Considered one of the most successful musicals of all time, The Phantom of The Opera remains a favourite of theatre-lover far and wide- even 10,000 Broadway shows later. When I heard that Leicester’s Curve Theatre was to be graced with the music of the night, I knew that I had to get tickets.
For a Tuesday evening, I was astounded at how popular the show was. Every seat that I could see was filled, and only a couple of minutes in, I could see why. Synchronised, stylish and sophisticated, this production oozed professionalism and an abundance of technical skill.
The principal cast was made up of Killian Donnelly as Phantom and Holly-Anne Hull as Christine Daaé, who performed alongside Francesca Ellis (Madame Giry), Matt Harrop (Monsieur Finn), Adam Linstead (Monsieur André), Saori Oda (Carlotta Giudicelli), Rhys Whitfield (Raoul) and Ellie Young (Meg Giry). Despite this certainly not being a large cast by any means, each character was portrayed with clarity, sophistication and charisma.
The larger-than-life Carlotta created a stark contrast to the timid, yet strong-willed, Meg, while the Phantom’s presence sparked fear in everybody- from strait-laced Madame Giry, to the courageous heart of Raoul. Humorous in some places, and tragic in others, every performer communicated their role with power and authority. The relationship between Christine and Meg was of particular importance, with the pair’s friendship being a familiar and warming sight to witness in the midst of tragedy and forthcoming misery.
It must also be said that if you ever get the pleasure of hearing the voices of Hull and Oda (or seeing this show on tour), you will not be left disappointed. Breathtakingly high notes commanded the whole theatre’s attention and left me with goosebumps on my arms.
When watching a show, perhaps the most important factor is the stage; how it looks and the purpose it serves. The Phantom of the Opera is no exception. In this production, the stage was layered with intricately detailed props, that were placed with purpose and reason. Long, plush curtains heightened the atmosphere of the entire production and provided a transitional element to the alternating of scenery. As in any interpretation of this show, one of the highlights (in terms of set) includes the crossing of the lake, and the entrance into the Phantom’s lair; low smoke and small flickers of yellow light were used to recreate water, as well as represent small pockets of hope for Christine. This scene stole the show for so many reasons, but it was largely due to its aesthetic nature.
If you know The Phantom of the Opera already, or have any knowledge of Andrew Lloyd Webber, the music is what stands out. Iconic songs, such as Angel of Music, The Music of the Night, and, of course, The Phantom of the Opera soared throughout the theatre, as visually captivating as they were incredibly moving to hear. Alongside these, thunderous, instrumental musical accompaniment added a perfect blend of intensity and tragedy to the production.
If you have the opportunity to watch this show on tour, I urge you to do so. From characters to costumes, and from lighting to staging, the production was well thought-out and choreographed perfectly.
The Phantom of the Opera is currently on a UK tour. You can buy tickets here: https://uktour.thephantomoftheopera.com/tickets/
Words by Paige Bradshaw.