Welcome back to Access London and Thank You once again for continuing to support disabled Access to the arts in London.
Today's post is an update on the Access information for Her Majesty's Theatre and also features an interview with Katy Treharne who has returned to the Phantom cast as alternate Christine.
Her Majesty's Theatre has level access for wheelchairs, scooters and those who cannot manage stairs on Charles II street. Simply make yourself known to someone at the front of the theatre (usually someone is around from 30 minutes before a performance) and they will escort you around to the side entrance. This entrance leads into the rear of the stalls.
The stalls have a storage area for wheelchairs and scooters and accessible WC. There are spaces for 4 wheelchairs in row S in the stalls. If you can transfer, any aisle seat in the stalls can be booked (subject to availability). An usher is assigned to help and assist those in the wheelchair spaces and transfer seats.
There is an infra-red hearing loop system with 10 headsets available to use - these can be collected from the cloakroom or ask a member of staff (a receipt needs to be signed). Two assistance dogs per performance are permitted at Her Majesty's. Large print programmes and braille cast lists are also available upon request. Overall, Her Majesty's is very accessible and has some of the most disability aware staff I know of in any London theatre!
There are performances Monday-Saturday at 7.30pm and also matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.
To book Access Tickets for Phantom (currently from £22.50 each for you and a companion/carer in the stalls!) please call: 0844 412 4648. For all other tickets, please call: 0844 412 4653.
Today's cast interview is with Katy Treharne who has returned to the cast of Phantom this week as alternate Christine. Once again, a huge Thank You to Katy for her continued support for Access London.
How do you feel about returning to Her Majesty's and Phantom of the Opera?
I am very excited to be taking up the Alternate role of Christine. I now have set dates performing every week and I get my name on the dressing room!
When you left the cast in September 2011, did you realise you would be returning so soon?
I hoped that one day I would return to Her Majesty's and felt my time there wasn't up. I didn't expect it to be four months later though, but it's a blessing, the time was right and I am very happy to be back.
When you were last in the show you covered the role of Christine, you are now returning as alternate. Are you looking to change anything in the way you play her?
I have been working with a new director since being back. His name is Sam Hiller and he is an actor himself and has made me think of things differently, I have changed a few of the choices I make in the show, dramatically and vocally to help tell Christine's story a lot clearer.
Since your last run, both the actors playing The Phantom and Raoul have changed. What are you most looking forward to about working with Earl Carpenter and Killian Donnelly?
I absolutely love working with both of them. I adapt well to change and find it exciting working with new people as they bring different things to the roles and help me find new things and keep it all fresh.
As Christine you have two iconic songs in 'Think Of Me' and 'Wishing'. Is there one that you prefer to sing and if so, why?
They are both so different in Christine's journey. It's hard to pick a favourite as Think of Me is right at the beginning so nerves are more present but I love singing it and wearing a beautiful costume and I also love singing the cadenza and the high notes! Wishing is very emotional and I have a huge attachment to this song as I relate it to my own personal experiences and it has a special place.
Her Majesty's is a theatre that provides pretty good access to those with disabilities but, what is it like as a theatre to perform in?
It's a wonderful theatre to perform in. With Phantom having been there 25 years, not much has changed and so you really feel you are walking in the footsteps of past actors and singers who have played these iconic roles and that these characters were born here.
What is your fondest memory from the last time you were part of Phantom?
My fondest memory was when I took my last bow when I played Christine the last time. When John Owen Jones took his bow he signalled to the audience to applaud me and that brought a tear to my eye. I was very humbled.
You can see Katy perform as Christine every Monday and Friday at Her Majesty's Theatre.
You can also follow Katy on Twitter @KatyTree
COMING SOON: Les Miserables and Matilda