The quality of musicals in London's West End is exceptional. In fact, it is considered, along with Broadway, the mecca of English-language musicals. All performances have a very high standard and that is why it is difficult to earn a place in the history of the West End. But there is one musical that has earned a special place in its own right: The Phantom of the Opera.
The play based on the novel by Gaston Leroux has been running continuously since 1986, making it the second longest-running musical in the West End and the third longest-running in its history. Since then, it has been staged for more than 13,000 performances attended by more than 140,000 spectators.
A fascinating plot, a spectacular staging and a soundtrack that has gone down in history are some of the keys to its success. If you are a lover of musicals, seeing this play is undoubtedly one of the things to see and do on your visit to London. For this I share with you everything you should know about the musical.
How to get tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera in London
The Phantom of the Opera is the masterpiece of the West End, so there are thousands of tourists who go to see the play every day. Therefore it is almost mandatory to purchase tickets for The Phantom of the Opera in advance.
Another advantage of buying our tickets online is that it allows us to choose seats. The further in advance you buy your tickets , the more options you will have to get the best seats. I recommend that you look at least a couple of weeks in advance. The best views are from the middle rows closest to the stage and the front row seats in the upper area.
There is always the possibility of getting tickets at the theater box office. It has no advantages over buying online, since at the box office there will only be the seats with less visibility in the event that the tickets are not sold out. But this option can always save us from a hurry, especially for those who are more prone to improvisation.
How much do tickets for The Phantom of the Opera in London cost?
The price of tickets to see the Phantom of the Opera musical varies depending on the chosen location. The cheapest ones start from 45 pounds which at the exchange rate is about 53.00 euros to 175.00 euros for the most expensive seats.
Between 53 and 67 euros we have the cheapest tickets but also with worse visibility. These seats are further away from the stage and on the sides, but although it is not the best place to enjoy the play, the visibility is still acceptable.
In an average range that goes from 81 euros to 95 euros approximately, we find the best tickets in relation to quality and price. The tickets are distributed from the area farthest from the stage, to the middle area of the stalls but more centered and with better visibility than the previous ones.
The best seats start at 100 euros and go up to almost 175 euros. Always close to the stage, centered and with perfect visibility.
Prices may vary depending on the date or the discounts we find. In times of high demand such as Christmas in London the rates tend to rise.
As a reference when choosing your seats keep in mind that the sides of the amphitheater have the most limited vision and in the back of the stalls and the first amphitheater you can find columns that hinder your vision.
What to expect from The Phantom of the Opera in London
The Phantom of the Opera musical is the work of director Andrew Lloyd Webber, who made a brilliant adaptation of the original novel by Gaston Leroux.
The staging is simply spectacular. It is surprising to see how such a small stage is used so well with such accomplished sets and how they change throughout the musical. In each performance some 230 costume elements are used, 280 candles are manually lit and the actors wear more than 100 wigs.
The story revolves around the figure of the ghost. A man with a disfigured face that he hides behind a mask and who dwells in the depths of the Paris opera house. The phantom rules the opera through the fear he provokes in its workers and by exercising violence against those who do not serve him. But all this changes when Christine, a singer with whom the ghost falls absolutely in love, appears on the scene.
The protagonist's attempts to conquer the beautiful singer, who loves an opera director named Raoul, are the central axis of a passionate story of love and jealousy.
In the play, the story is divided into a prologue and two acts lasting two and a half hours with a 15-minute intermission in between. It involves more than 40 actors including singers, choirs, extras and ballet.
The Phantom of the Opera London Performance Schedule
The Phantom of the Opera musical has performances Monday through Saturday, no show on Sundays, at 7:30 pm. In addition, on Thursdays and Saturdays there are two extra performances at 2:30 in the afternoon.
Please note that the musical lasts 2 and a half hours. If you want some advice on what day is best to go, I recommend between Monday and Wednesday. All shows are crowded, but from Thursday onwards there is usually more demand so going early in the week you have a better chance of getting good tickets.
In which theater is The Phantom of the Opera performed in London and what is its address?
The musical is performed at the legendary Her Majesty's Theatre. It opened its doors in 1897 and began hosting plays by William Shakespeare and other classics. Since 1986 the Phantom of the Opera has been performed on its stage. The theater has a capacity for 1,216 spectators.
The building is located in London's Haymarket Street, very close to the famous Trafalgar Square. Given its location in the heart of London is very easy to reach.
My favorite way to get there is by London Underground. The closest is Piccadilly Circus, Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines, whose stop is 5 minutes walk from the theater. By bus lines that take you to the theater are 6, 13, 15, 23, 139, 159 and 453.
The car is not the best option given the busy traffic in central London. But if you choose this option the nearest parking lot is located next to Leicester Square, 5 minutes walk from Her Majesty's Theatre.
Can I see The Phantom of the Opera in London with children? Is this play recommended for minors?
The Phantom of the Opera is not the best musical to see if you go to London with children, but this does not mean that it is exclusively for adults. The play is recommended for children over 12 years old, although the entrance is allowed for children over 5 years old. My advice is to heed the recommendation and not go if you go with children under the age indicated. The story itself is suitable for children, but some scenes of the musical have a dark tone that can be scary for the little ones.
What level of English do I need to see The Phantom of the Opera in London?
The story of the Phantom of the Opera is well known all over the world. If you already know it from the novel, from the movies or from other plays, it is not necessary to have a good level of English to enjoy the play. The scenery, the costumes, the performances... Everything is of a very high level so that, without understanding the dialogues, you can follow the thread of the musical without any problem.
Likewise, if you do not know the story and do not want to uncover the surprise, English is not mandatory. You will probably understand the play perfectly. Of course, if you master the English language you will not miss any detail and the musical will be more enjoyable.
What is the dress code for this musical?
On paper and officially in London's West End theaters there is no dress code. So you are free to choose how to dress.
Regarding the dress code you should know that all theaters, including Her Majesty's Theatre, have a checkroom service. This service is about 2 pounds, about 2.36 euros, per garment.
Should I have dinner before or after the show? Will the restaurants be open in the surrounding area?
The evening performances at 19:30 do coincide with the usual dinner time in the UK. That is why Her Majesty's Theatre, and all the West End theaters, has a cafeteria service. It is customary to order a snack before the performance and have it at intermission. If you choose to do so, you will find your order ready with your name on it when you leave at intermission. With the evening pass you will leave at 22:00 in the evening and London restaurants usually close around 23:00. You have time but you would be in a hurry. So I recommend the cafeteria option.
On Thursdays and Saturdays they have a 14:30 pass and in this case it does not affect the meal. Lunch time in London starts around 12:00 noon so you have plenty of time to have lunch in a nearby restaurant.
Why do we recommend this musical?
The great advantage of the classics is that they are a safe bet and The Phantom of the Opera is no exception. The more than 30 years it has been on the bill are a good endorsement of this. If among all the options offered by the West End you choose this one, I assure you that you will not be disappointed.
The play is outstanding in all aspects that a good musical should have. A spectacular staging, sets cared to the smallest detail, a story that captures and excites the viewer, a cast to match and, of course, a soundtrack that is part of the history of musicals.
Other similar musicals you may be interested in
If for some reason the Phantom of the Opera does not convince you, or you have seen it and you have fallen in love with it, the West End has many alternatives for you. Here are the best ones:
The other great West End classic. Only Les Miserables has been on stage longer than Phantom of the Opera. Only 1 year longer. The play is based on the novel by Victor Hugo and is a superb adaptation of it.
A spectacular musical of 2 and a half hours that is performed at the Queen's Theatre, 5 minutes walk from Piccadilly Circus tube station.
If you like love stories like the Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rouge is sure to catch your attention. A show where Baz Luhrmann's film comes to life with great performances and its mythical soundtrack splendidly interpreted.
The Piccadilly Theatre, next to the square and the subway stop of the same name, hosts this great musical.
You already know everything about one of the greatest musicals of the West End and the planet. If you visit London drop by the Her Majesty's Theatre, the ghost of the opera is here.