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Name: Michelle | Gender: n/a | Posts: 42 | Roses: 10
Old 08-12-2015 at 04:05 PM
Knight of Cydonia
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Phantom at the West End  Post [1]


First off, big congratulations to Phantom for reaching 12,000 performances at the West End yesterday (August 11th, 2015)!

(I'm kicking myself for not realizing it and booking a ticket for the show since I'm in London right now... ahh oh well)

Anyways, who's seen Phantom at Her Majesty's Theatre in the West End, the place that started it all? Any thoughts on current productions? John Owen Jones is returning next month, so that's exciting! I saw the show just a couple weeks ago there and I couldn't have been happier with it. Geronimo Rauch did a great Phantom.
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Name: James the Exceedingly Evil | Gender: Phan Dude | Age: 29 | Posts: 1,908 | Roses: 0
Old 10-10-2015 at 08:15 AM
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October 9, 2015 marks the 29th anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera's premiere at Her Majesty's Theatre on London's West End! Happy Birthday, dear Phantom!


It's wiser to be mad... in a world that's gone insane!
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Name: Mary | Gender: female | Posts: 18 | Roses: 10
Old 02-23-2016 at 08:13 PM
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Showing my age here, but I was always interested in Phantom from when the show first opened. I lived within day-trip distance of London, but... it was expensive, and it was so high-profile that you really needed to book months in advance. So I never got to it during Michael Crawford's run.

Later, I had the offer of a ticket at short notice with a group who were going. If I remember rightly, Dave Willetts was playing the Phantom by then. So I went, BUT - our seats were in the "balcony," right at the top/ back of the house. My strongest recollection is of thinking, "I'm sure this is a good show - I wish I was near enough to see it." I really don't recommend those seats.

So I got some more money together, made my own booking and went back, this time sitting almost at the front of the stalls. Peter Karrie was Phantom, and he absolutely captivated me. That was when I really fell in love with the show. Through the late 80's and into the 90's, I saw it several times, and then didn't go back for quite a while.

I hadn't been following Phantom news, and it was quite by chance that I heard about the 25th Anniversary performance at the Royal Albert Hall, just 2 days before booking opened. I was by then just a couple of years from retirement, when I'd be moving further away from London, so I thought, "Great - I'll go and see that, it'll probably be my last Phantom, but I'll go out on a high." Booking opened at 10am on Monday, I was on the website by 10:10, but had to wait in a queue until about 11:30 to get to the booking screen. I looked at what was available (and how much it cost!) for the 3 shows at the RAH, and settled for the Sunday evening, the final show and the one filmed for the DVD. With history repeating itself, I found myself once more at the back of the house - the cheapest seats at RAH cost about as much as best seats at the regular venue, while good seats were into the hundreds of pounds, way beyond my means.

Still, I enjoyed it. I like Ramin, even if he really is a little young and pretty for the part. And all the presentations at the end were great, when the original cast came on. A good evening, but... not the best Phantom show I'd seen, because of the limitations of the venue. No mirror bride, no descending angel or chandelier crash; I'm very glad to have the DVD, because it's a record of about 90% of the theatre production, but I did miss that other 10%.

So I thought, no, that can't be my "last" Phantom. I have to see it again at its real home, Her Majesty's Theatre. So a few months later I went with a work colleague. We sat in the front row of the Royal Circle, possibly the best seats in the house if you're not tall (not much legroom). The Phantom that time was Earl Carpenter. But for some reason I couldn't warm to him. He didn't do anything wrong, but he just didn't touch my heart the way the Phantom usually does.

Still looking for my ideal "last" Phantom, I went again a while later. (And sat in the stalls, right under the chandelier, so I could watch it swoop down at me!) This time it was Peter Joback in the title role. His singing at the RAH encore hadn't inspired me with confidence, but by the time I saw him, he had improved considerably. I won't say his voice was brilliant, I'd give it "borderline-acceptable." But he really scored with his acting. He captured the character for me, and really moved me. Thank you, Peter, for my last Phantom. It was worth waiting for.

Mary
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Name: James the Exceedingly Evil | Gender: Phan Dude | Age: 29 | Posts: 1,908 | Roses: 0
Old 02-24-2016 at 04:49 AM
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 Post [4]


Ooh, awesome! I enjoy reading posts about people's experiences seeing the show live, and I'm glad you had some great experiences seeing it on the West End with some great performers in the title role! Sadly, I've not had the chance to see it in London; but hopefully, I will someday, as I had great experiences seeing the show in other venues. The Internet is a wonderful thing for getting to see and hear lots of different casts (and I've certainly made use of the various methods available), but it's not nearly the same as getting to be there in person.

The current principal Phantom in London is Ben Forster, who was previously best known for winning the chance to star as Jesus in a recent revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, courtesy of a reality TV show in the UK. His voice isn't my cup of tea from what I've gotten to hear, but I'm curious about what his acting is like in the role.


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Name: Michelle | Gender: n/a | Posts: 42 | Roses: 10
Old 06-20-2016 at 05:03 AM
Knight of Cydonia
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I hope you get a chance to see it in London one day!

My brother will be in London in a few weeks and I've been trying to convince him to see Phantom. He's never seen it, and he's deciding with a friend what to see on the West End. If he does go I can't wait to hear his review.
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Name: Bleeding_Masque | Gender: Female | Posts: 100 | Roses: 10
Old 06-28-2016 at 03:40 AM
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I've only seen Phantom once and that was at Her Majesty's Theater in New York Howard McGillan played the Phantom
Susan Owen played Christine(understudy) Shawn Michael Lewis-Raoul, Heather McFadden-Meg Marilyn Caskey - Mme Giry, George Lee Andrews as Andre and Jon Cryer as Firmin, Patricia Philips as Carlott and Wayne Evans as Piangi...It was Susan Owens debut at her majesty's theater in the role of Christine (she had played Christine elsewhere) I'm misplaced the playbill..or are you talking about a theater in London?
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Name: Mary | Gender: female | Posts: 18 | Roses: 10
Old 06-29-2016 at 12:10 PM
MarySkater
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Phantom's home in New York is the Majestic Theater. In London it's Her Majesty's Theatre. The similar-sounding names can cause confusion.
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Name: James the Exceedingly Evil | Gender: Phan Dude | Age: 29 | Posts: 1,908 | Roses: 0
Old 08-05-2017 at 07:47 AM
IamErik771
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 Post [8]


They've announced the new West End cast -- in September, Ben Forster, Celinde Schoenmaker, Nadim Naaman, and Harriet Jones will be leaving the cast. Replacing them will be Ben Lewis (former LND Phantom in Australia) as the Phantom, Kelly Mathieson as Christine, Jeremy Taylor as Raoul, and Amy Manford as the Christine alternate. Here's the article from WhatsOnStage detailing cast information.


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