the new Doctor he said it would be a great way to bring back Ianto and shock Jack.
Gareth did the coffee rap and the Mobiles, Landlines, Tin Cans with bits of String line but for he forgot it half way through. He left the panel to huge applause.
Next stop was to get something to eat using one of the vouchers from my gift bag before having another look around the Trade Room where I had a lovely chat to Virginia Hey about her soap range that she had on sale.
Time for the autograph signings and with the VIP Pass I was able to go to the front of the queue. Gareth was in the room with his wife and his daughter. I said Hi and put my picture down on the table. He looked at me and said “You were at the brunch this morning….Rachel”. I couldn’t believe he had remembered my name. After the autograph I asked if I could have a photograph and he said “yes of course”. The picture was taken by a member of the Con staff.
Saturday night was the ball with Professor Elemental. The atmosphere was amazing and I marvelled at the cosplay. A huge part of Arcade Con is the cosplay with a lot of time, money and effort going into each costume. Everyone couldn’t have been nicer and happy for photographs to be taken of their costumes.
Thank you to all at Arcade Con and a special thanks to Gareth for a truly enjoyable weekend. I’m looking forward to going back next year.