Review: Phantom Of The Opera
PUBLISHED: 16:16 30 May 2012
‘THE Phantom of the Opera is here’ – the now-famous words have been boomed by many a phantom on thousands of stages.
But the line was as powerful as ever as a fresh run of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical took to The Bristol Hippodrome stage this month.
The show, Broadway’s second-longest production behind only Les Miserables, first opened in 1986 – but the new run in Bristol brings the opera ghost to life all over again.
The story sees a theatre haunted by a mysterious masked figure who starts to wreak havoc when new owners break its status quo and hire a beautiful star – who the ‘phantom’ quickly and relentlessly courts.
From the opening curtain to the standing ovation, the cast brought an energy and chemistry to the stage – particularly John Owen-Jones as the tortured, menacing, yet vulnerable phantom and Simon Bailey as the kindly, handsome love interest, Raoul.
Katie Hall as Christine Daaé, the leading lady, was also excellent, if overshadowed by the strength of Owen-Jones’ opera ghost.
Technically, the production dazzled in all the right places, with whizz-bangs, fire spurting from the stage’s edge and a large moving cylinder from which the cast descend into a smoky abyss just before the first half’s conclusion.
Each song was memorably delivered, with Masquerade at the opening of the second act striking for its dazzling dance choreography and Point of No Return a high point in the main characters’ exposition and a deliciously dark twist.
At times, the action felt a little chaotic with actors singing over one another, making it difficult to discern the lyrics, and the first half felt a tad overlong, but generally this is a fresh, dynamic take on a genuine classic.
The Phantom Of The Opera is playing at The Bristol Hippodrome in Saint Augustine’s Parade, Bristol until June 30.
Tickets, priced £21-56, are available from www.atgtickets.com/bristol or by calling 0844 8713012.
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