West End Theatre Guide
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart, with additional input from Richard Stilgoe, based on the novel by Gaston Leroux. The musical premiered in the West End in 1986, and it opened on Broadway in 1988 where it went on to become the longest- running musical in Broadway’s history.
It follows the story of young, budding opera singer Christine Daae, and her tutorage by a dark, mysterious man who calls himself the Angel of Music and haunts the Paris Opera House causing several “accidents” when his demands go unmet and warnings unheeded. Naïve and eager to excel in her career, Daae initially welcomes the Phantom’s attentions, but soon grows frightened by his darkness and obsessive passions. She turns to childhood friend and prospective suitor, Raoul, for comfort, which enrages the jealous Phantom. This love triangle leads to heartbreak and triumph as both men fight for Christine’s love.
The musical captures the chaos of theatre production, the gruelling rehearsals young dancers go through to perfect their craft, the splendour of the opera, and the sinister atmosphere surrounding the alleged haunting of the theatre. The bright, vivid costumes and elaborate, intricate set brings to life the experience and immerses the audience in the world of the Paris Opera House.
The whirling romance, grandeur of the art and sinister atmosphere is built in Webber and Hart’s masterpiece score, including countless iconic musical theatre ballads, including, ‘Music of the Night’, ‘All I Ask of You’, ‘Angel of Music’, ‘Masquerade’, and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’.
The Phantom was played by Tim Howar (Chess, Rock of Ages, Mike and the Mechanics (music)), whose unorthodox, but powerful, voice suits the role and brings a new flavour to the long-established operatic role. Kelly Mathieson (Le Nozze de Figaro, Carmen) and Jeremy Taylor (Wicked, We Will Rock You, Evita) charm as Christine Daae and Raoul.
The Phantom of the Opera is a tragic, beautiful love story with a twist of ghostly chill. This musical has been running non-stop for over thirty years and still retains its magical, enticing, seductive qualities, and continues to live up to its reputation as one of the all-time great theatre classics.
The Phantom of the Opera is showing at Her Majesty’s Theatre and is currently booking until 2nd March 2019 (to book tickets, click here). For more information on your visit to Her Majesty’s, read our guide.