Today my family and I were in for a real treat. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera came to town and we were lucky enough to secure tickets. I first saw this musical when I was fifteen years old (way too long ago) and the gothic magic consumed me. It was something that never left me and now I’ve been able to share that magic with my own children. My daughter watched in awe as the phantom attempted to steal the beautiful Christine away from her new love, and as the huge crystal chandelier exploded above the audience. My favourite part will always be the masquarade ball, although it lacked a little in this version, it was still fabulous.
The whole show was wonderfully put together and the singing was mind blowing. Although the show was on a slightly smaller scale than the London version, they have retained all of the glory of the original version. I can’t wait ’til it comes around again. I’ll be first in the queue.
With the imminent release of the film ‘The Woman in Black’ starring Daniel Radcliffe, I felt a desperate need to see the West End Play. It is always difficult when they make a film of a show, because the special effects they are able to use on screen render our imagination lazy and redundant, which is why I chose to see the show first.
The stage version has been running at the Fortune Theatre for over twenty years. It successfully ignites the imagination to the point of mild hysteria from some younger audience members. The cast of two — or possibly three 😉 provide a magical performance as they flit between characters who are attempting to re-tell the terrifying experiences of Arthur Kipps, the lead character. With very few props or stage sets, they somehow succeed in drawing you deeply into their story, which is peppered with just the right amount of humour to keep it light.
The woman in black – if you dare to admit to having seen her, is truly frightening with her wasted appearance and ability to appear and disappear at will.
Even the most sceptical among us would leave that beautiful old theatre believing in ghosts.
So, who is the woman in black, and what does she want. Well, that is something that you will have to find out for yourself. The film is released later this month but I highly recommend seeing the show first.
Daniel Radcliffe has a lot to live up to but I’m certain he will do the role justice.