An Andrew Lloyd Webber Production
So last night me and two friends went to see Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre on London’s West End. This show was given a lot of hype when it was first introduced as the long-awaited sequel to the ever popular Phantom of the Opera which is now in its 25th year on the West End! However, when it first opened some reviews were not as forthcoming with praise as one might have expected and as a result, Andrew Lloyd Webber closed the show and re-worked it, adding various aspects and taking away others to make it the show that it is today. Sadly, due to the lack of people on seats, it was announced that the show would close for good on the 27th August this year.
This news meant that Love Never Dies became the next must-see show between my group of friends and I. So today was that day! Top price tickets for £25 (got to love having theatre contacts), row B of the Grand Circle and an amazing view! Although I had read the storyline of the show on Wikipedia months earlier, it was still a surprise with all the staging and although I have had the soundtrack for months, I’ve never really listened to it properly so it was great to see it all come together. Also, although I knew what happens at the end (look away now for anyone who doesn’t want to know) the gunshot still scared the life out of the entire audience!
Overall it was a brilliant show, particularly if you take it as its own show rather than simply a sequel to a very well established show. I agree that there are parts that are a bit over the top (*ahem* huge creepy drumming monkey) and some that aren’t entirely realistic (sitting up when you’ve been shot in the stomach, and there being no blood?), but this was all made up for by a fabulous score, incredible staging and actors that just blew you away. I’m talking shivers all over by both leads and visible goosebumps as Celia Graham (Christine Daae) sang her solo and the title song ‘Love Never Dies’. Other notable performances came from Haley Flaherty as Meg Giry and despite a few pitching problems at the end, Connor Fitzgerald as Gustave. The 3 ‘circus freaks’ Fleck, Squelch and Gangle played by Tracey Penn, Adam Pearce and Charles Brunton were also brilliant, adding a great deal to the Phantasma feel and creepy atmosphere and not forgetting the Mirela Golinska who, as part of the ensemble, spends a great deal of time doing acrobatic stunts in a ring suspended above the rest of the ensemble below and who I genuinely could not look away from!
Although both Phantom and Love Never Dies are both quite dark in terms of musicals, they are both well worth seeing in my opinion. They are not everyone’s cup of tea, but even just to say you’ve seen them, I’d definitely recommend both, but as I said above, do try to take them more as separate shows rather than LND as just a sequel. Having said this, I’d also recommend seeing Phantom first if you can just to set the scene and add increased emotion to LND.
Just a quick side note: If you really get into shows like I do, you are very likely to be blubbing by the end - wear waterproof mascara girls!
So, having been in the centre of London all evening, I’m very happy to say that a wonderful evening was had and there was not a riot in sight. Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe all this is over, not by a long-shot, but I’m grateful that it ceased for yesterday evening and I’m thinking of everyone that has been affected by this awful behaviour.
I do believe that the next shows will be South Pacific, Wicked (I have lost count as to how many times I’ve seen this show - maybe 7?), Soho Cinders (Kerry Ellis leads a cast for charity) and An Audience with Kerry Ellis at the Shaw Theatre. No doubt there will be reivews like this in the future of some if not all of these!
Hope you’ve enjoyed this, sorry about the rambling!