The Phantom of the opera is one of my favourite shows in London. I have probably seen the show more than five times, and it never gets boring. The original literature was written by Gaston Leroux. However, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage adaptation in 1986 is absolutely phenomenal. The story, music, costumes, and stage is absolutely astonishing.
Unfortunately, it is not permitted to take any photos during the performance. However, before the performance, I took some photos of the interior of the theatre. It is not huge, and you will be surprised at how tiny the stage really is. Thus, it is exquisite, and you get into the spirit immediately.
This musical should be on the bucket list of anyone paying London a visit. Her Majesty’s Theatre has been housing over 10.000 performances of the Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom is also the second longest-running musical in London and staggering 100 million have watched the show worldwide. Again, an incredible amount of people appreciating the work by Andrew Lloyd Webber since 1986.
This time around, I had some of the best seats – on a Saturday, which is unheard of. It was like they performed right in front of me. I could see the faces and expressions clearly. The seats were very comfortable as well.
Although the vast majority of the audience probably knows all the songs, lyrics and maybe even the entire storyline, the story never fails to impress. It is escapism at its best and watching truly gifted singers and performers on stage bring this experience to another level.
As the lights dim, the audience becomes totally silent, and all focus is on the stage where an auction is taking place. It is a flash-forward in time, and the lots offered represents something significant to the bidders. They were directly involved in the “myth” and knew exactly what happened back then. Now, with most people gone, and themselves facing the complications of elderhood, – this is their last chance to grab on to something tangible, which brings back so many beautiful memories of love and compassion but also jealousy and hatred.
As the Chandelier gets uncovered the overture of the Phantom of the Opera begins. It is a dramatic and epic part, and suddenly we are flashed-back to a time where their stories began. It is the story of a woman who shares the love for two men, one being the “ghost” and the other, a socialite. Complete antithesis, but both totally in “love” with the same woman, namely, Christine Daaé.
The ghost feels some sort of entitlement and ownership over Christine Daaé. He is her mentor and “guardian angel.” In his mind, he created her and demands her unconditional love, yet she falls in love with another man. Therefore, the ghost becomes very jealous – he feels betrayed! She is afraid of his next steps. She cannot continue her life unless this “rivalry” between them is settled.
It gets to the point of no return where she faces him on stage in a passionate fashion, which was orchestrated by the Phantom himself. He lives in a world of delusion. The denouement of the story becomes evident when Christine reveals to the ghost that she loves him, but not actually in love with him. This is the breaking point and his ultimate defeat. He accepts her decision.
This is basically a brief description of the plot, but there are many subordinary plots in this complicated story.
Thanks to Ben Lewis, Kelly Mathieson, Jeremy Taylor, Amy Manford, Lara Martins, Sion Lloyd and the rest of the cast, and the dream team for giving a memorable performance at Her Majesty’s theatre.
I was mesmerized!