Composer: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Charles Hart
Additional Lyrics and Book: Richard Stilgoe
Director: Laurence Connor
Reviewer: Francesca Parker
The Public Reviews Rating:
Audiences can do nothing but surrender to The Music of The Night in Cameron Mackintosh’s breath-taking new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of The Opera. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Webber first unveiled his now classic retelling of Le Fantôme de l’Opera in London in 1986, and to this day, it heralds itself to be one of the most spectacular productions in theatrical history. Directed by Laurence Connor and overseen by the critically acclaimed Matthew Bourne, this completely restaged version of The Phantom of the Opera is a work of art.
The tale begins in an old dilapidated Opera House where the remaining contents are being auctioned to the highest bidder. There is, unlike many of the previous lots, a sense of sentimentality attached to a particular music box and a myth associated to Lot 666 which is dramatically uncovered. The auctioneer foretells of a mysterious ghost who haunts the theatre, plaguing those who do not adhere to his rules and command his will, leaving only devastation in his wake. Once the items have been purchased; the stage swiftly transforms into a glamorous and self-contained theatre. The audience is then transporting back in time to when the Opera House was not in ruin but at the height of its success. As the story begins to unfurl and unnerving events start to take place The Phantom (John Owen-Jones) masquerades his true intentions through Christine Daaé (Katie Hall) and a string of instructive letters. The musical explores themes of love and loss, but above all a burning desire that can never be truly extinguished.
This production is of the highest calibre. Notable performances come from Hall, as Christine Daaé and from her lover, Raoul (Simon Bailey). However Owen-Jones’ magnificent display of vocal ability in the role of The Phantom was nothing short of sublime, singlehandedly elevating the production to an ethereal status. Such talent, when combined with the visually exciting and highly complex set created by Paul Brown, and the beautiful costumes designed by Maria Björnson, leaves the audience revelling in what can only be described as a work of art. Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera is truly breath-taking; the audience is captured by a Magical Lasso and taken on a journey past The Point of No Return into a world where beauty lies in the darkest places. This UK tour is a triumph.
Runs Until 20th October
;The Phantom of the Opera - Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh,