Review: Love Never Dies

Posted by Matt Bourne on 05:32 with No comments

Love Never Dies

Christine Daae and the Phantom return in this sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webbers incredibly sucessful Phantom of the Opera in Love Never Dies.  Set 10 years after the original events on Coney Island.  The Phantom survives as Mr.Y the creator and manager of the Phantasma show.  Obssesed still with Christine after all this time he secretly arranges for her to come and sing one number in his new show.  Christine arrives with Raoul and her young son unbeknowst to them that the Phantom is behind it all.  As he reveals himself to them both Christine and Raoul have some choices to make before the story is said and done, some of them life altering.

On the night of this review, the understudies were in the main roles of Christine (Celia Graham) & The Phantom (Tam Mutu) and judging by their performances the actual leads have to be incredible especially in the case of the Phantom as Tam Mutu completely becomes the role and some of the delivery of the bigger numbers is nothing short of awesome.  But thats where the greatness of this production ends.

While being technically brilliant it does tend to suffer from a bit of overkill, you've come to see a musical not a visual display of how clever the projection can be.  Also on the downside you find yourself longing for that big Phantom of the Opera type number.  Sure it's got some big tunes in it (The Beauty Underneath, Love Never Dies, Heaven By The Sea, Devil Take The Hindmost), but nothing that leaps out at you and grabs you by the throat like Phantom of the Opera  did.  Also, the plot is wather thin and the big Empire Strikes Back style twist is glaringly obvious from the get go.  The cast are superb but the tend to get overshadowed by the effects.  SOme of larger dance numbers with the circus/show troop are great to watch, but this is a musical not a variety show.

Overall the show may leave you a little underwhelmed and asking the question 'Did this really need a sequel?' 

Matt Bourne