Tuesday, 18 December 2012

My Phantom Journey of 2012 (Part 6)

On my way to Cardiff
(Along the Severn Estuary, Gloucestershire)
Look what greeted me 
at Cardiff Central Station?

Following a 'go slow' on my train between Leeds and Sheffield and potentially missing my original connection, I ended up spending an hour at Birmingham New Street Station before I could get a connecting train onto Cardiff.  I arrived in Cardiff later than planned so it was a matter of dropping my luggage at the hostel and getting ready for the evening performance of Phantom at the Wales Millennium Centre.  The quickest way was for me to get a train from Cardiff Queen Street Station to Cardiff Bay which only took five minutes.

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Inside the Venue
Me and Lindsey before the performance

I arrived in good time to get some food at the venue's cafe and met up with Lindsey and Jamie.  Jamie and I swapped our tickets so Lindsey and I could sit together and be nearer the stage.  Despite the leg room in our row the view was excellent and were pretty close to the stage.   As always Phantom was fantastic as ever.  It was my first time seeing Earl Carpenter's portrayal on the tour and the performance consolidated the fact why he is one of my favourite Phantoms.  The emotions he puts in the character of Phantom impresses me to no end!  It was definitely worth while travelling a long way to Cardiff for the performance!

We struggled to find the stage door afterwards but I managed to find it by 'accident' via a goods entrance way.  I briefly met Earl, Katie Hall and Simon Bailey and they signed my bilingual Phantom Programme.  I did not want to hold them because more or less everyone was dashing out!  Lindsey, Jamie and I parted company after an amazing evening!

My signed programme, Cardiff, December 2012

Bilingual Programme, Cardiff, December 2012

The sun was shining the following day, Saturday, so I decided to explore more of Cardiff Bay instead of the City Centre.  I got on the train again and had begun my explorations.  I saw the Roald Dahl Plass where a Christmas Fayre was happening and some of the traders dressed up in fancy dress.  I also visited the Lightship 2000 and Norwegian Church Arts Centre where I saw the Arnold Lavery Exhibition and paid a visit to the lovely Norsk Cafe.  I visited the Pierhead Building and learnt of its history including past life at the Bay.  Pierhead belongs to the Welsh Assembly and is hired out for community and national events but there is a permanent exhibition.  After the Bay I headed back in the City Centre for some dinner before returning to the hostel.

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay
Lightship 2000
Tea & cheesecake at Cafe Norsk
Norwegian Church Arts Centre, Cardiff Bay
Inside the Norwegian Church Arts Centre

Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay

The next day following an unsettled night's sleep I happily checked out the hostel and had brunch in the City Centre before my long train journey home.  In all it was a great weekend.  May my Phantom adventures and travels continue on in 2013 in both Liverpool and Birmingham and also to see The Brilliant Original in London.  I am so grateful for the Phantom UK Tour to give me an opportunity to travel around the UK and visit exciting cities as well as support this amazing production!

Cardiff City Centre

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