Review: The Phantom of The Opera (Curve ~ then touring)

To happily borrow the very well-used word play adaptation, this The Phantom of the Opera touring production is 100% ephing Phantastic! This production is truly worth a big fat thesaurus of positive superlatives and then some more made up ones. The highly impressive set (adapted by Matt Kinley) has managed to magically transform the modern Curve stage into a lavish Opéra Populaire and other Gothic Parisian locations.

And that’s it really ~ this production is properly magical theatre ~ the type where the packed audience watch in awed silence throughout the entirety of the show ~ save a few appropriate laughs ~ then spend the interval grinning and gushing and finally finish off the night with a very well deserved total standing ovation in appreciation, not just of the terrific cast and amazing live orchestra, but of the whole musically melodramatic and thrilling package. It’s slick. It’s dark. It regularly startles in a heart beat. It’s visually and aurally stunning and this reviewer almost envies any audience member who is seeing this über impressive show for the very first time. You don’t need to go to London to see this (well you can if you want) because this touring production is totally on a par with the long running show at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA . #PhantomUK Tour. Photo Credit: Johan Persson

The cast is impressively big in number and this is particularly evident in the sparkling and “wow” inducing New Year’s Eve Masquerade scene. Killian Donnelly makes a phenomenal Phantom, working each of his Acheronian songs, aching and sexy duets and character motivations with a consummate mix of anger, malevolence and, ultimately, deep sympathy. His powerful vocals are mind-blowingly great. The whole show is well acted and sung, especially so in the case of Holly Anne-Hull’s beautiful and vulnerable portrayal of Christine Daaé. Her ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again’ is tremendously touching and has the audience in raptures of applause.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA . Holly Anne-Hull #PhantomUK Tour. Photo Credit: Johan Persson.

Her dependent love relationship with Rhys Whitfield’s dashing Raoul, Vicomte De Chagny is interesting to witness as those who know of the Phantom sequel Love Never Dies will be aware that he turns out, ten years on, to become a sad debt-ridden alcoholic and not quite the wealthy romantic figure he cuts in Phantom. But for now Whitfield’s performance is the perfect young Raoul with sonorous voice to match.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA . Killian Donnelly and Holly Anne-Hull #PhantomUK Tour. Photo Credit: Johan Persson.

There are solid supporting roles throughout from Saori Oda (Carlotta Giudicelli), Adam Linstead (Monsieur Andre), Matt Harrop (Monsieur Firmin), Greg Casitiglioni (Ubaldo Piangi), Francesca Ellis (Madam Giry) and Ellie Young (Meg Giry).

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA . Holly Anne-Hull #PhantomUK Tour. Photo Credit: Johan Persson.

The standards of staging, costume, sound and magical effects for this production are of the very highest order and the director Seth Sklar-Heyn and Chrissie Cartwright (adapted staging and choreography) have carried forward the theatrical legacies created and established by the late Harold Prince and Gillian Lynne. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe and Cameron Mackintosh should be delighted with this Really Useful Group current touring version of The Phantom of The Opera.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA by Webber, , Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, Producer – Cameron MacKintosh, Lighting – Andrew Bridge, Production Design -Maria Bjornson, Choreographer – Chrissie Cartwright, Tour Director – Seth Sklar Heyn, The Curve Theatre, Leicester, 2020, Credit: Johan Persson

 

If you can get a ticket do go and see this but please don’t sit in the reserved box five. Otherwise a ‘disaster beyond your imagination may occur!’ Don’t be a Phool ~ book now for this Phantom tour or you’ll regret it.

Photo credit. Pamela Raith.Phantom curtain bows.

The Phantom of The Opera runs at Curve until 21st March 2020

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Do you travel by public transport and come across annoying fellow travellers? Then check out Phil Lowe’s hilarious new book! below. Recommended age 16+

 

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