Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group – co-producers of The Phantom Of The Opera have confirmed that the show is not closing.
Things have taken a turn today as The Really Useful Group, co-producers of The Phantom Of The Opera have moved to inform the public that the show has not closed permanently and have confirmed that the “brilliant original” will be returning to the West End.
It seemed that things were not quite right when in response to Cameron Mackintosh’s closure announcement Andrew Lloyd Webber posted the following on Twitter:-
"As far as I’m concerned Phantom will reopen as soon as is possible" – ALW
— Andrew Lloyd Webber (@OfficialALW) July 29, 2020
Today The Stage is carrying ann interview with Jessica Koravos, President of Really Useful Group said that Cameron Mackintosh was wrong and that the show was only closed during the pandemic period to allow works to be carried out on the shows set and the theatre where it has run continually for 34 years. They had planned the work several years into the future but that was bought forward to avoid two closure periods.
She said, “There are systems in that set you could not get replacement parts for any more – they just aren’t made after 34 years.”
On top of the show itself, the building is in need of work but assessing what needs to be done can only be done once the physical set is out of the building.
Koravos said that The Phantom Of The Opera would re-open at Her Majesty’s Theatre, that it would be Maria Bjornson’s design not a new version of the show. She added this would be the first production staged from scratch after the passing of award-winning director and theatrical legend Hal Prince and that his associates were very involved and would step up into key positions. With the passing of Maria Bjornson and Gillian Lynne too, this remounting was sure to be challenging.
Koravos declined to confirm details of the show’s large orchestra or details relating to the cast stating it was too early to say how this would be dealt with.
No date was set for the shows return. “I wish I could say it’s coming back and here’s when, but I can’t because of the layer of variables with the set and the building and the pandemic. But what I can say on behalf of RUG and Andrew is we will bring it back – we just can’t tell you when at this point in time,” she said.