Wednesday, 12 December 2012

My Phantom Journey of 2012 (Part 2)


Palace Theatre, Manchester
Me at Palace Theatre, Manchester
Manchester is only an hour away from Leeds, where I live, so I was pleased I didn’t have to travel far and wide during its Phantom of the Opera run there.  I went twice, once with my friend and fellow musical theatre fan, Rob, and another time with a long time friend, Liz. 

On my first visit, in April 2012, I went across to Manchester for the day.  I met up with Rob and we hung around at Stage Door and we got to say hi to a number of cast members including John Owen Jones.  I was especially happy to meet Angela M Cesar (Carlotta) and had a nice catch up. She is becoming one of my favourite Carlottas.    We also met Karen, a big John Owen Jones fan, who was seeing the same performance as us and we were able to discuss and share our love for one of my favourite phantoms.

Inside Palace Theatre
Me and Angela M Cesar (Carlotta)

Rob and I had a quick drink/snack at nearby Caffe Nero’s before catching the matinee show.  Despite my very uncomfortable seat I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and my appreciation for the production continues to grow.  Rob wanted to meet more cast members so we hung around stage door afterwards.  I got to meet Liesel Dowsett (Dance Captain and who I saw perform in a previous Phantom UK Tour) and Olivia Brereton (Alternative Christine and who I saw as Christine at the performance).  Rob managed to meet who he wanted to meet so we settled down for a nice meal at nearby Pizza Express.  Afterwards we went our separate ways for our train home.

Me and Olivia Breeton (Alt Christine)

Me and Rob at nearby Pizza Express, Manchester

My long time friend, Liz, came up from South to spend the weekend with me in Manchester.  She is a big Phantom and Love Never Dies Phan and was curious to see the new production.  I met her at Manchester Piccadilly Station as I arrived earlier before we had lunch and settled into our hotel near the Palace Theatre.  I showed Lizzie the sights of Manchester via the Rochdale Canal and the backstreets.  Lizzie saw a fair bit although we were disappointed to see the Manchester Wheel was no more.  

Liz and I in Missoula's, Manchester

Manchester Sights (From Left)
Photos 1 & 2 Rochdale Canal
Photos 3 National Football Museum
Photos 4 Busy Historic Quarter, Manchester

We returned to the hotel to rest before the show and to learn that John Owen Jones was ill and would not be performing at the performance that evening.  I was disappointed for Liz but I was intrigued with Richard Woodford (Understudy Phantom) who was going to debut as Phantom.  We were in the Gods and I probably sat in the most uncomfortable seats with more or less no leg room and the view was of a vertigo issue (I do not even suffer from it!).  I do not think the glass of prosecco I had helped lol.  I enjoyed Woody’s performance as Phantom and he did a great job considering it was his debut that evening.  I hope he will have more opportunities to put on the mask at future performances.  Liz was impressed with the production and the new impressive souvenir brochure came out so I was able to purchase one.

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