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Way back in 1986, Andrew Lloyd Webber's masterpiece, a wild and major romantic fantasy based on the 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux, opened in the West End. Whilst Webber and his collaborators hid at a bar around the corner awaiting the reviews, audiences immediately took to the epic rock opera and the tale of the tortured Phantom, played by Michael Crawford, their ecstatic reaction cementing the musical in pop culture forever.
Over three decades later, Phantom is still running at Her Majesty's Theatre. An era-defining classic, with a beloved campy electric hair-metal synth vibe, it has evolved into one of the West End's (and the world's) most successful shows. Due to continually high production values supporting breath-taking theatrical effects, it has stayed the distance, enthralling an estimated 140 million visitors. That's nearly twice the size of the British population!
As well as picking up 11 Olivier Awards throughout the years, Phantom has also received international accolades including seven Tony Awards on Broadway, five Mo Awards in Australia and even its own Hollywood adaptation.
Whether you're a returning Phan already aware of the thrilling events to come, or a Phantom innocent like Christine, there is always something for everyone in the opera-meets-fairy tale-spectacular.
Hidden in tunnels deep below the Paris Opera, there lies a mysterious deformed musical genius who stalks the halls and terrorizes the company. Grotesquely deformed, his face half-covered by his famous mask, his only happiness comes from his obsessive nighttime tutoring of the beautiful, orphaned chorus girl Christine Daae. Unseen, he teaches the young soprano to sing 'The Music of the Night.' Under the tutelage of her invisible 'Angel of Music', Christine blossoms, and steps out of the chorus and into the spotlight.
When Christine becomes engaged to another man, the Phantom is driven mad with jealousy and will stop at nothing to possess her, even murder. And so begins a tantalizing tale of forbidden love and supernatural adventure that will keep you in its clutches long after the last bar.
Could the Phantom more than just a myth? Gaston Leroux's book is based on popular theories about the eerie Palais Garnier (The Paris Opera), some of which include a fatal but unexplained accident with a lavish chandelier in 1896, and the story of a grand and well-stocked lake said to lie deep in its foundations...
Opening night: 9 October 1986
The Phantom of the Opera is recommended for children aged 10 and older. Children under 4 years of age will not be admitted to Her Majesty's Theatre.
2 hours 30 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.
Josh Piterman as The Phantom
Kelly Matheison as Christine Daae
Bridget Costello as Christine Daae alternate
Danny Whitehead as Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny
Britt Lenting as Carlotta Giudicielli
Ross Dawes as Monsieur Firmin
Richard Woodford as Monsieur Andre
Jacinta Mulcahy as Madame Giry
Paul Ettore Tabone as Ubaldo Piangi
Georgia Ware as Meg Giry
Scott Davies as Stand-by Phantom
Alistair So as Policeman in the Pit
Bridget Costello as Princess (Hannibal)
Sophie Caton as The Page (Don Juan Triumphant)
Hadrian Delacey as Joseph Buquet
Manon Taris as Confidante (Il Muto)
Philip Griffiths as Monsieur Reyer/Auctioneer
Victoria Ward as Madame Firmin
Ellen Jackson as Wardrobe Mistress
Tim Morgan as Monsieur Lefevre/Don Attilio
Paul Erbs as Passarino/Hairdresser
Kris Manuel as Firechief
Ben Tyler as Soldier (Hannibal)
Simon Whitaker as Jeweller (Il Muto)
Andrei Teodor Iliescu as Slave Master
Katy Hanna as Wild Woman (Hannibal)
Corinne Cowling as Princess (Hannibal)
James Butcher as Porter/Lion Man
The Ballet Chorus of the Opera Populaire
Zoe Arshamian, Sophie Cottrill, Morven Douglas, Danielle Stephens, Anna Shircliff and Claire Tilling.
Grace Castle, Matthew Barrow, Adam Robert Lewis, Eleanor Sanderson-Nash, Rebecca Ridout, John Stacey and Scott Davies.
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Charles Hart & Richard Stilgoe
Book by Richard Stilgoe & Andrew Lloyd Webber
Directed by Hal Prince
Musical Staging & Choreography by Gillian Lynne
Production Design by Maria Bjornson
Lighting Design by Andrew Bridge
Sound by Martin Levan
Orchestrations by David Cullen
Magical beautiful CAPTIVATING
Phantom today leaves a Titanic sized wake behind it in which the rest wallow for nearly 30 years.
Her Majesty's Theatre London, is where it all began. October 1986 and the curtain went up on the biggest gamble of Lloyd Webber's life.Read full review
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