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The Phantom of The Opera

I love the Phantom of The Opera – I love the music, the romance, the way it makes me cry every single time I watch it, the way I get goosebumps when that music starts and the way  Christine loves him as much as he loves her really.

Several years ago was the 25th anniversary of the show and they did a special show at the Royal Albert Hall which was recorded and put on DVD.

The DVD is great, but there are some nuances (the chandelier!!!) that you just didn’t get as the RAH isn’t set up for the show properly like Her Majesty’s Theatre is.

Regardless, I love watching the DVD and on Christmas Day, I introduced the children to it.

Well! The only time they’re usually that quiet is when Doctor Who is on! For 3 hours they sat spellbound by opera! It was fab.

Kyle and Alex seemed especially taken with it – Kyle watched it over and over again, he has the music on his phone too so that he can listen to it whenever he wants.

Because of this, an idea began to form! Mum and I conspired to take the entire family to see Phantom at Her Majesty’s Theatre for Kyle’s 21st birthday which is this month. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get tickets for the 25th, but we could get them for the 15th!! Seven seats (Me, Mum, Kyle, Matt, Jess, Alex and Vicky!) all together in a row – so I booked the tickets.

That was in May – the entire family knew and we kept it a secret for four whole months!!

On Friday, Mum told Kyle that they were going out for the day on Saturday, they packed a lunch and got on the train.  I had already left with the others to drive to Ryde to park the car and meet them at the train station.

We got on the train and I informed Kyle that we were doing something special, but I refused to tell him what. We went across on the ferry to Portsmouth Harbour and went to the platform to await the train.

Kyle deduced that we were getting on a train headed to London, but we still wouldn’t tell him why.

Waving goodbye to a train

We waited for half an hour and then ten minutes before the train was due an announcement came over the PA saying that the train wouldn’t be coming into Portsmouth Harbour, it was going to terminate at Portsmouth & Southsea as it was late.

Well, that’s lovely – but what the hell were we supposed to do?? I approached an employee in panic and he told me to catch a train at the next platform, change at Barnham and arrive a half hour later than we were originally supposed to!

That only gave us 45 minutes to get from Victoria Train Station to Her Majesty’s Theatre in Haymarket!

We got on the train and then debated whether to eat our picnic on that train or wait until we’d changed. I decided to eat then as we didn’t know how far away Barnham was and I was starving!

I opened the bag and discovered I’d packed everything except the sandwiches :(

I wasn’t happy! Good thing the train was quite full, or I would’ve gotten quite vocal about my own stupidity!

We ate some of what we had and changed trains without any more trouble.

We arrived in Victoria at 1.45pm and Mum decided she would rather pay for a taxi than risk running late on London Underground, so we did and we arrived at the theatre in good time.

Mum went in one taxi with Matt, Vicky and Kyle while Jess and Alex came in another cab with me.

We arrived first and stood outside the theatre waiting excitedly.

Kyle reached our group last and we all stood and stared at him, he glanced at the theatre and as his eyes travelled upwards to the posters; realisation of where we were and what we were about to see dawned on his face.

It was magical to see his face change like that! He couldn’t believe it until I showed him the tickets.

In Our Seats

We raced in to our seats and waited impatiently for it to begin!

I won’t tell you anything about it, because if you haven’t seen it; I don’t want to spoil it for you – but I do recommend you go and see it! Especially if it’s in a theatre that it’s been shown in for a while!

The kids loved it and we were very happy to find out that Christine was played by a woman who had done the Portuguese voiceover for Jasmin in the Aladdin films – her voice was amazing!!!

The Phantom was good, but not a patch on Ramin (I saw Ramin Karimloo play the Phantom twice live, on the DVD and Jean Valjean in Les Miserables live and on DVD, I also attened a Ramin concert when I went to Scotland in May).

Free hugs!!!

The rest of the cast were their usual fabulous selves and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Naturally, I was crying by the time the Phantom song came on – but then, I always do!

After it was finished, we headed into Trafalgar where a group of people were giving out free hugs!

It was after that that things went downhill a bit – Kyle stormed off in a huff as he had a headache (he’d done well to hold it together that long without knowing what was going on, really). I refused to mollycoddle him and sent him a text telling him to stop being a brat, to come back and join us while we looked for somewhere to eat or I’d leave him in London.

When he came back, I calmly informed him why we couldn’t just immediately go and jump on a train and offered him some painkillers.

During that time, my mother took it on herself to tell Alex (who was slightly annoyed at Kyle) to ‘don’t spoil his big day!’

Understandably, Alex hit the roof and so did I when I found out what she’d said – as I explained; the only person ruining Kyle’s day was Kyle!

Big Ben

After we got everything calmed down, we took a pic of us by the fountain and then headed down Westminster to see Big Ben!

It was the perfect day to take a picture of it, so I did!

Then we decided that we’d walk down Victoria Street back to Victoria Station.

I had a row with mum halfway down Victoria Street and she didn’t really talk much to the rest of us for the whole trip back.

When we got to Victoria Station; Matt, Vicky and Mum went to Garfunkels, I took Kyle to the food court where we could all sit while he had a KFC and Jess, Alex and I had a Subway.

The trip home seemed to take forever, we were all exhausted and in pain and eager to get home!

It was all too much for Matt, who spent most of the journey like this:

Sleepy Matt

As the rest of us couldn’t sleep; we’re going to beat him bloody later!

All in all, it was an awesome day and we all really enjoyed it!

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