I learnt about The Phantom of the Opera UK Tour when I was present at the 25th Anniversary Performance at The Royal Albert Hall in October 2011. I was especially excited that my local theatre, The Leeds Grand, will host the musical which was the best news for me! One would think I would not need to travel to see the show. Wrong! I wanted to combine my love of travelling with my favourite musical around the UK. So I’ve decided to visit the cities, which were feasible to reach, where Phantom is playing.
For logistical reasons I decided not to see Phantom in Dublin, Milton Keynes and Southampton. I did research on those cities and it was not possible because of costs and timings of travelling there and accommodation following personal research. However I will now plan to see Phantom in eight of the eleven cities during 2012 and 2013.
Before I knew it booking opened for Phantom for Plymouth and I booked my first ticket. I had not look back since then. My first trip was combined with a stopover in London on the way and the way back. It worked out significantly cheaper to travel by train with East Coast/Great Western trains than direct with Cross Country trains and this included by London hostel accommodation for the two nights! After an overnight stay in London I got the morning train to Plymouth and arrived 3.5 hours later! It was nice to be in Plymouth again after visiting in November 2011 for The Three Phantoms Concert and also staying in the same guest house!
I did a bit of sightseeing and visited some sights I had not visited before including the city’s art gallery, The Royal William Yard and visiting the Mayflower Exhibition in the Barbican.
After an interesting day of sightseeing I returned to the guest house and got ready for the evening performance of Phantom at The Theatre Royal. I met up with Kayleigh and Nick briefly at the theatre’s cafe before the show. I was apprehensive about the new production especially that I went during its previews (press night was the following week). Me being a big phantom phan I had every right to be so and I nervously waited for the musical to start. I knew it was going to be very different to what I’ve so far seen in my Phantom journey and I can say it certainly was! All I said at that point was ‘Expect the Unexpected!’ Anyhow after a wonderful evening it was great meeting some of the cast at the stage door. John Owen Jones asked me what I thought of the new production and all I could say to him that it was very different than what I had seen!
|Me with John Owen Jones|
|My signed Programme!|
The following day I returned to London for couple of days and met up with Terena, Sophia and Alex. I even managed to see The Brilliant Original at Her Majesty’s Theatre and got the opportunity to see Earl Carpenter’s portrayal as Phantom! I felt a sense of déjà-vu but at the same time I kept comparing both productions as I saw them close together – which probably is not a good idea! Next stop, Manchester!