AS A big fan of musicals I’m not sure how I’ve made it to the age of 28 without seeing one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best known musicals, but my first experience of The Phantom of the Opera at the Mayflower ensured it is now a firm favourite.
Everything about this new production from West End legend Cameron Mackintosh was incredible – from the singing to the staging, the costumes to the orchestra; this was a truly flawless performance.
The story of a mysterious, deformed architect and musical genius who haunts the company of a Parisian opera house and takes it upon himself to tutor young ingénue Christine Daaé (Katie Hall) is one that has been wowing audiences for a quarter of a century.
From the moment the organ started up and the chandelier eerily came to life, I was completely enthralled by the spine-chilling score and incredible set.
The show is a real visual and aural spectacle and my friend, a Phantom enthusiast, confirmed this new production hasn’t lost any of the show’s past magic.
Although she said Simon Bailey as Raoul, the Phantom’s love rival, didn’t quite meet her high expectations, I thought he held his own in my favourite song, All I Ask of You.
I had seen Earl Carpenter, who took the title role, as Javert and Hall as Cosette in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Misérables, so I knew they both had great voices, and this show really allowed their talent to shine.
The scene where the Phantom leads Christine down to his underground lair and the performance of the title song stayed with me long after the curtain fell.
If, like me, you haven’t managed to see it yet, you must go.
* Until February 16.