Date I Saw The Production – 11/08/16
The Phantom Of The Opera is a musical classic. Everyone has heard of it, but not everyone likes it. When I was given the chance to see the new cast, I practically jumped at the chance. The theatre is atmospheric from the moment you walk into the auditorium, like it would be with every performance of the show. Grey fabric drapes the proscenium, and three black curtains are hung on stage at strange angles. In the centre of the stage, a large item is cloaked labeled “Chandelier” . Two other large items are cloaked. Nadim Naaman played Raoul excellently from the moment he entered the stage. The auctioneer knew what he was doing, and executed the reveal of the chandelier perfectly. Charlotte Vaughan, who usually plays a member of the chorus, stood up to the plate as Carlotta. She captured the essence of the diva wonderfully. Alicia Beck and Celinde Schoenmaker played the two giggling ballet girls, Meg Giry and Christine Daae, perfectly. Celinde has a beautiful voice that was perfect for Christine. During some of her spoken parts, though, her Dutch accent did come through at moments, though otherwise she was flawless. Ben Forster took some time to get used to as Phantom. When you imagine the Phantom, you imagine a deep, ground-shaking and often scary voice. Ben’s voice, while ground-shaking wasn’t the deep you’d get with other phantoms. But, his take on the Phantom was beautiful, and often frightening, you forget he’s an actor. Ben and Celinde have brilliant chemistry on stage. The finale stood out for me the most, however. Ben played the Phantom in a way i’ve never seen before. Ben was frightening, and very maniacal, but also scared of himself. It was a way I’ve never seen before, like the Phantom was discovering himself as well as his surroundings. It was heartbreaking. It was an overall brilliant performance, but the highlight of the show for me was of course Celinde’s Christine. I loved it.
The Phantom Of The Opera is booking until March 4, 2017.