Saturday, 27 February 2016

Phantom of the Opera | Her Majesty's Theatre

Despite being such a big fan of Phantom I only saw it for the first time in London last weekend. I'd seen the show's tour a few years ago at the Birmingham Hippodrome but it was a bit hazy in my memory and I was excited to see the full scale extravaganza on the West End stage. I saw two understudies- Scott Davies as the Phantom and Emmi Christensson as Christine who were both excellent and despite some very rude theatre-goers sitting nearby, I really loved the show.
The Phantom of the Opera has been running in London for over 30 years now and I can see why. The music is beautiful, the story is gripping and the set and effects really are mind blowing. One of my favourite parts of the show is the title song as Phantom leads Christine down into his lair. We were sitting in the Royal Circle so the overhang from the balcony above did eclipse our view at certain points but my eyes were glued to the stage as the Phantom rowed across to his 'lair'. Davies' Music of the Night was simply stunning- I find the performance of this song can really make or break a show but he absolutely nailed it and it felt like I was holding my breath for the duration of the number. Other highlights for me were Emmi's Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again (which made me tear up thanks to the beauty of her voice) and the final scene where the emotion felt really raw and real. It's fair to say I was a bit of an emotional mess at the end!

The show is one of the more pricier ones in the West End at the moment (more so than Les Mis for example) but I definitely think it's worth it. It's a must-see for all musicals fans because it's such a classic and you know that you're going to get an excellent performance whichever cast members are performing. That being said I've heard such great things about Ben Forster and Celinde Schoenmaker in the role that I am definitely going to try and make it back to Her Majesty's to see them before the end of their run.

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