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Audience's love for Phantom never dies

PUBLISHED: 20:27 16 June 2011

Liz Robertson as Madame Giry with Ramin Kariloo as the Phantom

Liz Robertson as Madame Giry with Ramin Kariloo as the Phantom

Carherine ashmore

Take yourself back to the turn of the last century and to the vaudeville shows of Coney Island, US of A.

Despite the glamour and the fabulous costumes backstage can be a slightly sinister and murky world but this is where Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom (Ramin Karimloo) has hidden away after a disastrous fire wrecked the Paris opera house he called home.

As you would expect with a Lloyd Webber show Love Never Dies is a spectacle with some of the most amazing effects creating the atmosphere of Coney Island, using holograph type projections where even the peeling posters on the pier seem to be blowing in the wind.

The sets by Bob Crowley take you right into the story and if you’ve never seen the Phantom of the Opera it is possible to catch up with the story, but it is dark, so not best for the very young.

A new cast has just been unveiled at the Adelphi Theatre as the story is introduced to a fresh audience.

The Phantom is a musical genius who is loved by show girl Meg, played by Haley Flaherty, whose beautiful singing, no matter how hard she tries is ignored by him. But he is tormented by memories of his old love Christine Daae (Celia Graham).But the stage is set for heartbreak when Christine crosses the shores to raise money for her husband Raoul’s debts, an impressive David Thaxton who convinces as a wastrel with an empty wallet.

Meg’s mother theatre manager Madame Giry has stood by the Phantom through thick and thin and it’s great to see the graduate of Finch Stage School, Ilford, Liz Robertson who conveys the anxiety of a loyal worker fearful of being supplanted.

As you would expect with a Lloyd Webber show the performances are flawless and the big numbers memorable.

Christine and the Phantom’s duet Once Upon Another Time is particularly poignant and Love Never Dies is a stunning song for the Phantom’s leading lady.

This show offers spectacle and drama and the cheering audience at the Adelphi loved it.

Box office, Adelphi Theatre, The Strand, 0870 8300200

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