Review: Phantom Of The Opera – horror, heartbreak and harmony

He's here. Inside your mind… Photograph: Richard J Tampion
1 Mar 2014 @ 8.34 pm
| News
He's here. Inside your mind… Photograph: Richard J Tampion
He’s here. Inside your mind… Photograph: Richard J Tampion

Review: Phantom Of The Opera by York Stage Youth
Venue: Joseph Rowntree Theatre, February 27

I have a confession to make. I have seen Phantom Of The Opera on Broadway in New York. Confession number two? I slept through most of it.

Not my proudest moment, but it does give you a little perspective on my general feelings towards Lloyd Webber productions.

This version of Phantom Of The Opera presented by York Stage Youth tells the story of the mysterious Phantom, hidden in the depths of the Opera Populaire, and his muse / student Christine, a young chorus girl.

The phantom causes disruption to productions in order to have Christine installed as the star.

What follows is a tale of horror, death, heartbreak, and of course, songs.

One of my major complaints with musicals is the need to sing every line of exposition, a tradition continued here. The songs, although performed well, often confused the story, with three or four characters singing at once.

That said the orchestra were excellent, and the musical performances were good, with the standout being Stephanie Bolsher as Christine.

The acting was good too, with Daniel McGuinness and Alex Dunn as the theatre owners being the most fun to watch.

Kathryn Sabourn, playing displaced prima donna Carlotta, was clearly cast based on her ability to hit a high note – which she did magnificently.

Ashley Standland as the phantom came into his own when his character starts to unravel in the second act.

The Joseph Rowntree Theatre is a very appropriate setting, almost as old as the story being told. It felt much bigger than it is.

Coupled with the amazing costumes and the excellent make up job on the phantom’s scarred face, it added to the show’s professional feel.