This week, we headed down to the West End to check out The Phantom of the Opera, which is still pulling in huge crowds 30 years since it opened. Here’s our top five reasons to join the millions who have seen it.
1. Set and staging
The show is a visual feast, with Maria Björnson’s set design still inspiring awe after all these years. Whether it’s the smoke filled gondolas or majestic staircases, it makes for a spectacular and surprising experience. Combined with Harold Prince’s direction and Gillian Lynne’s choreography, Phantom still wows 30 years later.
The show is also resplendent with some wonderful costumes, particularly during the Masquerade sequence at the start of the second half. Set in 1881, Phantom takes advantage of the colour and elaborateness of the period’s outfits. You may leave lamenting that we do not still wear gowns and top hats!
The score for The Phantom Of The Opera composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe (and Mike Batt!) boasts some well known classics – showstopping tunes like The Phantom of the Opera, All I Ask of You and Music of the Night. The score is far more operatic and intricate than many West End musicals, requiring some virtuoso performances from the cast. Phantom also features three brilliant shows within the show, specially composed operas that serve as the backdrop for much of the most dramatic action.
4. Celinde Schoenmaker as Christine Daae
Christine is one of the most iconic roles in musical theatre; a chorus girl who becomes the object of obsession for the mysterious Phantom. The immensely talented Schoenmaker, previously Fantine in Les Miserables, is a delight to watch, with a soaring voice and a remarkable upper register. Even though her character does not have the final bow, in many ways Schoenmaker’s performances makes the show her own.
5. The famous chandelier
No spoilers here but keep an eye on what’s above your head…