Phuck It’s the Phantom!

13 10 2011

In the early 90’s I had the offer of tickets to see the Sydney production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera.   I took my mum along, as she was a huge fan and we had a great time.  The leads back then were Rob Guest and Marina Prior and it was showing at the State Theatre.  It was brilliant.  Even the tiny, uncomfortable seats weren’t enough to detract from the wonderful sets and performances.   I don’t normally go for musicals, but I went for this in a big way.

Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom

Recently, it was announced that for the 25th anniversary of the musical, there was to be a limited screening of the performance from the Royal Albert Hall.   It was to be shown in selected cinemas, and it was by chance that mum noticed it.   Not wanting to miss this opportunity,  we organised to go to the matinée session today.  This version of the show has Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom, Sierra Boggess as Christine and Hadley Fraser as Raoul.  All of them were great, but particularly Christine.  Honorable mention goes to Kiera Duffy and Liz Robertson as Carlotta and Madame Giry respectively.

The cinema version started with the seating of the audience, which went of for some time.  It was done as though you were actually in a the Royal Albert Hall and already seated.  You could see people playing with their phones and looking for their seats, and so on.  Once it started, several cameras took over and it became more like a film.  Having a run time of 210 minutes, there is a 20 minute interval halfway through, which took the audience I was with by surprise.  It was a good idea though, and a welcome stretch of the legs.

At the end of the musical, and the nods from the actors, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber appeared and thanked various members of the production, and a short performance by several retired stars takes place.  Some of the familiar faces were nice to see, although it did feel tacked on, having just heard the same songs in the show.

It was well worth the price of admission to see on the large screen, and if you get the chance, see it.  It is a very limited run though, and it ends soon so check your local cinema times as soon as possible.   Should you miss it, the DVD & Blu-Ray will be released on the 7th of December in Australia.   You can check for your region at the official website.

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