Thursday, 10 July 2014

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Youth Group production
Nottingham Arts Theatre.

Back for another run at the Nottingham Arts Theatre after their March 2014 success, this time round it's even better than in March, and I raved about this show back then, in fact if truth be told, this show has got even better with, I'm sure, even more pyrotechnics.A wealth of talent on all levels this week at the Arts Theatre.

We all know the classic Andrew Lloyd-Webber story of the theatre phantom who falls for the beautiful opera singer, Christine Daae, his love turns to obsession and holds the theatre staff to ransom until they do as he says so that he gets the girl, but because he loves her so much, he then lets her go to be with the one she really loves, Raoul. Yes it's the age old love triangle, Phantom falls in love, Phantom wins the girl, girl falls in love with non Phantom, and Phantom loses girl.

Our "Phantom" was played by Simon Kale, and although his background is steeped in opera and musical theatre, he could double as a hypnotist as he had every eye on him when on stage, demanding our attention.

Christine was played by Elizabeth Jerjian and what a gorgeous voice she owns.

Jack Harrison played Christine's lover, Raoul, another excellent singing voice who compliments Elizabeth's and a match for Simon's in the end section where all three sing together.

I absolutely adored the comedy of Carlotta and Ubaldo, the arrogant "stars" of the opera within the show, played by Bethany Lamb and Greg Link beautifully, and both owners of wonderful lungs.

Another classy lead was played by Abby Hughes as Madame Giry, the bossy dance teacher who has an insight into the Phantom.

This production just oozed class in fact from the wonderful choreography to the evocative lighting to the multi faceted set and stage to the wonderful orchestra which swirled around the theatre as easily as the dry ice on the stage. I actually had to take a peek into the pit in the interval because the sound was just so good that i had to check if there was an orchestra there just because the standard was that good.

Although this is an amateur production the show is as professional as anything you will see in the West End. Great actors, the music of Lloyd Webber and a show that will have you smiling as well as making the hairs on your neck stand to attention. Could this be the Ultimate musical? It's a close second to my all time favourite of "Blood Brothers".

Please catch "The Phantom" at the Nottingham Arts Theatre, this week until Saturday 12 July 2014. I promise you will not regret it

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