Looked at one way, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ is simply an extreme melodramatisation of one woman’s work/life dilemma: should pretty, flighty singer Christine stay with her mentor the Phantom, who will make her great but might not be much of a homemaker, or go traditional and marry Viscount Raoul?
This being the 1880s, she goes with the title, but has a lot of fun dithering; ten years on, when ‘Love Never Dies’ opens, the quandary hasn’t changed but the men have, and not for the better. There’s a lot to be said for a choice between a mysterious, disfigured genius and a handsome aristo; now Christine, whisked off to Coney Island with dipso husband and irritating soprano son, has to choose between a lush and a neurotic fairground-attraction owner, both suffering from severe self-esteem issues.
‘Love Never Dies’ has seen some frantic revamping of late, presumably in preparation for the Broadway opening (hence this second review), but despite some improvements, the new mask does little to hide the ugliness beneath; the problems are integral. There’s no mystery – indeed, now the first person we see onstage is the Phantom – and no Andrew Lloyd Webber tunes to match such delights as ‘The Music of the Night’, although there are tantalising trickles of the original melodies.
The special effects are nifty and the art deco scenery lush if anachronistic, but the lyrics (by Glenn Slater, now tweaked by the original’s Charles Hart) are terrible and the story (a hotchpotch from Webber, Ben Elton, Slater and Frederick Forsyth) simply silly.
Ramim Karimloo as the Phantom and Sierra Boggess as Christine both have lovely voices, but they aren’t given anything to say. The producers really have exchanged the Paris Opéra for an American theme park, and the swap is not a happy one.
|Event phone:||020 7907 7071|
Average User Rating
3.4 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:2
I am in awe of Andrew Lloyd Webber, he is a total genius. I loved the music the lyrics the set the costumes the story, it was all fantastic! I feel very lucky to have been able to have seen it before it closed. I am only gutted I will now never be able to see it again. How anyone could give such terrible reviews on this is shocking. Brilliant. Truly, love will never die.
Phantastic piece of theatre, I have seen it 5 times and was gutted to not have been there for the very last show. Each and every time it has been incredible. Wonderful acting and emotional vocals second to none which had the audience in tears for all the right reasons. This production and it's amazing cast will be sorely missed.
A big disappointment. Why is the Phantom younger than he was in the original? The costumes are rather ugly and the music is so-so. There's an awful number in the middle which feels very out of place and the child actor is excruciating to watch. Tickets very overpriced.
This show holds its audience in contempt and assumes them to be too stupid not to notice the blatant inconsistencies and contradictions with the original Phantom. Fans of the real Phantom show should stay away, otherwise prepare to be appalled by this shameless desecration of a classic.
I loved it! Thank God I ignored the critics and went to see it for myself, which is what the person sitting next to me said at the end of the show. I have been back to see it again with my daughter and son- in- law and they also loved it, so my advice is, go to see it and form your own opinion. As for the changes, I preferred the original start to the show which I saw in October but still enjoyed my second visit anyway. It is years since I saw the original Phantom, although I intend to go again soon, so maybe that was an advantage over people who are big fans of the first show.