“Eight times? Seriously, eight times? Since when? November 2015? Are you mad?”
“… but it’s Phantom of the Opera!”
“Isn’t it a little bit boring now?”
“No, not at all. No two performances are the same!”
“But it’s pretty much the same cast?!?!”
It marked my eighth trip to Phantom of the Opera last Thursday. I’m not going to bore you with the ins and the outs of the performance because I‘ve reviewed it many times before [as you can see here] and I am returning in a couple of months to see the 2016/17 cast’s last performance so there is no doubt that I’ll write a novel about that. I had a truly incredible day and it was just too good to ignore on my blog.
After nearly five months of separation, Angel and I reunited in our favourite city to see our favourite show. Nothing beats a stagey friendship. We somehow managed to pick the hottest day of the year (30 degree heat) and I turned up wearing a jumper and dungarees with a brolly in my bag. Never trust the British climate.
Being kids on a budget, we decided not to splash out on theatre tickets because:
- It’s been literally a century since we last saw each other so it was just as exciting being reunited as it was to see a show.
- We’re sitting FRONT ROW in September for cast change.
- Between us, we’ve seen the show something like 18 times so we’re not missing out on too much if the view is restricted. (I know, we’re sad!)
- It’s exciting sitting in different seats throughout the theatre because you always spot something you missed before. I always sit in the stalls and I have never realised that the Phantom appears above the set mid-way through the show? The story now makes sense…
We bought tickets in the grand circle (row B, seats 35-36) and they cost £21.50 each. Daylight robbery. Considering I’m used to taking out a second mortgage each time I book front row stalls (at £76.00), the view from this seat was so much better than I was anticipating. There were only a couple of moments in the show where the sightline was restricted but as a whole, the seats offered a great view. I’d sit there again with no qualms.
The performance, as per, was spectacular. Matt Blaker and Scott Davies stood in for Raoul and the Phantom respectively and placed a new perspective on the portrayals of these characters.
How have I managed to see Phantom 8 times (once with John Owen Jones) and missed Ben Forster five times? Pretty certain he’s avoiding me. But Scott Davies, you completely melted my heart. He pleaded for Christine to stay at the end of the Final Lair so much more than usual. Christine, I lo-ove you… so much. I’m so sorry. I’ve never seen a performance where the Phantom begs her so much, I was actually bawling.
Celinde Schoenmaker as Christine was incredible as always. She delivered such a feisty -performance. She just gets better and better each time I see her and I didn’t think that was possible.
So once again, thank you Phantom cast for yet another memorable performance.
After the show, we met Celinde again at stage door who dashed off to get some food and reappeared literally 30 seconds after she asked us to stay. I honestly have never met anyone as lovely and talented as her. We had a conversation about how bloody hot it was and she was sympathising with us for being in the auditorium… but girrrrrl, you’re in the spotlight wearing heavy dresses? I can’t even imagine how warm it must be up there on the stage. We discussed the performance and that we’re returning to see the cast’s final show. She asked us our plans over Summer and I mentioned I was preparing to move down to London in September where she gave me comfort in sharing her experience. She also told me I was ballsy enough to make the move. Thank you for empowering me, Celinde. She thanked us both for our continued support and that she really appreciates it and told us that we’re both beautiful. Yes, we were nearly in tears haha!
And to top the cherry on the cake, this happened…
Angel managed to get us a backstage tour of the show because she knows someone within the company. I honestly cannot thank them enough… a dream come true. It’s so fascinating behind the curtain and to see where all the props are hidden. I even got to sit on the stool behind the Phantom’s organ.
The best day and the best people!