Between the 1st and 3rd February 2019 at the Renaissance Hotel, Heathrow, London, UK; our Fannibal Family came together for the Fifth year in a row for the Starfury Red Dragon 5 Convention (RDC5). Celebrating the TV series Hannibal by Bryan Fuller, which starred Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in the title characters of Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham respectively.
The TV series ran for only a brief 3 seasons; yet here we all are for the 5th annual Convention! Everybody is hoping for a season 4, when the stars and studios align in order to make our dreams a reality.
The celebrity guests for this years’ convention were Mads Mikkelsen, Richard Armitage (Francis Dolarhyde/The Red Dragon), Scott Thompson (Jimmy Price), Aaron Abrams (Brian Zeller), and Jeremy Davies (Peter Bernardone).
It’s always a joy coming to this convention in particular. Not only because of the series celebrated, but the other fans have become quite literally my extended family. “Fannibal Family” isn’t just a byline, it’s a reality. The friends that I have made within this fandom are some of the best people on the planet. They’re all thoughtful, caring, fun-loving, diverse, and truly kindred spirits! In absolute contrast to the subject matter of the TV series, the fan base are the most compassionate people you’ll ever meet. And so are the people who made the show.
The weekend began with the opening ceremony on the Friday evening. Each of the guests were introduced in turn and ended by them all coming on stage together. The Gold ticket holders then had the “meet and greet” – which is sort of like speed-dating with the guests doing the rounds of each table! I’m always a “Regular” ticket so I miss this part, but I don’t feel like I “miss out” on anything of the weekend as a whole. The Friday then ends with a party in the main hall.
Saturday and Sunday are organised similarly to each other, with photograph sessions taking place in the morning, several Q&A talks with one or more guests in the main hall in the afternoon, and autograph sessions taking place also in the afternoon. Occasionally the autograph sessions clash a bit with some of the talks, I missed the Scott and Aaron talk on the Saturday pm as I was waiting for my number to be called up.. if I had thought about it though, I should have just gone into the hall and waited there, but I didn’t know how long it was between batches being called up. Never mind! Scott and Aaron are always an hysterically funny double-act!
Photos below are from the Q&A sessions during the weekend. A much larger selection of my photos from the weekend are on Flickr
(All Rights Reserved). Click to enlarge.
The highlight of the weekend was Jeremy Davies’ Q&A panels, as he is one of the most insightful, intelligent and interesting people to listen to and learn from. He’s one of those actors that pops up in everything, but I didn’t really know much else about him. He deeply thinks about each question asked, and gives a very comprehensive answer. His voice is also very soothing! The Sunday talk was a “two tea talk” so that he could just keep on going.
Talks are always good fun. You find out a lot about the history of each guest, and their perspectives on acting methods, and the content that they have to play with in various roles. It was Richard Armitage’s first convention of this type (or possibly at all!) and you could tell at first that he didn’t know what to expect and was a little reserved. But as the weekend wore on, he got into the flow of the con, and warmed to the group, and found some things in common with us all… we binge-watch and read a lot too!
Some “fan books” were also put together by a fellow Fannibal @MihaTrochael and given to Mads and Richard at RDC5. I contributed to the Richard one with photos of the Red Dragon Pumpkin Carving that I did a few years ago. You can just see a glimpse of it as Miha flicks through the books in the tweet thread below.. Brilliant work by Miha.
The Saturday evening brings us the highly anticipated Costume Competition. Where many Fannibals show off their talents and creativity by making and showing off costumes. Not all Hannibal related, but there’s usually a theme of horror going on! Our winner this year was Noah with his “Flaming Wheelchair”! Some of my favourites are shown below, the rest (and a few NSFW type images!) are amongst my full album on Flickr (All Rights Reserved). Click to enlarge.
My full album of photographs from RDC5 can be found on Flickr. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce these images elsewhere without permission. Thanks!
Tickets are on sale for next years’ event RDC6 at: