Tuesday, 8 January 2013

London Start to 2013

Covent Gardens, London
Trafalgar Squure, London
The National Gallery, London
A Fountain at Trafalgar Square, London

I travelled down to London with mixed emotions after having a rubbish New Year.  I was anxious to begin 2013 with something I enjoy doing! I can't think of anything more pleasurable than seeing The Phantom of the Opera, my first show of 2013!  It couldn't be any better! I also booked to see Chariots of Fire which worked out well because I booked it on the day the production closed. The producers moved the closure date forward which meant the 5th January 2013 was the last day of the production.  I considered myself lucky or I would have left it too late.

Marcus Lovett and Sofia Escober in the Production Posters, Her Majesty;s Theatre

The Phantom of the Opera

After experimenting with my new camera around Trafalgar Square and Her Majesty's Theatre I made my 54th visit to Phantom on the first evening.  I was happy and very relieved to see Marcus Lovett performing this evening as the Phantom after having been intrigued with his portrayal and him as a person for so long.  We had Sofia Escobar as Christine and Simon Thomas as Raoul.  Lara Martin was ill so we had Nicola Rutherford as the understudy for Carlotta and who I enjoyed.  I was especially looking forward to seeing Marcus!

I was amazed with Marcus as the Phantom! The emotive and human interpretation he puts in the role amazes me! His performance throughout was mind blowing and is now my very favourite Phantom! I thoroughly enjoyed Sofia as Christine and she was the best I've seen her perform and also enjoyed the wonderful current cast.  

As usual I went to Stage Door and managed to briefly chat with Si Shorten (Swing and Understudy Phantom), Gareth Snook (Monsieur Andre) and Simon Thomas (Raoul).  I've got my programme signed by Sofia and I had another photo taken with her.  The moment eventually came when Marcus came out...he is the nicest person I ever met at Stage Door and it was such a delight to meet him in person!  He signed all my things and we had photos taken.  We were able to have a nice chat about the show and he was interested in my journey as a Phantom Phan.  In all it was a lovely stage door experience and one of the best! He even tweeted that it was a pleasure to meet me and congratulated me on my BA degree.  I was so moved by his Phantom and also him as an individual.  It has taken me 19 years, 54 performances and 16 phantoms to finally have a Favourite Phantom!  I couldn't go straight back to the hotel so I stopped at a late night cafe and celebrated my happiness and giddyness with tea and cheesecake!

Sofia Escobar (Christine) and Dawn at Her Majesty's Theatre Stage Door
Marcus Lovett (My Fave Phantom) and Dawn at Her Majesty's Theatre Stage Door

The Chariots of Fire

The following day, after a lie in, I was too excited to sleep from a phantastic time I had the night before.  I was especially looking forward spending the day catching up with like minded friends and seeing the matinee performance of Chariots of Fire.  After having breakfast and checking out I headed into the West End.

I met up with Lisa at Leicester Square where were able to have a catch up and also James who joined us for lunch.  Afterwards we made our separate ways to our respective shows. Lisa was seeing Les Miserables and James was seeing Privates on Parade.

Lisa and I enjoy drinks at Costa, Leicester Square
Lisa, James and I having lunch at Pizza Express, Covent Gardens
I walked with Lisa because our theatres were next door to each other and I met up with Jeanette at the Gielgud Theatre.  We had a coffee at the Dress Circle Bar before the show.  The theatre is beautiful and intimate and I love its ambiance.  The Dress Circle Bar has a balustrade where you can look down the theatre's foyer. We sat in the dress circle slips where we had a good view of the stage even if restricted from the right side of the stage.  It didn't matter as we saw the main action on the stage throughout.

Chariots of Fire Advertisement
Chariots of Fire at the Guilgud Theatre, London

Well, Chariots of Fire is such a lovely and moving stage production.  Everyone knows the famous Vangelis music - which is such a moving musical score in its own right.  I loved how the movie is interpreted on stage (considering I usually have reservations about movies being interpreted on stage).  I felt very moved and inspired with the storyline about two runners' quests and determinate to succeed at the 1924 Olympics amidst facing barriers and challenges from the society around them. It's a shame it has now closed and I do hope it returns to the stage some day whether in London or on tour in the not too distant future

Afterwards we met the principal actors, Jack Lowden (Eric Liddell) and James McArdle (Harold Abraham) at Stage Door.  We also met up with Sophia and again LisaJeanette, Lisa and I had a drink near Her Majesty's theatre, where Jeanette was seeing Phantom that evening.  I caught up with Sophia afterwards for a bit.  The time came when we had to part company.  After collecting my luggage from my hotel I got my train back to Leeds.  What an amazing whirlwind couple of days it was! Another great London adventure with a lot of highlights!

Sophia, Jeanette and Lisa at Gielgud Theatre Stage Door
Leicester Square, London

I plan to be back in London next month for some great, phantastic and wicked times! I'm excited to meet up with more friends and share some potential highlights of 2013!


  1. What a lovely account of your recent trip to London! So glad you loved the brilliant Chariots of Fire, which is one of my top favourite theatrical experiences, beautifully acted by a great cast. And of course... Phantom!! Can't do a trip to London without a visit to HMs to see the adorable Man in the Mask! Great blog Dawn!★★★★★

  2. Thanks for your kind comments, Jeanette! I absolutely loved Chariots of Fire and, I agree, you can't do a trip to London without seeing a masked man:D xxx