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Review Roundup: THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Returns to London - What Did the Critics Think?

The production is now booking to 13 February 2022.

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera has officially returned to London, in a slightly reworked production, starring Killian Donnelly and Lucy St. Louis.

Read all of the reviews below!

The West End cast of Phantom also includes Rhys Whitfield as 'Raoul', Saori Oda as 'Carlotta Giudicelli', Matt Harrop as 'Monsieur Firmin', Adam Linstead as 'Monsieur André', Greg Castiglioni as 'Ubaldo Piangi', Francesca Ellis as 'Madame Giry' and Ellie Young as Meg Giry. At certain performances the role of 'Christine Daaé' will be played by Holly-Anne Hull. They are joined by Leeroy Boone, Corina Clark, Edward Court, Lily De-La-Haye, Hywel Dowsell, Jemal Felix, Erin Flaherty, James Gant, Eilish Harmon-Beglan, Emma Harris, Yukina Hasebe, Olivia Holland-Rose, Grace Hume, James Hume, Donald Craig Manuel, Jonathan Milton, Janet Mooney, Tim Morgan, Beatrice Penny-Toure, Michael Robert-Lowe, Nikki Skinner, Tim Southgate, Ashley Stillburn, Manon Taris, Anouk Van Laake, Skye Weiss, Simon Whitaker and Karen Wilkinson.

The production is now booking to 13 February 2022. Learn more at thephantomoftheopera.com.


William J Connolly, BroadwayWorld: To be clear, this isn't a whole new production of reimagined and soaring storytelling, but it's also not the original and makes that very clear. It's a fresh look. It's had the botox treatment. A little lift. There's a new painted feature wall and a new lamp, a remodelled set, and a grander golden arch that houses the opera scenes. Phantom had, as you'd expect of a 30+-year run, become a product of its time. It aged, gracefully. But thanks to this new production, under the direction now of Seth Sklar-Heyn, it's taken the genius inspiration of its beginning and added an extra sparkle. And sparkle it does, but the darkness comes too. Phantom has never felt so spooky and uneasy.

Lyndsey Winship, The Guardian: Winning formulas, of course, still need a refresh, so post-pandemic the show has returned with a new cast. Lucy St Louis (who played Diana Ross in Motown the Musical) is an enchanting Christine, the object of the Phantom's obsession. She's beatific, her tone bright with no harsh glare, all delicate vibrato, fine control and escalating power. As the Phantom, Killian Donnelly (a former Jean Valjean in Les Mis) finds a range of colours from a whisper to a roar. He handles a tricky role, a stalker and kidnapper who is also an alternative romantic lead. He's a Frankenstein's monster, sinister yet vulnerable, whose eyes "both threaten and adore" and who tells Christine "fear can turn to love". No room to interrogate his status as an abusive incel here, just a good yarn.

Alun Hood, WhatsOnStage: To lead with the positive, the re-vamped Phantom 'look' is essentially only a spruce and polish up of Maria Björnson's award-winning masterpiece of design. The sumptuously beautiful costumes are still intact, as are the gorgeous swags that swoop and part to reveal yet another opulent, atmospheric setting (which now slide into place slickly and silently, by the way, unlike in the latter stages of the original run when the out-of-view racket on an off night could sound like a tube train collision).

Serena Davies, The Telegraph: Still, apart from Prince's inspired staging and solid ensemble support (strong here), all you need for a good Phantom is a good Phantom, and Killian Donnelly delivers. His voice is big, particularly lower down, and he has a dollop more menace than most. We didn't get the sweet falsetto that its first incumbent Michael Crawford made forever associated with this role, but this gruffer, nastier interpretation made the Phantom's sudden reduction to maimed outcast sobbing his love for Christine in the final moments all the more piercing.

Tim Bano, The Stage: Casting is a mixed bag. Killian Donnelly feels too nice as the Phantom, his voice too high and soft to be convincingly threatening, but Rhys Whitfield's young, dashing and assertive Raoul brings substance to the character. The focal point is Lucy St Louis as Christine, who nails it. Somehow, within a character as shallow as a mug of tea, she finds hidden depths of emotional turmoil - disgust tempered with deep sympathy for Phantom, pure love for Raoul that shines through in All I Ask of You.

Katie Rosseinsky, Evening Standard: Second act opener Masquerade is especially dazzling, while that gondola journey down into the depths, lit by hundreds of candles that emerge from the darkness, makes an unforgettable set piece. This is the West End at its crowd-pleasing best, buoyed by a standout turn from St Louis as Christine, who flits effortlessly through the show's many musical styles. Her character is hardly an empowered heroine, yet the actress makes her vital and engaging; Donnelly, meanwhile, makes a nuanced Phantom, despite the part's cartoonish trappings.

Stefan Kyriazis, Express: There was a time when Phantom felt like it was haunting the outskirts of London's West End while newer, brighter and shinier musicals grabbed the spotlight. Yet lockdown has somehow given this productional a new lustre and life. The staging has never looked more spectacular. You'd think I'd never seen a show by the way I genuinely gawped in delight when the Phantom and Christine gondoliered through the misty catacombs as gleaming golden candelabras emerged from the floor.

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