Welcome back to Access London and Thank You once again for your continued support for Disability Access and Awareness in the Capital.
Today's post continues on with our popular series about Phantom of the Opera's upcoming 25th Anniversary in October. In previous posts we have looked at the access at Her Majesty's theatre and also the access and disabled facilities at the Royal Albert Hall where the celebration concerts are being held on the 1st and 2nd October 2011.
As mentioned before, the public tickets for the celebration concerts have unfortunately sold out but you can still celebrate this iconic and beautiful show by watching it at Her Majesty's Theatre on the Haymarket. The show's current cast see's John Owen Jones playing The Phantom and Sofia Escobar playing Christine Daae.
The Haymarket main entrance to Her Majesty's does have several steps up into the foyer. However, if you notify a member of the front of house team (there is always someone outside from about 45 minutes before the start of a show) then they will escort you round to the level, accessible entrance on Charles II Street. This entrance leads straight into an area at the rear of the stalls (there is also an accessible toilet in this area).
If you have booked a wheelchair bay then a member of staff will show you to your space. If, on the other hand, you have booked to transfer into a seat then you will be escorted to your seat - your wheelchair or scooter will then be taken to a storage area at the back of the stalls and brought back to you at the interval or end of the show. You can also arrange to have interval drinks brought to you at your seat.
To book Access Tickets for Phantom, please call 0844 412 4648. For all other tickets types and bookings, please call 0844 412 4653:
If you are a Blue Badge holder and are driving to the theatre then there are a couple of Blue Badge spaces on Charles II Street and also on St James' Square that is at the end of Charles II Street. Suffolk Street and Waterloo Place also have disabled parking available. Many of the blue badge parking bays in London have time limits on them during the day - however, most of these expire past 6pm, so for evening performances at the theatre, you are fine to park in them all evening.
Please remember that Westminster Council does not allow most parking on Single and Double Yellow lines for blue badge holders.
For a map of blue badge parking spaces in the area around Her Majesty's Theatre and the Haymarket, please see THIS SITE
Along with all the access information and advice on Her Majesty's Theatre and the Royal Albert Hall, Access London is proud and honoured to bring you interviews with current and former cast members of Phantom. In this special series, previous interviews have seen former Raoul, Michael Xavier and former Phantom, Richard Halton share their responses with us.
For today's post, Access London is pleased to present an interview with Katy Treharne - a current cast member in Phantom, playing The Princess in Hannibal and understudy for Christine Daae. Access London would like to take this opportunity to once again say a big Thank You to Katy for taking the time out to answer our questions.....
AL: Phantom marks your West End debut. What did it feel like when you first stepped out onto the West End stage?
KT: The first time I went out and performed my ensemble role was the most nerve-wracking but amazing moments. It all was a bit hazy as we were in rehearsals for four weeks and then we opened and it all seemed too sudden.
AL: How did you audition and land the part in Phantom?
KT: I got an audition through my agent and I was extremely lucky to get the part straight from college. I felt really honoured that they took a chance on me as they didn't know anything about me and I hadn't worked professionally before.
AL: Phantom's such an iconic show. How does it feel to be a part of this phenomenon?
KT: Being part of such an iconic show makes you feel part of it's history. When you meet the "PHans" at stage door and they tell you how man times they've been to see the show and how much they still love it, it makes you realise what a beautiful piece of theatre it is and also, with shows in the West End closing and Phantom is approaching its 25 Anniversary you can feel proud to be a part of it.
AL: You play the Princess in Hannibal among other parts in the show. What is the atmosphere like backstage with everyone dashing about?
KT: The atmosphere at the beginning of the show is something special. When the audience are watching the chandelier rise with the brilliant orchestra playing everyone's rushing back and forth the stage getting changed and into position. That moment gives me goosebumps.
AL: You understudy for the female lead Christine Daae. Have you had many chances to perform this in front of an audience, what was it like?
KT: I have been one of the luckiest understudies in the West End as in the two years I have been in Phantom I have performed Christine, to date, over 90 times. It would be incredible by the time I leave to reach 100 shows but I won't be disappointed if not as I have had so many wonderful receptions from the audiences I have performed to.
AL: In your opinion, why is Phantom of the Opera so well loved and brings back audiences time and again?
KT: It is such a tragic love story, I think everyone can relate to the main characters. The music is very beautiful and audiences nowadays know all the songs, whereas you can go to a new musical and there could only be one or two recognisable songs. The sets and costumes are also iconic and a lot of effort is put into the show as a whole.
AL: The production has some amazing costumes and sets. Have you got any favourites?
KT: Talking of costumes and sets there are so many wonderful costumes. My favourite Christine costume is the Blue Managers costume as it is so period and I love the colour blue and the design of the dress is so flattering.
Maria's set designs are so well planned. I was lucky enough to visit the Opera House in Paris and I realised how she had captured the true essence of the opera house and brought it to the stage. I stood on the real steps and got quite chocked up.
AL: What is your favourite part to perform in the show?
KT: When I'm on as Christine, my favourite scene is the Final Lair with Phantom and Raoul. This scene is Christine's pivotal moment that she flits back to the Phantom and tries to show him that there is goodness and love in the world. The build up to the kiss is a very passionate scene and you can really show a different side to Christine.
AL: If you could play any role(s) in musical theatre what would it/they be?
KT: There are so many roles that I would love to do. I'd love to be Cosette in Les Mis, and also Maria in West Side Story. Gershwin is a genius and the vocal parts he has written are just perfect for the voice.
AL: Do you have a Birthday message for Phantom and its fans?
KT: I hope that all the fans really support the big birthday plans for Phantom in October, I don't know any details myself, but there is a huge opportunity to show the world what an amazing show Phantom is.
Katy will be appearing at Her Majesty's until Saturday 3rd Spetember 2011, when there will be a large cast change, if you can get there to see her before then, please do, and support the show and Katy. Wishing you all the best for the future Katy.
Katy will also be appearing in the Phantom 25th Anniversary Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. To keep up to date with her news, you can follw her on Twitter @katy_tre