Company members from the West End production of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom Of the Opera”, have raised almost £12,000 for MacMillan Cancer Care by cycling more than 385km – in between shows – from central London all the way to the steps of the Paris Opera House (where the Phantom’s story is set) in jut 28 hours!
In memory of the late long-serving Les Miserable wig mistress Melanie Oakley-Dow, who died in 2013, and Phantom wardrobe assistant Paula MacIntosh, (who died last week, just six weeks after being diagnosed with breast cancer), “The Great Phantom Cross Channel Charity Cycle”, saw company members Ryan O’Gorman (Swing), Tim Laurenti (LeFevre), Tim Morgan (Don Atillio), Richard Munday (cover Raoul) and trumpeter Simon Cheney saddle and wrap up against the elements on an overnight cycle ride – departing after the second show on Saturday 9th May.
Exhausted form their epic journey, which saw the cyclists arrive in Paris at 03:00, having travelled through intense thick fog, mountainous terrain, 75% head-wind and (severe chaffing!), all five riders were back at work at Her Majesty’s Theatre for the 19:30 show on Monday evening.
By strange coincidence, when having their photograph taken outside Opera Garnier wearing their signature green Macmillan Cancer Cycle Tops emblazoned with the iconic Phantom mask, they were approached by a British lady visiting Paris with her husband, who just happened to be Lynda Thomas, the CEO of MacMillan Cancer Care!
Managed by Kieran Brown (cover Phantom), their JustGivingpage ‘Room 108’ was originally set for a target of £5,000 but at time of typing, the current online total is on its way to £11,500. ‘Room 108’ also organised several other fundraising events to add to their total, including:
• Two bucket collections at the theatre (by kind permission of Cameron Macintosh and RUG), following an emotional speech to the audience from Andy Hockley (Firmin), which saw the generous audiences donate £3480
• An auction of original Phantom inspired artwork by renowned Private Eye cartoonist Simon Key which sold for £391
• A special cabaret night, which took place at Soho venue Freedom’s “Kinky Kabaret”. Members of the company performed to a packed audience and Freedom generously donated all door proceeds and profits from the sales of a specially created Phantom cocktail. More than £829 was raised on that night.
The donations page closes on June 9th.
Thursday 14th May 2015