Saturday, 26 February 2011

Phantom of the Opera & Her Majesty's Theatre - Part 1

The next couple of posts from Access London are on Her Majesty's Theatre and the phenomenon that is The Phantom of the Opera. This first part talks about the theatre, the show and the access to and within the theatre itself. Part 2 will talk about the current cast and even has a Q&A with the Phantom himself, the fabulous John Owen-Jones.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's acclaimed musical is a gothic, thrilling romance, set in the Paris Opera House in the early 1900s and is based on the book by Gaston Leroux. This year sees the 25th anniversary of the Phantom's run in the West End (in October) where it has its home at Her Majesty's Theatre on the Haymarket, a great central location, just down the road from Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.

Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a talented musical genius who lives in the bowels of the Paris Opera in a Lair at the edge of an underground lake. The Phantom (the Opera Ghost) is a tragic soul who has been badly disfigured from birth. Yet, he falls in love, and becomes obsessed with, a young ballet dancer and chorus girl, Christine Daae. The Phantom makes it his ambition and work to train Christine and make her the star of the Paris Opera and he will stop at nothing to get her there - not even when she falls in love with the young, new Patron of the opera, Raoul.

As well as the romance and obsession played out amongst the trio, there are also spectacular ensemble pieces, amazing sets, special effects and many comedy moments, especially from the owners of the opera house, Monsieurs Firmin and Andre, and the Prima Donna, Carlotta.

Overall, Phantom has stood the test of time as a musical because of the beauty, mystery and romance that it holds - a superbly, 'Phantastic' night out. To book tickets, call: 0844 412 4653

If you are in a wheelchair or use a mobility scooter then Her Majesty's Theatre is still easily accessible for you. Although the main entrance is on the Haymarket, a level and disabled access entrance can be found around the corner on Charles II Street. Simply inform a member of the front of house team on your arrival and they will escort you around to it. The disabled access entrance leads straight into the stalls area of the theatre. I found that every member of staff that I met at Her Majesty's was warm, welcoming and friendly and happy to help in any way they could.

To book access seats for Phantom and to discuss your requirements, please call 0844 412 4648. There are several seats in the stalls that can be removed to allow for a wheelchair. Please note that mobility scooters cannot be taken into the stalls, but can be left just inside the access enrance and next to the accessible toliet. If you can walk to your seat then any aisle seat in the stalls will be accessible as there are no steps, just a gentle slope - please ask for details when booking your accessible tickets.

Phantom of the Opera is one of the best nights out to the theatre in the West End. The current cast can be found on the next post. The sequel to Phantom, Love Never Dies, will also be posted on shortly as it too is very accessible.

Thank you for your continued support, please feel free to leave a comment and follow.

COMING NEXT: Phantom of the Opera part 2 - The Cast and The Man Behind the Mask!
COMING SOON: The 39 Steps and The National Gallery

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