The hype that comes with Phantom is unfathomable; celebrating its 28th year in London, following a sell-out 25th anniversary performance at the Royal Albert Hall starring Ramin Karimloo, and brand new productions touring the UK, US and further afield, it is easy to say that people can easily be swept up into the Phantom storm without seeing what is really behind that all to famous mask.
But if they were too look, as I did tonight, they would see a truly phenomenal production that, quite frankly, has blown everything I have ever seen out of the water. Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's outstanding score, combined with an excellent book by Webber and Richard Stilgoe enables seamless transitions between song and speech.
|The Phantom (Gerónimo Rauch) taking Christine to his lair.|
The Phantom, this evening, was played by Gerónimo Rauch, and what an excellent performance it was! The pain etched on his face within his lair as he let Christine go reduced me to tears - the kind of tears where your entire body sobs with your eyes - making it very clear how he had previously held down a phenomenal almost 3 year run as Jean Valjean in nearby Les Mis.
Emmi Christensson, who played Christine, and Raoul, portrayed by Liam Tamne, had fantastic on-stage chemistry.Their Act 1 finale has adorable, creating a delightful contrast with the violent outburst from The Phantom sending the phenomenal chandelier crashing back to the stage.
Within a very talented group of singers and dancers, Alicia Beck stood out as Meg Giry, Christine's friend and confident. Every single time she walked on stage, my eyes went straight to her. On top of this, she danced excellently along with the remainder of the fantastic cast, who proved that Phantom is truly a collaborative effort in the infamous Act 2 opener, Masquerade.
|The cast perform 'Masquerade'.|
The Phantom of the Opera is one of only three shows I have given a standing ovation - the others being the National Theatre's King Lear, and Matilda: The Musical - but, I am certain, that it was the most deserving. The fact that these astonishingly talented people are able to go out each and every night and perform the way they do blows my mind. The spectral narrative, underscored by that of true love, combined with a phenomenal score, live orchestra and cast ensure that The Phantom of the Opera remains inside your mind for a long time to pass.
This review was for a production seen on the 29th December 2014. During this period, Christine was normally played by Harriet Jones.
The Phantom of the Opera is currently booking at Her Majesty's Theatre until 26th September 2015. Tickets are available from the theatre box office, by calling 0844 412 2707, or by vising their website http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/tickets/box-office.