By Kelly Jobanputra
Ask someone to name an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and chances are the renowned, long-running, stage production of The Phantom of The Opera will be mentioned. So it’s with a mixture of preconceived excitement and expectation that a lot of people are bound to be filled with at tonight’s Bristol Hippodrome performance. There’s always the worry then, that the show won’t live up to the expectations of the crowd. But that is certainly not the case during tonight’s show because from the minute the curtain is up, the performance is nothing short of sensational.
The set is amazing (it starts off in an auction), the timing is precise, the orchestra are talented beyond description and the singing is ‘goose-bump’ level. The whole production has an eerie feel to it, a feeling of impending doom, and the lighting helps keep this atmosphere going throughout the whole performance. Very early on we are introduced to the idea of the theatre being possessed by an evil spirit when a sand bag falls from the ceiling and just misses the part of Carlotta Giudicelli.
Carlotta (played by Angela M Caesar) is a larger than life opera singer with a fierce temper, who the Phantom does not want to be taking centre stage. The Phantom instead wants Christine Daae (who he refers to as his angel of music) to be performing his songs and makes it clear that bad things will happen if Carlotta tries to take over.
It’s amazing watching Katie Hall play the part of Christine because it’s unbelievable how such a slight person has such a powerful voice that literally makes jaws drop. The part of the Phantom has also been perfectly chosen as John Owen-Jones has certainly managed to fill the big shoes that were left behind by his predecessors.
As the show continues, the opera gets even more sinister. The Phantom no longer has Christine in his grasp, she is moving on and is busy dealing with her secret engagement. We are taken on this journey via an array of different sets, effects and emotions.
‘Think of Me’, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘The Music of the Night’ are all musical numbers that could easily be recognised within the first lines and would definitely even grab the attention of the plus-ones who would normally not want to go along to the theatre. This show is quite simply a must for everyone.
The Phantom of The Opera runs at Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday the 30th of June.