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UK: Her Majesty's, Haymarket, SW1Y 4QL. Tel: +44 (0)20 7494 5400. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus. Regent Theatre, Piccadilly, Hanley
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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    30 Reviews
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      19.01.2014 19:08
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      A well written and brilliantly performed musical

      The Phantom of the Opera
      Written By Andrew Lloyd Webber
      Lyrics by Charles Hart.

      Performed at Her Majesty's Theatre, Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4QL
      Showing:- I saw this performance on the 17th January 2014 at 7.30pm
      Ticket Prices:- I paid £60.00 for my ticket for a seat in the grand circle. The view was spectacular. Best seats I could have asked for. Prices vary depending on where you sit. There are many websites in which you can order tickets from the theatre recommend you order from www.seetheatre.com


      After many years of wanting to see The Phantom of the Opera in the west end I can now confirm that the dream has come try and I can tick it off my list. I have been and this review is going to be slightly hard to write because there are no words to describe this musical. It was amazing!!

      Synopsis
      Act one- The show starts at an auction of opera memorabilia at the famous Paris Opera House. An old Raoul bids and wins a music box which holds memories of his younger days, then with a swoop the remains of an old chandelier which has been situated centre stage is now hung again and the audience is taken back to Raoul's younger days and his fond memories.
      The audience are taken to the rehearsal of an opera 'Hannibal' where the manager explains to the company that he has sold the opera house to two new gentlemen called Andre and Firmin.
      A series of strange accidents happen and the cast are murine about a 'ghost' being the cause of these accidents of course Andre and Firmin accuse everyone of being superstitious and do not believe for a moment that they have bought a haunted opera house. Andre and Firmin receive a letter to state that the 'phantoms salary is due and that box five is to remain his box and never sold. When the star of the show Carlotta refuses to perform, Meg a dancer and daughter of Madame Giry's daughter suggests that Christina Daae should take her place as she has been having singing lessons. Christine refuses to say who she has received lessons from but tells Meg that it was the angel of music sent from her father. Christine is granted the role and after a spectacular performance she is met by Raoul her childhood friend, the meeting becomes a reunion and once Raoul leaves her to get changed before taking her out for Dinner, A mystery figure appears behind the mirror in Christine's room. The mirror turns into a secret passage way the dark figure is the phantom and he leads her to his lair. The phantom is Christine's teacher and she soon learns that he is a composer and is teaching her so that one day he'll be able to sing his music. Christine falls into a trance and next morning she awakes and tries to remove the mask that is covering half of the Phantoms face she succeeds and the phantom is angry and dismisses him from her lair. Carlotta returns for a role in the next opera but the phantom has sent many letters to the managers, Raoul, Madame Giry and to Carlotta to say that his demands must be met and Christine is to play the lead, they ignore the letters which ticks off the phantom and more accidents happen until Christine agrees to play the role during the short interval Christine and Raoul run up to the roof unaware that the phantom is hiding and listening to their plans they plan to leave together that night. The phantom is outraged and vows vengeance. As the cast takes their bows the chandelier comes crashing down from the ceiling.
      Act Two starts with a masquerade celebrating a new year and the Phantoms disappearing. Raoul and Christine have also become engaged, Christine has demanded that this stay secret, which is not what Raoul wants. With everyone celebrating it is not long until the Phantom turns up in person and not as a eerie voice which is how he previously voiced his opinion when not in a letter. Stood at the top of the Stairway the Phantom throws to Andre the score of the new opera which is to be performed. Raoul questions Madame Giry of the true identity of the Phantom as he believes she knows more than she is letting on. Madame Giry tells Raoul a story of a freak story that came to the town and how the Phantom was a boy locked up at a freak show who escaped and everything believes this boy to be dead. Raoul comes up with a plan to use the Phantoms opera as bait knowing that the Phantom will attend. Christine unhappily cooperates to help capture the Phantom. Christine visits her fathers grave in hope to detach herself from him she hopes then that will also release her from The Phantom. The phantom hypnotises Christine which is broken when Raoul turns up. The phantom then declares war. The opera is now underway the police are surrounding the stage and the opera plays out well Than Phantom takes the place of Piangi in the opera and is now the lead with Christine as it comes to an end Christine tears away the mask of the Phantom revealing the true identity of The Phantom and his hideous face. The phantom then disappears taking with him Christine to the Lair. Raoul begs Madame Giry to show him the way to The Phantoms lair if he has any hope of saving his Fiancé. The Phantom traps Raoul and makes Christine decide either to stay with the phantom forever or to see her beloved Raoul killed. The mob of police are coming closer to the Lair so the Phantom relents and orders them both out. Meg appears and all that is left of the phantom is his mask.

      The music and lyrics are superb from the first song 'Think of me' to the finale of 'Down once More' I am a huge fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber and believe that The Phantom of the Opera is his best show. My favourite song within the performance is when Christine is in the graveyard 'Wishing you were somehow here again' it's a song I can really relate to and I think the lyrics are touching and it's beautifully written song, that does not mean I do not like all the songs as currently I am listening to the whole soundtrack whilst writing this review and wishing I was an opera singer.

      Main Casting
      The Phantom- Geronimo Rauch
      Christine Daae- Harriet Jones
      Raoul- Sean Palmer
      Firmin- Andy Hockley
      Andre- Martin Ball
      Madame Giry- Jacinta Mulcahy
      Meg Giry- Cat Lane.

      The cast was perfect. The acting was relieved to an extremely high standard and all the characters portrayed exceptionally well. The singing pitch perfect, I was mesmerised throughout the whole show. I've seen shows in the past where one performer stands out as the clearly better one or a gender which takes a slight edge over the others but not in Phantom of the Opera. Everyone delivered a very high standard of performance. I could not have asked for a better casting.

      Set and Props
      The set was mainly an Opera House, with a few slight changes to the Lair and the graveyard. I found that this performance really worked with minimal set changes. It was perfect and the scene changes took place very fast and almost unnoticed. The main props I liked were the boat that The Phantom took Christine to his Lair in and the Monkey Music Box which did actually work. It was an amazing moment.


      Her Majesty's Theatre is located in Haymarket, which is walking distance from Picadilly or Trafalgar Square- I walked from Trafalgar Square. The theatre first opened in 1897. The Phantom of the Opera was first performed there in 1986.


      Words cannot describe how amazing this show really is. It's spectacular and I urge every single person on the planet to go and witness the perfectly performed show. You will not regret. It. The ticket prices are very good for a Show of such high talent and it definitely proves how it is still such a success. It was sold out the night I saw it with no surprise I didn't even realise there were other people in the auditorium I was fixated on the whole performance I don't even remember blinking. The time went so fast.5 stars for a brilliant show.

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      • More +
        02.06.2012 13:06
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        Must-see theatre show

        Wherever you go in central London, you are bound to be to hit, whether you like it or not, with some publicity for The Phantom of the Opera, but it cant just be that that continues to make the show as popular as it - I think its really got to do with what the show offers and the fact that watching it is such a memorable experience, and people just want to re-experience and tell everyone else how great it is!


        Location / Getting There
        ------------------------------
        Phantom of the Opera takes place in Her Majesty's theatre, which is located in central London, Haymarket. The closest underground tube station is either Piccadilly Circle on the Piccadilly line, where you can exit out for Haymarket and is only a short walk from there - or you can come out at Leicester Square on the Piccadilly line and the Northern line, which is also a short walk from Her Majesty's theatre.


        Schedule
        -----------
        The Phantom of the Opera can be seen from Monday to Saturday in the evenings at 7.30pm. Matinee shows can be seen from Thursday to Saturday at 2.30pm. There are no shows on Sunday. The show runs for 2 hours and 30 minutes with one intermission of around 15 minutes in the middle.


        About "Phantom of the Opera"
        --------------------------------------
        The Phantom of the Opera is now in its 26th year. The story of is an adaptation of Gaston Leroux's Le Fantôme de l'Opéra but the musical is a work of Andrew Lloyd Webber. The show has won three Olivier Awards and is regarded as one of the most successful musical performances of all time.

        Seating plan
        ----------------
        Since Her Majesty's Theatre is pretty big, the types of tickets you could buy will vary so much and also depends on which month you decide to go and how far in advance you book your seats for. So it is always useful to know which area of the theatre you would want to sit in, depending on personal preference. Below are the different area you could choose from, but officially Her Majesty's Theatre offers Stalls, Royal Circle, Upper Circle and Balcony - balcony being at the far back of the theatre.

        * Stalls: Stalls are usually all on one flat level without any gradient and all the stall seats are located in roughly the front half of the theatre. They are on a level lower than the stage so you will be looking up at the stage from these seats. Just make the decision of which tickets you go for from the stalls according to the row number offered; back rows of the stalls are bad seats in my opinion - the best of the stalls are normally in the front middle. Prices for Stalls seem to range from £70-50, the front of the Stalls at around £80 and other random Stall seats, like near the back and around the sides are around £50-40.

        * Royal Circle: I think the Royal circle at Her Majesty's offer the best seats, even if you were slightly towards the back rows of the section. We had seats near the front of this lot and has a stunning view. The Royal Circle is actually lower than the Upper Circle and slightly forward so the views will be better. It is basically the "Dress Circle" of any other theatre. You are also at a good level in relation to the stage, so you will get a better view of it, and you don't have to look up like you do when in the Stalls. If you get some good tickets in the Royal Circle, you will probably have a great time. The lowest prices are at the back and sides of the Royal Circle and range from around £40-50, but the best seats of the Royal Circle are around £60 and these are at the front rows.

        * Upper circle/Grand Circle: The Upper circle or Grand Circle in some ways can be as good as the Royal Circle and priced almost the same as that section, especially if you at the front of it. You will have the same sort of view as that of the Upper Circle only that you will be higher and up and your view will be slightly more distant. The prices range from around £25 if they are "restricted view" tickets, to £40 if they are side view and £50-£55 for normal middle and front seats.

        * Balcony: I personally would not buy tickets for the balcony, only because they are the seats right at the back of the theatre and it could mean that you will end up feeling disconnected what's going on, on stage. You can get seats for the balcony pretty cheap though, and if you are not wanting to spend a lot but still really want to go, then maybe try out these tickets - the side seats of the balcony are really inexpensive at around £20-£22 and the middle seats around £25-£28.

        * "Sides" vs "Centre" Rows: If the seat you choose is on the edges of the theatre (like the early or later numbers 1-5 or 29-35) these can be awkward seats most times as you might not get the "full" experience that you'd get when sitting as near to the centre seats as possible and could ruin your experience I think. That is why the tickets prices for these seats are so cheap. When you purchase your tickets, it's a good idea to check the theatre seating plan map to see what seats exactly you are paying for and if they look as though they are awkwardly positioned in the theatres, you may be better off just avoiding them and go for others at similar prices instead. Other than those few things, the majority of the seats are not too bad and all relative to how suitably you want to see the show and therefore how much you want to pay. I have always avoided side seats and the stalls and also have never paid more than £40 - £50 per seat for any other theatre show and we always go for the front row middle dress circle.


        The Show
        ------------
        * What is it about: The Phantom of the Opera is a love story revolving around two contrasting things like the beautiful and ugly - and centring on a love triangle, and incorporates this into a thriller-horror mostly because the Phantom ghost that terrorises the opera house. The story is told behind the scenes of this opera house, in a captivating and enchanting way, and the entire story is told through operatic singing. When Christine takes the place of the lead soprano after the Phantom drives her off, the Phantom develops a fascination with her and we see him go through some lengths in order to get her to love him back. The entire story is set after being taken into the past in order to be told the tale of this Phantom of the opera. The show begins in 1911, where an auction is being held and a chandelier is purchased, which once belonged to the top of an opera house. We are told right at this point during the opening of the show, the story behind this particular chandelier. However once the chandelier rises, the story starts once we go back to 1861. It's not just the fact that it is set during this era that gives it a gothic and haunting sort of feel, but the way it is told to us with its high and lows, shocks and surprises really brings it to an incredible, enjoyable and entertaining place. As much as the story is intense, mature, powerful and emotional, there are still scenes which make you smile since it seems a bit of humour is thrown every now and then which I thought was a really nice touch. And even though we may already know the story of the Phantom of the Opera whether it is after reading the book, watching the film or any other of adaption of it, I thought there was something about watching it live on stage that became slightly more captivating than expected.

        * The main characters: The Phantom was portrayed as an evil, grotesque deformed man that kidnaps Christine, but once we eventually become drawn into the story, despite the Phantoms dark characteristics, we feel nothing but pity and sympathy for him, and I thought this sort of gives off a sad feel to the story of this man because he just comes across as very passionate. He is the star of the show and his character presence on stage always justifies why we came to watch it! Every moment of his mysteriousness and his strange character adds to the elements of thrill and anticipation. Christine's character on stage is just as important as the Phantom and its just right that she is a great actor and singer and everything about her encounters with the Phantom gave off lots of emotion. Raoul is the other love interest of Christine and again like the other two main characters, his singing and acting where stunning. He obviously doesn't have that big a part as does the other love interest, but whatever we get from him on stage just falls into place so well.

        * The cast: There are always changes with the casting of the main characters, but when we recently went to go see it, the role of the Phantom was played by Earl Carpenter, and Sofia Escobar plays Christine. Raoul is played by Killian Donnelly, Wendy Ferguson as Carlotta and Monsieur Firmin is played by Barry James. The cast on the whole were so fantastic to watch - they looked just flawless and I think that just goes to make the experience of the show that much more interesting and special. There seems to have been so much attention to detail in the acting, the movements on stage, the relationships and chemistry between the characters, the singing and the charisma from these cast members playing the characters involved - it was definitely some of best quality acting I have seen on any theatre stage.

        * Theme/Setting: The opening of the show did feel pretty quick and sudden - it doesn't take too long to get started either. We see the auction scene, which directs us into the central object of the story that is the auction of the chandelier. From this fantastic exciting start from where the chandelier is raised and stays put for the rest of the show, I think you can kind of get the feeling that it was going to be a really great show! And it doesn't disappoint. There is so much going on during the performances, which really allows us to feel engrossed and absorbed with the story we are being told - especially the whole setting on stage, which brings out the story to its most excellent. We get things like rooms on stage that we can see into, gondolas that cruise across the stage alongside beautifully lit candles, a really steep bridge which stands across the back of the stage, but almost looks as though it reaches the ceiling, huge gothic gates, a massive wide case of stairs during an operatic scene, and a scene on a roof top - these are just a few of the amazing things we get to see during the show. The entire story is set in the night, and the whole mysterious atmospheric tone of the setting really brings us into that dark place we probably should be in as viewers. It looks as though, nothing is spared on this show, and even if it had been, it was hard to notice anything missing! The dramatic special effects where clearly there, from the energetic and sudden bursts of flames on stage, to smoke/dry ice and special/stage effects, appearance of the Phantom in a mirror and on top of the stage setting and the fantastic sound effects that kept us on the edge of our seats throughout. Overall, the special effects that we see on stage as definitely impressive - there is so much going on and after one fantastic scene is over, another scene is delivered which then goes on to top the scene before!

        * Music: Right from the very start, the music is loud giving us that brilliant organ-playing introduction we were waiting all day for. The singing is very piercing actually and if you are here for the story and not so much for the operatic singing, you will still enjoy it even though the singing takes up the majority of the show - I don't really get operatic singing myself, but I don't think that really excluded me from seeing and enjoying the show, which just goes to show that there is some much more to it, like the strength of the story itself. However, this musical is not really like other musicals - although this is pretty obvious, there are very little scenes in which speaking dialogue is actually involved. All of the story is told by singing, and sometimes I find it difficult to concentrate on lyrics of songs, instead focusing more on the sound, but despite that I was pretty surprised at how smoothly the music and story-telling moved along together through the show. Some of most popular or well-known songs from the Phantom of the Opera have to be "All I ask of you", which is one of the final songs, between Christine and The Phantom - and it is supposed to be the saddest and most emotional performance at the end of the story where Christine makes a decision. They did sing the same song previously however, on the rooftop which was an even more breathtaking scene I thought. Another great song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, I think has to be "Music of the Night" because it looked so beautiful on stage - this is where The Phantom takes Christine beneath the opera house, and into his "home", which looks fantastic in itself, because of the effect of those lit-up candles which was helped by all the other remarkable stage setting.

        Overall: Worth the money?
        ----------------------------------
        Phantom of the Opera definitely has something in it for everyone. If it is not the music and the singing that you are engulfed by, then it's likely going to be the excellent emotional and elegancy of the plot of the show that will really take you away - and if its neither of those things that you came to see the show for and you really just wanted to see what all the fuss was about, then I really think you will be fascinated by everything that this show presents. I couldn't think of any negative to add to my review about the show, or anything that I would change about it - well, maybe the prices of the tickets are not exactly the cheapest you will find when compared to any other West end shows, and I think that has probably got to do with the demand for it. But the only thing you can do about that is hunt around for the cheapest prices and book well in advance. The thing is though, you might not be able to find a ticket for this show, in a decent seat for anything under £45. Even so, I obviously really recommend this show, not only to musical theatre fans, but if you have not been to the theatre before, this could be an excellent show to start off with.

        In terms of whether it is worth the money you spent on the ticket, I think that will really just depend on how much you had spent and I personally wouldn't pay £60 to £80 to see this show, even if I knew it was going to be that spectacular and that I was going to have the most fabulous seats; but at a prices of around £45-£50, it is definitely worth it too, and the views and experience from either the front rows of the Grand circle and the Upper Circle are brilliant enough to make it a worthwhile visit. I have only seen this show once, and I don't think I would go to see the show again - I just don't go to watch shows twice, but I definitely think its worthy of at least seeing once.

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          09.10.2011 20:21
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          An ok musical

          This show has been running for 25 years now and recently had a concert in the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate this fact. I had high hopes about seeing the current London production after hearing how amazing it was, and after seeing its sequel "Love Never Dies" (yes I know I saw them the wrong way round!).

          The basic premise is that the Opera House in Paris is "haunted" by a Phantom who gets up to all sorts of mischief, like causing scenery to crash down and even as far as murder and kidnap if the shows and house aren't run to his specification and he doesn't receive a cut of the money. Then comes along a new starlet in the character of Christine which he falls in love with, insist she plays the main part, kidnaps her, writes music for her and so the story goes on.

          The music on the whole is nice but I did feel the story dragged quite a bit. The staging is good with the fairly intimate Her Majesty's Theatre adding to the atmosphere. I was however impressed with the chandelier part, but I will say no more as not to give the surprise away. There are some good uses of special effects which probably look great from a bit further away than I was sitting (second row in the stalls.)

          Overall a pleasant way to spend a few hours but not amazing, maybe I went in with too higher expectations.

          Phantom of the Opera is currently playing at Her Majesty's Theatre on The Haymarket, Closet tube Piccadilly Circus and mainline train Charring Cross. The show lasts roughly 3hrs with one 20min interval.

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            12.02.2011 03:07
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            Brilliant performance, in a hurry to see this again!

            Andrew Lloyd Webber's production, The Phantom of the Opera, both in film and in theatre is in my view one of the most stunning musicals of all time. The show is now in its 24th consecutive year of performance at Her Majesty's theatre, London proving just how brilliantly successful the story is.

            Arriving at the theatre on the afternoon of Tuesday 18th November for the matinee performance I had high expectations for the musical. An epic love story unfolded, keeping my eyes glued to the stage throughout. With breathtaking performances from Sofia Escabar as Christine Daae and John Owen-Jones as the phantom the show is far from disappointing.

            Christine Daae is an orphaned ballet dancer at the Paris Opera house where she is brought up by Madame Giry her ballet teacher. Her father, a famous musician, passed away when she was young and tells her she will be protected by an angel of music sent by him. Throughout her childhood she grows up hearing the voice of what she believes to be the angel of music, teaching her to sing. Infact, this is the voice of the phantom, a deformed musical genius who falls in love with Christine as he watches her grow and develops her beautiful voice. Despite his love, Christine falls for childhood sweetheart Raoul, the Vicompte De Chagny as she is thrust into the spotlight. Much to the phantoms jealousy he vows to make Christine his own bride. Unravelling a performance of sheer tragedy; love, music and revenge in this unforgettable, timeless classic.

            The role of John Owen-Jones as the phantom, one of the major male leads in the musical, was brilliantly executed, leaving the audience wanting more after every scene. Throughout, as a spectator I really felt his pain and it was clear that the audience felt it too, particularly in Act 1 Scene 10 where he really brings the character into his own. During this scene the unrequited love the phantom holds for Christine is brought to the forefront of the play, as Raoul and Christine declare their love for one another without knowledge of the phantom's presence. Utter heartbreak is felt as the phantom bursts out from the shadows and starts to sing the final passionate lines of 'All I ask of you'.

            The tone of the play changes unequivocally, emphasised by the key change in music, minor chords are used and a sense of foreboding now emanates throughout the audience. Ultimately leaving the emotionally captured viewers wondering what his character will do next. I feel the role was very appropriately cast, a passionate actor playing an emotionally taxing, crucial role, undoubtedly contributing towards the overall effect of the play.

            The lighting and sound play integral parts in creating the various moods throughout the production. In some scenes of the play it is the accompaniment of the sound and lighting that makes the performance so spell-binding. During Act 1 Scene 4 the intricate lighting reflects the dark and gloomy ambience of the scene, where the phantom leads a captivated Christine deep into the chambers of the opera house. The mesmerising music played whilst Christine is being lead down the passage way is responsible for allowing the audience to connect with the seductive power of the Phantom's voice. The lake which is brought to life by the use of dry ice adds to the enchanting aura of the scene. Illusion is created by the use of dry ice, heightening the mystery and magic surrounding the Phantom furthermore.

            Throughout the entirety of the performance the genius of Andrew Lloyd Weber is heard in all its wonder.
            The orchestral music complimented the changing tones of the production seamlessly. In some scenes the sound helps emphasise the magnitude of emotions being felt by the characters. An example of where the music helps to change the mood of the production is in the "masquerade ball" scene where utter euphoria is turned into complete shock and horror. However during the scene where the cast are performing 'Don Juan' there was a slight screeching sound coming from one of the microphones, taking attention away from the performance and to the microphone malfunction.

            When comparing the film to the theatre production, I preferred the artistic interpretation of the masquerade ball in the film. Due to the monotone costumes worn by the performers it seemed to make the pandemonium clear, as the phantom then appears in bold red making a visual statement. In contrast to the theatre production where I felt as though the phantom was lost within the commotion and was not easily identifiable.
            Overall, my experience of Phantom of the Opera has been exceptionally memorable. A brilliantly directed, heart rending performance combined with superb costumes, scenery and special effects I am certainly in a hurry to see this production again soon. A definite must see for all musical lovers.

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              31.10.2010 23:31
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              The Daddy of West End Musicals

              Phantom of the Opera opened in London in 1986 with the dream pairing of Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, this brought the show to the attention of the world and it became a huge success everywhere.

              It has apparently grossed over $5 billion during its run and it is the most successful entertainment venture of all time. Therefore its safe to presume you need to book in advance to get tickets.

              A movie version of The Phantom of the Opera was released in 2004, directed by Joel Schumacher. For some reason the film really doesn't do the stage version the least bit of justice and is a sad excuse for the original. It has produced many exciting and scene stealing phantoms over the years.

              The story is about a young woman who moves to Paris and becomes part of a chorus line, she becomes the object of affection for the phantom of the opera, a disfigured former worker who has created a home within the theatre, he terrorises the staff and even his beloved as he fails to come to terms with his own disfigurement and her love for somebody else. In many ways this is the classic French tale of an ugly man fighting a better looking one for the girl, however the music and acting take this way above your average musical.

              Enclosed is a briefing of the music in the production, the stand out tunes are the haunting 'music of the night' and 'All I ask of you'. The music in general is exceptional but these two songs stand out as the best of the best.

              Generally there are two showings a day of this musical, there is one in the afternoon and the main showing in the evening.

              The Theatre is large and tickets are generally fine to come by if booked sufficiently in advance via Ticketmaster or by going onto the shows website, you can also buy them from booths in Leicester Square.

              I would suggest booking at least a month in advance to be sure of tickets as it still attracts new customers and repeat customers alike and will always do so.
              Tickets range from £25 to £80 depending on the quality of the seat, it is better to sit lower, closer to the stage to really experience everything that happens in this wonderful show.

              I bought tickets 5 years ago for my mum for her birthday and we were both utterly beguiled by this wonderful musical. Created by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the original story, it tells the tale of a young woman who becomes the paramour of a disfigured genius, some have said parallelling Brightmans own life with Lloyd Webber but I think thats cruel and unnecessary, this is beautiful, tragic, the special effects in the theatre need to be seen to be believed and the set is exceptional.

              This has to be one of my favorite musicals and viewing it with my mum is one of my favourite London memories, the story is really well told, the music is excellent, the whole performance is truly world class. The actors change but the quality of the whole piece remains consistent, it is thrilling, romantic and heart breaking in equal measures. Lloyd Webber had one of his finest moments with this film, i'd give this 5 out of 5 and recommend it as one of the great London musicals.

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                06.06.2010 18:10
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                Brilliant.

                Phantom of the Opera is a theatrical classic, and in many ways, it is the true definition of success in the West End.

                I first saw Phantom of the Opera twenty years ago - and I have also seen it as recently as three months ago - and in that time, it has maintained its vibrancy and freshness in a way that's been achieved by only a handful of productions over the years.

                The reason for its success is clear. It has a fantastic musical score, a mesmorizing set, and a story which is timeless and as relevant today as it would have been 500 years ago.

                The central theme of the story is unrequited love, specifically that between "the Phantom" and his protege, Christine Dias. The Phantom, a disfigured recluse is the secret and mysterious tutor of Christine, a girl who rises (by serendipity and talent) from the chorus line at the Paris Opera, to the principal singer. Christine is everything the Phantom is not.....young, beautiful, desired....and it is almost as if he is living vicarously through her, enjoying her life in the way he cannot celebrate his own. Christine is torn, between the passion and sexual tension that exists between her and Phantom, and the more traditional match for her in the form of Raul. As the story progresses, Christine's feelings for Raul lead the audience to bear witness to the Phantoms increasing despair and insanity.

                Whenever I've watched Phantom of the Opera, I cannot help but feel tremendous sadness and compassion for the Phantom - and the overwhelming desire to see him triumph. I am constantly led to question whether Phantoms feelings for Christine are based on love or obsession - or both - but ultimately my desire is to see the troubled, damaged yet brilliant Phantom conquer the dull and "safe" Raul - and want to see Christine take a chance on non-conformity. Right up until the last scene, we don't know which way she will go - and the sense of drama and suspense which is created never allows the ending to be a disappointment.

                The music of Phantom of the Opera is world renowned. The headliners need no introduction - Phantom of the Opera, Music of the Night, All I ask of you......brilliant, over the time, dramatic and full of the big belt-it-out-notes that are such audience pleasers. However, by far my favourite song is "Past the Point of No Return"...a song filled with passion, danger, uncertainty and sensuality - and which truly reflects all aspects of the relationship between Phantom and Christine. All performers are always note and pitch perfect, and although I've have my favourite performers over the years, I have never been left disappointed.

                There are sections of the production where I am not overly-enamoured with the genre of music. As the backdrop of Phantom of the Opera is unsurprisingly an "opera", there is a fair amount of opera music (especially early on) that I am not fond of. However, this does pass and the remaining musical score is compensation enough.

                The whole production is over the top is true 1980's style (when it was first produced) and by that I mean that subtlety is not the order of the day. The sets and costumes are lavish and elegant - and its clear that no expense has been spared.

                Phantom of the Opera is not a barrel of laughs....if its laughs you want then go and see Avenue Q or Mamma Mis. But Phantom of the Opera is entertainment at its very best. I have yet to go to Phantom of the Opera (and I've been about 10 times) when there has not been a standing ovation - which speaks for itself. At the end of the performance you can literally feel energy and emotion being emitted from the audience - and you feel like you've been part of something special.

                Because of the adult themes, and the length of the show, I would suggest it is not appropriate to take children. In addition to this, I wouldn't say its for everyone. Its a bit like marmite....you either love it or hate it....but if you love it you'll want to see it again and again.

                Like all West End musicals, going to see Phantom of the Opera is not cheap. The best seats (and I always get the best seats!) will cost about £70 per ticket. And you need to book a long time in advance if you want to get good seats.

                In my opinion, Phantom of the Opera remains one of the best theatrical productions in history. And when you want to see more, there's always "Phantom of the Opera 2" in the guise of Love Never Dies. Brilliant!

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                  10.04.2010 22:41
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                  A powerful tale of love, jealousy and revenge.

                  Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's, 'The Phantom of the Opera' first opened at Her Majesty's Theatre, in London's Haymarket, in September 1986 and is now in it's 24th year. It is said to be the most successful musical, in a financial sense, ever. It is definitely one of the most popular. 'Phantom of the Opera' is shown in many countries, with great acclaim. It has won many awards worldwide.


                  BACKGROUND
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


                  A French author named Gaston Leroux had his book published in 1911 but, unfortunately, sales weren't especially great. In 1925 Lon Chaney senior starred in the film version. And then, in 1986, we had the musical version, with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman playing the leads.

                  THE STORY
                  ~~~~~~~

                  Christine Daae is left motherless as a young child. She is reared by her violinist father and travels with him. He tells her many stories, one being about an 'Angel of Music.' When dying, he tells her that he will send this 'angel' to her.
                  Eventually Christine lands a place in the chorus of the Paris Opera House. This house is believed to be haunted and there are many strange and sinister goings on happening here.
                  Christine often hears a voice speaking and singing to her and she believes this to be the 'Angel of Music', sent by her deceased father. Instead it is Erik ( The Phantom) the 'Ghost' who is sadly disfigured thus wears a mask and hides in the cellars of the opera house, causing strange events to happen. The phantom really is quite unbalanced and controlling but, we do get to empathise with him as we come to understand his character a little.
                  With a little help from 'Phantom' Christine gets the lead thus an ensuing power struggle develops between her and the envious Carlotta, the former female lead. This is due to the temperamental Carlotta not wanting a rival for the leading roles.
                  I will not say any more as I would much rather you go and watch this wonderful piece of theatre for yourself.

                  OUR VISIT TO SEE 'THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA'
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                  My son wanted to celebrate his birthday by going to see The Phantom Of the Opera. I booked five tickets for this just over a week before the event. The best seats that I could get together, were in the Grand Circle, row D, seats 20-24. I knew we would be a long way away from everything but, as this was his chosen musical we decided to go for it. The tickets were for myself, my husband, our son, his girlfriend and our teenage daughter. The seats cost a little over £40 each, (I think £44) plus booking fee. I ordered the tickets from Seetickets via their website.
                  But then the important date arrived, January 6th, and the snow returned with a vengeance. The question was, would we make it to the cinema and, would the actors be able to get there? The roads were treacherous and throughout the day the snow continued to fall. Very pretty but what a worry and what a terrible disappointment if we couldn't make the performance. My husband rang the theatre who said that the performance was scheduled to take place. We set out very early. It's about a twenty minute walk to the underground station from my house but it was too slippery for me to walk. My husband thought the main roads wouldn't be too bad so we chanced taking the car. Well, that was really the worst bit. Parking the car was difficult, with the car skidding but my husband managed not to damage anyone or anything! The central line was running, albeit with a very reduced service. We got on our train and, although the journey took longer than it usually would, we got there with time to spare. Central and west London was well gritted and nothing like as bad as our locality.
                  On arriving at Her Majesty's Theatre we had a much needed drink in the bar. It was my son's girlfriend's first visit to a West end theatre and it was worth the trip just to see the wondrous expression on her face.
                  We were a long way from the stage but the seats are well tiered and, as much of the stage and surrounds are used you still felt involved. Also you can use small binoculars if you put 50 pence into a slot on the seat backs. I couldn't have used these for too long though as found it a little disorientating. However, it was good to be able to see an occasional close up of the actors.


                  OUR VIEWS
                  ~~~~~~~~

                  We all loved this musical extravaganza. In my personal view I would say that it didn't have such a profound affect on me as, 'Les Miserables' which I previously reviewed but it was still amazing. I did find at times there was a bit too much going on with the chorus, especially when 'Carlotta' was involved, but I believe this was the required effect. I just found it a little, 'busy!' But everything else was perfect.
                  If I went again I would try to purchase seats in the stalls or circle (lower circle NOT grand circle).
                  My son and his girlfriend were entranced from beginning to end. My daughter had previously been to see this and loves it but she is obsessed with musicals anyway.

                  VERY MEMORABLE MOMENTS
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                  In Scene Four we have the famous 'undeground scene' with Christine being 'sailed' along the river which runs below the theatre. They sing, 'Phantom of the Opera' and it really is the time to reach for the tissues.
                  I like most of the sings but particularly enjoyed, 'Think of Me', 'Music of the Night' and 'Angel of Music'.
                  The performance of David Shannon as 'Phantom', was absolutely brilliant. I feel privileged to have been present in the theatre when he played the lead. I had previously seen him in 'Les Mis' and then was overawed by his talent. Although all the acting was good, with a very wonderful portrayal of Christine, by Gina Beck, for me, David Shannon 'made' this show. He climbs about the theatre playing the ' Opera Ghost.' Even when Shannon sings in a whisper his voice carries and is very, very, special.
                  The effects are incredible, as are the vibrant costumes.
                  The dancing too, is unforgettable.
                  We had a truly wonderful, memorable evening, whilst watching this iconic show.

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                    30.01.2010 19:03
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                    A great show that I would recommend to everyone.

                    I have never been to a London theatre before and was so excited when my boyfriend and his family invited me to go to see the Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre. I have always loved the music from this theatre production ever since I was very young and had seen the DVD production previously.

                    I was very impressed when we walked into the theatre, the whole place was set in the style of the production which made the whole experience that much more exciting. We were seated in the middle of the grand circle which was very high up and quite scary at first! But once the production started I did not notice the height at all. The view was exceptionally good and far better than what I had expected due to the cleverly angled stage and scenery.

                    The Phantom of the Opera is based on the novel Le Fantome de l'Opera by Leroux.

                    The Phantom is a genious Musician, Composer and Magician who hides behind a white mask and haunts the Opera House, demanding his instructions are followed as he writes the popular operas performed there.
                    Christine Daae is a young and aspiring chorus girl who is thrust into the limelight of the lead role after the mysterious, ghostly Phatom decides to mentor her. This is not taken well by the Operas Prima Donna Carlotta who becomes increasingly jealous of Christines new success.
                    During Christines debut performance her childhood friend Raoul falls in love with her. This angers the Phantom and all hell breaks loose from here on.

                    The music is beautifully performed and the songs will stay in your mind long after the show is over. Some of the most memorable songs include, Think of me, All I Ask of you and The Phantom of the Opera.

                    Overall I had a wonderful time and would recommend this production to anyone who likes musical theater.

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                      08.08.2009 22:00
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                      A Brilliant Performance, A Timeless Classic

                      I have seen this Theatre Production four times so far and I'm about to see it again in September for a fifth time. It's definitely my favourite show - From the moment that you hear that familiar music to the end where I'm copiously sobbing my heart out you just can't fail to love every single minute of it.

                      THE VENUE

                      The Theatre is one of the poshest that I've been in and is literally a hop skip and a jump from Piccadilly Station. Just walk down the road (past the water feature) and it's on the right hand side. Be careful to eat and drink beforehand as the drinks and food are outrageously expensive - I think I spent nearly £10 last time I was there for just a small box of pringles, a small bag of minstrels and a small coke.

                      THE PRODUCTION

                      It's supposedly held in an old Opera House and is about the "Ghost" that lives there and that falls madly in love with Christine, an up and coming star in the Opera House.

                      Be aware that just about halfway through you will get the shock of your Life as something falls from the ceiling - But don't worry, it won't hit you!! But the first time I saw it I nearly jumped out of my seat.

                      THE PRICES

                      To be honest, no matter where you sit in the Theatre you'll have a good View...but I feel that it's worth spending a little extra (up to £60) for a decent Seat so that you don't have to squint.

                      Definitely go and see it - It's a classic that everyone should see at least once!!

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                      21.11.2008 12:09
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                      The must-see musical phenomenon

                      The Phantom of the Opera has been running in the West End since 1986, making it the second longest-running musical there. The plot is simple; the characters are engaging and the music is superb.

                      The play opens with a dingy and cold set, where a range of characters have gathered for the auctioning of theatrical paraphernalia at the Opera Populaire in Paris. Of particular interest is a musical toy, bid for ferociously by two people. The theatre's broken chandelier is then put up for auction, being described as having played a mysterious part in the theatre's past.

                      And then you get a little moment of modern theatrical magic, which I'm not going to spoil. But be prepared to grip your arm-rests and feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up! There are lots of those in this show, and I really, really want to tell you about them, but it's better when you see them yourself.

                      The main story is told retrospectively, and we are transported back in time thirty years, where the Opera Populaire is a flourishing artistic community of dancers, singers and all those needed to create lavish productions. The opera company has just been taken over by two new owners who observe their new domain with interest. In particular, the dancer Christine Daae catches their eye. She is, at the time, merely a chorus member, and the new owners are treated to an aria by the company's diva, Carlotta.

                      During her performance, the Phantom makes his presence and feelings towards Carlotta known. He also welcomes the new owners by letter, explaining the role he intends to continue playing despite the change in ownership. They are not impressed, resulting in an increasing number of hostile actions, perpetrated by the Phantom.

                      Once such incident results in Christine taking the lead role in a performance. Raoul, the new patron of the Opera Populaire, watches and is smitten. He visits Christine after the performance, inviting her out. She declines, fearing the wrath of her 'Angel of Music', who has been developing her ability to sing.

                      The plot focuses on three things: the Phantom's infatuation with Christine, and his possessiveness of her; Raoul's love for Christine and how it attracts the Phantom's vengeance; the battle for control of the Opera Populaire, and the way the new owners try and maintain a sense of normality in increasingly hostile circumstances.

                      The play has been resident in Her Majesty's Theatre since 1986. The theatre has been in existence on the site since the 18th century, changing name depending on the gender of the reigning monarch. The stage is the standard proscenium arch found in most West End theatres. This works with the play's representation of a working opera company. The number and scale of set pieces is impressive, with various aspects of the Opera Populaire being recreated. There really is a lake under the one in Paris! To reveal much more would be to spoil the experience and Phantom is truly a visual delight. The production is enhanced by its use of effects, without being over-burdened - one of the problems I had with Miss Saigon.

                      Arguably Andrew Lloyd Webber's best musical, the show contains many superb numbers. The production's orchestra is larger than you would normally find in a show, creating a richer sound. The songs range from full-company operatic numbers, to moving solos. They contain passion, anger, love and hope, all delivered more tangibly than in many other shows.

                      This is one of those must-see musicals you cannot ever imagine being off stage. It has a tremendously loyal following, with people seeing the show many times. I believe you should see it at least once. There are so many likeable characters, with the destructive relationship between The Phantom, Christine and Raoul creating a spell-binding experience.

                      See it soon, because Lloyd Webber is now working on the sequel!

                      ---------- Theatre Information ----------
                      (taken from Londontheatredirect.com/asp/PhantomofTheOpera.htm)

                      Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes (with interval)

                      Her Majestys Theatre
                      Haymarket
                      SW1Y 4QL

                      Box office tickets: £20 - 55
                      (Search using Google for better prices on specific deals through Ticketmaster and other agents; you can always go to the Tkts kiosk in Leicester Square if you're feeling lucky)

                      ---------- References ----------
                      www.londontheatre.co.u
                      www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk
                      www.ticketmaster.co.uk
                      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Phantom_of_the_Opera_(1986_musical)

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                        01.06.2008 14:13
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                        Phantom is truly historic and has some fantastic numbers, but be prepared to wait for them.

                        The longest running and highest grossing musical on Broadway is The Phantom of the Opera; it has been running for 20 years and is still hugely popular. Phantom is an enjoyable and intriguing musical but be prepared as this is a long one!

                        I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Phantom on Broadway, being in the centre of New York just off Time Square is thrilling, and once you enter the Majestic Theatre you are really thrown back to another world. The theatre feels rather dated, but as it has been playing since the 80s it is not surprising. The Majestic is a very steep theatre and if you are seated at the top of the balcony you will feel as though you are in the rafters.

                        The story is set in 1911 where the Paris Opera house is being sold off, the auctioneer presents the chandelier of the opera house and tells the story of the Phantom, the ghost of the opera house. If the Phantom is displeased he wreaks havoc and so demands the box remain empty each performance and to receive a salary each month. When these demands are not met by the new owners, Phantom causes chaos. The Phantom also falls for the new protégée Christine and takes her back to his lair underneath the theatre. The romance, horror, mystery and tragedy are played out in this gothic drama with spine-tingling effect.

                        The stage is set with lavish décor nodding to the era of Phantom. The costumes are beautifully made and add another splash of elegance to the Opera. The great numbers will make the hair on the back of your neck stand to attention and the final notes do resonate through the theatre. This musical is jam packed with numbers and there were many that I did not recognise and some that felt like they should have been cut short.

                        The musical is a piece of the history and certainly should be seen by keen theatre goers, but I was taken aback by how long it was and would try to get a seat closer to the stage next time.

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                          04.05.2008 09:51
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                          It is pretty much a FANTASTIC performance

                          I went to see the Phantom of the Opera on the 26th April 2008. Although I am only 14 i have seen a lot of theatre shows and this is by far the best I have ever seen. THe girl who played the role of Christine Daae was fantastic the role was played exactly as I imanged it should have been. On the other hand I thought that the woman playing Carlotta didn't live up to my expectations, although she had a great voice she lacked the "Prima Donna" stage presence and didn't act spoilt enough for the role. The best part of the performance was the rasing of the chandeler this was by far the most incredible thing you can see happening from the audience, although overall the special features in the performance are fantastic, its amazing. I found the dropping of the chandeler a bit disapointing though, it fell quickly and then the productionb went straight into an interval ruining the dramatic effect he should have had. Over all this production og The Phantom of the Opera was fantastic and I would see it again and hopefully one day be good enough to be up on the stage beside them!

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                            04.03.2008 20:17
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                            A great show, a real must see

                            When my family and I were in London back in June, the primary reason we went was because me and my sister were desperate to see Phantom of the Opera at the theatre. We had seen it ten years ago but as it's our favourite show we wanted to go again. So we booked for a Saturday evening for the 7.30 showing.

                            The Phantom of the Opera was shown at Her Majesty's theatre in London. It's quite easy to get to if you know your way around London, but if you don't it can be a bit tricky. It is in the heart of the theatre district and the easiest way to get there is catching the tube and getting off at Piccadilly Circus or Charing Cross and walking. I don't really recommend getting a taxi there as the centre of London can get extremely congested and it would take forever. Its best walking as it only takes five minutes from either underground.
                            The actual address of the theatre is:
                            Her Majesty's Theatre, Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4QL


                            Walking up to the theatre it looks quite impressive from the outside. A large building in itself, it looks very old London and brings an excellent vibe to the theatre. It is lit up at night which adds an even nicer atmosphere to the area when there are quite a lot of people around. Walking inside of the theatre you come across a large area where there is lots being sold. There is ticket collection, coat checking, theatre programmes being sold. This is all just in the first part of the theatre. Walking a little further you come across a desk which sells merchandise of the show. There are key-rings, t-shirts and key-fobs. Quite a lot of stuff is sold there but it does come at a price. I think I saw a mug being sold for around £15, now I don't know about everyone else but I wouldn't pay that much for a mug! The bar is pretty nice and has a few people serving.

                            Plot

                            So getting on to the actual play. I love the Phantom of the Opera and I think the music is just out of this world. Everyone is the world knows the main song "The Phantom of the Opera", its just one of those songs that you hear and you feel the hair on the back of your neck stand up! My favourite song is "Music of the Night" as I think the words and the composition of the song is just wonderful. I think most people know the story of the show but if they don't here goes. Christine Daae is a dancer in a Parisian theatre being coached by a mysterious man. She becomes noticed and soon is put in a leading spot. The Phantom sees her as his protégée and falls in love with her but it becomes obsession as he wants her to always be the leading lady no matter who get hurts. Add in some great songs, a love interest called Raoul and you have the basic plot for Phantom of the Opera.

                            Music

                            The orchestra was brilliant and really went to town on the songs. It all sounded fantastic, they did a wonderful job. The music softened in the more emotional scenes and they came to a great crescendo when the more action and intense scenes were on. As mentioned before i honestly think the music in this show is outstanding and really can invoke many emotions on viewing.

                            Players

                            Well after coming to London's West End to see my favourite show i was in intense anticipation waiting for the first note to be sung. At first i was ecstatic and thought that it would exceed my expectations. Unfortunately as soon as the woman playing Christine came on i felt like walking out and demanding my money back! She was dreadful, how she had got the job i will never know. She did not have the voice to be on the stage in the West End, i don't mean to be cruel but she honestly wouldn't have been out of place in a Disney Resort singing random songs. Luckily everyone else made up for her inept performance. While see kept floating about the stage everyone else was brilliant and acted and sung beautifully. The man playing the Phantom was out of this world and had a wonderful voice.

                            Stage

                            The sets were simply amazing, I couldn't believe how they managed to pull off some scenes with such ease. When Christine is taken to the Phantom's underground home, it was done wonderfully, especially the boat and all the mist and fog they had on stage. The way they executed it was very clever with the use of stairs and curtains, it just looked perfect and really gave the creepy and intense feelings that scene should provoke. The costumes were beautiful as well, the dresses the women wore were gorgeous and all the costumes for the "Masquerade" scene were out of this world.


                            Overall I just loved this show and I wanted to see it again straight after I'd seen it. I could easily go and watch it again now. Prices were not that bad, I paid £47 for my ticket, which isn't the worst considering you could pay upwards of £70. We had great seats as well near the front where we could see and hear everything perfectly. I cannot remember the girl who played Christine in the production i saw but i truly hope that if you go and see it you will not have to listen to her. Overall it's a great night out for anyone who loves the theatre and I would recommend it to everyone!

                            General Information
                            Length: The evening performance usually starts at 7:30pm and lasts for over two hours. There is a short intermission.
                            Current Cast List: The Phantom- Ramin Karimloo
                            Christine- Leila Benn Haris or Robyn North
                            Raoul- Alex Rathberger

                            There is a film version of this show starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum which is worth a look. The DVD is on play.com for £4.99. You can usually buy the original Broadway recording on the internet. It is on play.com for £17.99.

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                              01.08.2006 18:28
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                              Brilliant west end Musical

                              I was shaking with excitment as my Mother-in-law opened her 60th Birthday card- unaware of what delights were inside it. Then I saw a tear and we all started bouncing around laughing like giddy school children. This was sure to be a birthday present she would never forget- a weekend in London with front row tickets to see The Phantom Of The Opera.

                              So we all jumped into the car, laughing and mock-singing the shows most famous songs and waving at unexpecting lorry drivers on the M1. Even the fact that it was the hottest day since 1911 could'nt stop our squeals of excitment.

                              When we arrived at our Kings Cross hotel, we all quickly got into our glad-rags and once again gave the hotel a tune-less rendition of 'The music of the night' - I don't think the hotel staff knew what to make of us!

                              Getting to the Hotel was easy, we flagged down a taxi and it cost little over six pounds, although if you are not put off by the smelly underground, then I am sure that would be an even cheaper option. The nearest stops are Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. I would avoid driving to the Theatre as parking is expensive.

                              Her Majesty's Theatre is in the busy Haymarket area of London, and if you arrive early like we did, there are a few nice bars and restaurants around and Piccadilly Circus is just 150m away.

                              The theatre itself is a Grade 2 listed building which was designed by C J Phipps and has been open since April 1897. Since its opening it has played host to a number of fantastic musicalls including 'Paint your Wagon' 'West Side Story' and 'Fiddler on the Roof'.

                              This latest instalment of Phantom of the Opera has been showing since the 9th of October 1986. Tickets are on sale until the 6th of January 2007 although more dates are thought to be planned. Since the Phantom has been showing at Her Majesty's theatre it has won every major British award, including the Oliver and Evening Standard awards.

                              "The Phantom Of The Opera remains the most exciting musical in London" - The Daily Mail

                              Of course the first cast is the most famous, including Michael Crawford as the Phantom, Sarah Brightman as Christine and Steve Barton as love interest Raoul. The same cast also went on to perform in the New York production, which opened in 1988. The original casts recordings is also the first cast album in British history to enter the charts at number one and go Platinum in Britain and America.

                              The story of the Phantom is one of the most famous musicals and one that produces the most shocks on stage. I could imagin this show being ever directors dream and nightmare mixed into one as there are so many 'special effects' and twists to capture. I felt the the show that we saw captured everything, it was brilliant start to finish.

                              Although the 2004 film was good, I now believe that people who are not used to the theatre expect the same quality of effects on stage, which is just impossible.

                              The story of the Phantom starts in 1905 at an auction being held on stage at the Opera de Paris; the items on sale have been found in the theatre's vaults. The main item at auction is a giant chandelier that once hung from the ceiling of the Opera house. The auctioneer starts to tell the strange tale of the Phantom of the Opera, which had intrigued Parisian theatregoers half a century ago. As the Auctioneer lights the chandelier, the set changes and we are transported to the year 1861.

                              The opera cast are interrupted during a rehearsal of Hannibal to be introduced to the Opera house's new owners, Messrs Firmin and Andre. As the owners watch the leading soprano, Carlotta performs 'Think of Me', a backdrop tumbles to the floor dangerously near Carlotta's head. All of the dancers cry that is must be the Opera ghost and as ballet mistress Madame Giry steps forward with a letter from the Phantom, Firmin and Andre's fears are brought to reality. The letter states that box five must be left empty for the Phantom's use and that his salary must be paid on time every month.

                              As un-liked Soprano Carlotta quits, dancer Christine Daae is pushed forward by best friend Meg. Christine fills Carlotta's role brilliantly and her managers are delighted, as is the new patron of the Opera, the Vicomte de Chagny, Raoul; a childhood friend of Christine's.

                              After the performance of Hannibal Christine returns to her dressing room to be congratulated by Raoul and her secret tutor, the Phantom. The Phantom takes Christine down to the vaults of the opera house, where he lives. He tells her that he is her angel of music and she must stay with him so that she can learn to sing better then anyone before her. Slightly frightened, Christine faints. When she wakes in the morning she angers the Phantom by taking off his mask, which covers his deformed face. However he still believes that Christine can love him and he returns her to the opera house demanding that she takes the role in the next opera, Il Muto.

                              Still unsure of the Phantoms powers, Firmin and Andre go against the Phantom and put Carlotta in the role and Christine is given a silent part. Once again the Phantom is furious and during the performance cuts down the grand Chandelier, which falls to the stage at Christines feet.

                              Christine and Raoul flee the Stage to hide on the roof, unaware that the Phantom is watching them.
                              This is the start of a love affair between Christine and Raoul. The two soon become secretly engaged, much to the the disappointment of the Phantom who plans revenge on the pair.

                              The Phantom demands Firmin and Andre produce his opera Don Juan Triumphant, with Christine in the lead. Firmin and Andre agree, thinking that they can catch the Phantom and stop him terrorising the cast.

                              And so Christine steps onto the stage scarred at what fate has in store for her in her final showdown with the Phantom.

                              "Andrew Lloyd Webbers musical extravaganza .... As spectacular a piece of true theatre as has been seen in years" - The Daily Telegraph

                              The cast in the performance I saw range from unknowns to experienced actors. All were fantastic with the actors in the main roles doing a fantastic job.

                              The Phantom- Played by Earl Carpenter. Earl has had attended Bournmouth's Jellicoe Theatre training school and has had roles as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Courfeyrac in Les Miserables and Darryl Van Horne in The Witches of Eastwick.

                              Christine Daae- Played by the talented Rachel Barrell. Rachel was trained at the Guilford school of acting. Before the Phantom she played Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Belle in Beauty and the Beast

                              Raoul- Played by Dvid Shannon. David started his career touring in Les Miserables and has been involved with other tours of Oklahoma and Jesus Christ Superstar.

                              The best thing about the show has to be the songs. They are theatre classics and are just beautiful. These include:

                              Think of Me
                              Masquerade
                              All I ask of You
                              Prima Donna
                              The Point of no Return
                              Wishing you were somehow here again
                              The music of the night
                              The Phantom of the Opera
                              Angel of Music

                              Magic, Memorable and so Spectacular - The Sunday Express

                              I have seen the Phantom in theatres all over the U.K now and this has to be one of the best performances I have seen.
                              All the parts were played fantastically and the chemistry between Raoul and Christine was brilliant. And as for the phantom, The mystery that the actor made you feel about this character was unbelievable- the best Phantom I have seen.
                              I understand that because the tital has the word 'Opera' in it that people are very easily put off, but this is a very light hearted story about love and the story is funny with some great comical moments and the best soundtrack on the west end.

                              If you are wanting to go to the theatre but dont want something to heavy, go and see the Phantom. You will love it!
                              Her Majesty's theatre has..

                              An infra- red system - headphones and neckloops are available at the box office.
                              Guide Dogs are not allowed in the auditorium but dogs will be looked after by staff.
                              Wheelchair ramps are at the rear of the theatre and staff will need to come and open the doors for you as they are locked.
                              Some seets have extra leg room- these must be requested when booking tickets.
                              There are three (VERY EXPENSIVE) licenced bars.

                              Tickets are between £15 and £47.50.

                              Enjoy! Brat

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                                19.04.2003 07:41
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                                The Phantom of the Opera. What can I say? This musical was the most breathtaking, most awesome musical I have ever seen in my entire life. It was a mix of tragedy and romance (no its not just a girl's musical, even guys will love it!) This musical just about left me in tears. It was breathtaking! It was so lovable - anyone will love it!! Its impossible not to love this tragic musical. It's about a masked, disfigured man, whom was known as the Phantom of the Opera, who lives under the Paris Opera House who hates the world... until he sees the lovely opera singer, Christine Daae, whose deceased father promised to send her the Angel of Music when he got 2 heaven. The Phantom pretends to be her "Angel of Music" and gives her lessons in her dressing room, where he can see Christine, alas she can only hear him... One night he takes her under the Opera House to his Labyrinth. She succeeds in tearing off his mask and seeing his terribly disfigured face. During all this, Christine's childhood friend who is in love with her, Raoul, is desperately trying to win his love for Christine. In the end, the Phantom gives Christine the choice of a lifetime. She could either marry the Phantom and let Raoul live... or she could choose freedom and send Raoul to his grave.... I would definitely recommend it 2 anyone who asks, even those who dont ask! :) It leaves you hooked and begging for more. It is an unforgettable experience.

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