The Phantom of the Opera London Review (NO PLOT SPOILERS)
Updated: Dec 16, 2019
Andrew Lloyd Weber’s iconic show of The Phantom of the Opera follows a series of unexplained and seemingly supernatural events at the Paris Opera house and the journey in which soprano Christine Daaé must endure.
If you know me personally, you’d know that I am a huge fan of the Phantom of the Opera. I have now seen the show twice, read Gaston Leroux’s original novel and have seen both the 25th anniversary, 1925 and 2004 film.
However, I first watched the show in July 2017 and have watched it for the second time in January 2018. So naturally, I will discuss my casting preferences since the cast changed in September. Another key thing to note is when I first saw The Phantom of the Opera, I was sat in the second row from the front, whereas this time I was sat in the Grand Circle, so I would like to think I can cover a range of seating experience and my enjoyment of the show. I saw the show at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London, but I know that the show is in other countries.
Firstly, I found that the seating didn’t affect my appreciation and love of the show as I still found myself with a very good view. When compared to sitting at the front, I did find that I could see more action taking place from higher levels of the stage which was somewhat difficult at the front. However, sitting right in front of the stage allowed me to feel the raw emotion and expression of the show which was truly unforgettable. If you are wanting to go, I’d say avoid any restricted sitting, but generally most places you sit you can see everything.
As before, the staging and special effects blew my mind. It is truly breathtaking to endure. I have found the staging and construction of the Phantom of the Opera to always be magical and cleverly designed. If you get a chance to go to watch the show, I highly recommend even just based on the staging and clever costume designs.
The new cast features Ben Lewis in the titular role, taking over from Ben Forster. I personally preferred Ben Lewis as I felt that his voice is more powerful but was also able to perfectly express the isolated character with softer vocals. Kelly Mathieson took over the role of Chrstine Daaé from Celinde Schoenmaker. I find these two hard to compare as they took different approaches to the character. I found Celinde Schoenmaker to be more headstrong with a powerful voice whereas Kelly Mathieson took a gentler approach to the character. Jeremy Taylor took over the role of Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny from Nadim Naaman. I personally preferred Nadim’s portrayal of the character as I found it to be more charismatic and like the original novel. Naturally I prefer Raoul to be portrayed as sympathetic and protective of Christine rather than arrogant.
Siôn Lloyd and Mark Oxtoby continued their roles as Monsieur Firmin and Monsieur Andre, which were highlights to be in both performances for their light-hearted and humorous performances in an otherwise generally darker toned show. Also continuing their roles were Jacinta Mulcahy as Madame Giry, Paul Ettore Tabone as Ubaldo Piangi, both of whom I was impressed with on both occasions in their character portrayals.
Buy tickets here! https://uk.thephantomoftheopera.com/