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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.
Killian Donnelly as The Phantom
Lucy St Louis as Christine
Holly-Anne Hull as Christine at certain performances
Rhys Whitfield as Raoul
Saori Oda as Carlotta Giudicelli
Matt Harrop as Monsieur Firmin
Adam Linstead as Monsieur Andre
Greg Castiglioni as Ubaldo Piangi
Francesca Ellis as Madame Giry
Ellie Young as Meg Giry
Leeroy Boone, Corina Clark, Edward Court, Lily De-La-Haye, Hywel Dowsell, Jemal Felix, Erin Flaherty, James Gant, Eilish Harmon-Beglan, Yukina Hasebe, Olivia Holland-Rose, Grace Hume, James Hume, Donald Craig Manuel, Jonathan Milton, Janet Mooney, Tim Morgan, Beatrice Penny-Toure, Michael Robert-Lowe, Nikki Skinner, Tim Southgate, Ashley Stillburn, Manon Taris, Anouk Van Laake, Skye Weiss, Simon Whitaker and Karen Wilkinson.
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Charles Hart & Richard Stilgoe
Book by Richard Stilgoe & Andrew Lloyd Webber
Directed by Hal Prince
Set design by Matt Kinley
Costume design by Jill Parker
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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