I’m currently travelling back from London in style… First class! It seems weird to get complimentary WiFi and leg room surrounded by men in business suits doing business things. Here I am sat with my Phantom of the Opera brochure in front of me trying my best efforts to seem sophisticated.
So in major news, I saw the Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre on Tuesday night and the following Saturday (16th February and 27th February matinee) and it was amazing, amazing, amazing.
For those not familiar with the story of the Paris Opera House, it tells a tale of the “Phantom” who is filled with self loathing triggered by his appearance but is overwhelmed with the love he feels for Miss Christine Daaé who is otherwise *engaged* with Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny. In short, its one colossal love story which leaves you emotionally drained.
I have a two show day next week seeing the Phantom of the Opera matinee followed by Miss Saigon’s Final Flight. How am I going to cope? This is too much for one heart. (Ha! Get it?)
Celinde Schoenmaker released her holiday dates from the show after I booked tickets for this month and sadly, I’m missing out on seeing her perform on both occasions. But hey-ho, you pay to see the show, not the performer.
Emmi Christensson played Christine alongside Scott Davies as Phantom and Nadim Naaman as Raoul. I was completely and whole-heartedly besotted with the whole performance so I was too in awe to pay attention to the specifics of all the characters and actor’s performances.
Emmi Christensson, Alternate Christine, covered the evening performance of the leading lady; Miss Christine Daaé and she exceeded all expectations. Woe behold, she was a blonde Christine much like Gaston Lereoux’s depiction. From ‘Think of Me’, it was clear that we were in for a treat with her Christine performance. She was phenomenal. She exposes Christine’s naivety and plays such an innocent portrayal. Her ‘Wishing’ fully reduced me to tears; it was beautiful.
Nadim Naaman portrayed the role of Raoul. I missed out on Nadim’s Raoul when I saw the show in November as he was on holiday so I caught Ashley Stillburn’s performance. (He was amazing- check out my review here!). Nadim played such a protective Raoul and there was so much chemistry between him and Christine that it truly melted my heart. In the Final Lair when Christine kisses the Phantom, Raoul genuinely looked heartbroken and it was so realistic that he truly loves Christine.
Being a ‘fan’ of Phantom, you’re always asked which side you’re on, Phantom or Raoul’s, and I can only decide once seeing the show because it limits you from enjoying the show in its greatest form. From this particular performance, the chemistry between Raoul and Christine was so beautiful and therefore I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want Christine to choose Raoul.
Scott Davies, Standby Phantom, covered the role of the Phantom due to the absence of Ben Forster. He delivered a wonderful and consistent performance however he is not my favourite Phantom. He has an amazingly powerful voice which resonated throughout the theatre and he was very consistent when expressing his emotion but I found that he often ‘over-acted’ the role. He exaggerated the anger he felt and the sadness he felt. When Christine ripped off his mask in ‘Stranger than you Dreamt it’, he was overly dramatic in his sadness losing the effectiveness of his performance. That being said, he was still fabulous and I do not at all fault his talent.
I feel like I need to comment on the orchestra. They are so unappreciated when it comes to theatre performances as the sole focus is on the performers. The orchestra sent chills down my spine and it is my sole aim to be a pit musician for just one show only. We were lucky enough to sit front row so we watched them play whilst the audience left the auditorium and they are so truly talented, especially the violas but of course, I am biased.
Following the show, my Dad and I decided to watch the cast come out of the theatre at Stage Door. Due to the sheer amount of scaffolding surrounding the theatre and not wanting to intrude on the cast, we stood away from the Stage Door allowing the cast to leave without feeling the need to stop for us.
Nadim walked past us and we congratulated him on his amazing performance and he was such a genuine chap. He tweeted me that night too.
We were also lucky enough to catch a conversation with Emmi Christensson who was so, so lovely. I’m such a fool when it comes to meeting people who I’ve seen on stage and have admired (is that the right word?! I don’t want to sound like a stalker) for a while so I am the most weird person to talk to because I just say a load of babble. She now knows I’ll be watching her perform again next Saturday so she told me she’ll see me then. Haha!