The London production 2

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The London production 2

Post  SenorSwanky on Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:55 am

Aled_Boyo wrote:Great to see John on CIN! My friend saw him arriving at the studio, coming out of the taxi in full Phantom costume Cool It was a brilliant performance considering it was so late and he'd already done the show that night!
So he must've gone back to HM's to get back in makeup/costume. That must've been a sight.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Aled_Boyo on Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:07 pm

I guess so! They did a pretty good job too, for what was only a brief appearance. The 'good' side of his face looked particularly elegant on Friday night. He does have a good mask face, ol' JOJ.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  operafantomet on Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:00 pm

Aled_Boyo wrote:He does have a good mask face, ol' JOJ.
He'll be so happy to hear that. Laughing

(just kidding! I agree, some just have a more "right" face for the mask than others)

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Re: The London production 2

Post  SenorSwanky on Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:06 pm

I actually tend to prefer more gaunt-faced or well-defined/high-cheekbone Phantoms in terms of looks, like Gaines, Hilsabeck, Barton, Crawford, Karrie, etc.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  justin-from-barbados on Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:16 pm

I remember back in the day when I forst saw JOJ he has thick cheaks and I thought to myself he reminds me of a cute british bull-dog Very Happy

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Re: The London production 2

Post  SenorSwanky on Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:25 pm

justin-from-barbados wrote:I remember back in the day when I forst saw JOJ he has thick cheaks and I thought to myself he reminds me of a cute british bull-dog Very Happy
He reminds me of Ricky Gervais. Gervais has lost a lot of weight in the last year or so, though, so he doesn't have the chubby cheeks he used to.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Aled_Boyo on Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:36 pm

JOJ has definitely lost weight since his last run, too. He looks fab at the moment! His mask always looks good.

Anyone know if they've released a new London brochure yet?

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Scorp on Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:33 pm

Aled_Boyo wrote:JOJ has definitely lost weight since his last run, too. He looks fab at the moment! His mask always looks good.

Anyone know if they've released a new London brochure yet?

Not yet, but then it's only been three weeks since JOJ came back.

Saw the show on the 19th. Was at the same performance as Earlfan. I took a couple of friends with me who were very eager to see the show after hearing me rave on and on about it for years. Unexpectedly they very much liked it -- I say unexpectedly because musicals like Phantom are rare these days. Sung-through quasi-operatic dramatic musicals are not the norm in the 21st century. I was interested in their comments at the end that they could only interpret the kiss at the end as compassion and that neither of these complete Phantom newbies ever got the impression that Christine would choose the Phantom over Raoul. When I told them the plot of Love Never Dies, they were beyond mindf***ed.

I was front row centre of the Upper Circle and it was a fantastic seat. I've sat there before but I'd forgotten what it was like. I may actually go there more often now that the stalls are getting so expensive. You got a fantastic view of everything, without the need to dodge heads or lean forward or even use opera glasses.

After a brief hiatus of not seeming to care any more, the HMT staff are back to shouting at people taking pictures during the interval and before the show. One poor woman had her phone out and wasn't even using it to take pictures during the interval and got shouted at an usher from miles away, who said: 'YOU THERE WITH THE PHONE! NO PICTURES! I CAN SEE YOU'VE GOT A PHONE! I WILL COME AND KILL YOU!'.

JOJ is fabulous and though I regularly listen to his Phantom and saw his Phantom probably more than any other during his original run, I wasn't expecting such a superb performance. Especially as he's still recovering from that nasty virus -- frankly I couldn't even tell he wasn't 100%. His voice is quite different now from how it was previously -- it's matured, I suppose, though if you're familiar with his recent performances as Valjean the voice won't be too much of a surprise. I felt like he could handle the score a lot better this time than last time, not that I ever thought he struggled last time round. And I was delighted to find a vast range of subtleties in his acting that eluded the likes of David Shannon and Ramin Karimloo. Frankly, I honestly think we haven't had a London Phantom as good as this since Earl Carpenter left (and IMHO JOJ beats Earl, but that's just my opinion). The show somehow comes alive when you get a good Phantom. I have a feeling the reason I may have been so bored when seeing the show in recent years is because of the dud Phantoms. Karimloo was too young and the interpretation was just awkward, and Shannon was just not quite there. But this is a different league altogether. I don't find it surprising that I've found the show a lot more enjoyable recently when Scott Davies or Stephen John Davis was on. Get a dull Phantom and you get a dull show. Get a great Phantom and it's a completely different experience. JOJ also gets bonus points for telling me: 'I never forget a pretty face'. Razz

Sofia Escobar still does little for me. She is better than Tabitha Webb all round but her acting is seriously lacking. I really can't help but cringe during the dialogue in the 'Little Lotte' scene -- the acting is terrible. The audience seemed to like her though.

Oliver Eyre was Raoul and he did a great job. It's nice to have a decent Raoul understudy as well as a decent principal Raoul. Perhaps the trade-off for excellent Phantoms and good Raouls are subpar Christines... How I would love for Gina Beck and Rebecca Lock to come back.

I have solved the mystery of whether the London production has the Lon Chaney dummy during 'Masquerade'. The answer is that it DOES, but it's in a completely different position from where it is in other productions. Instead of being at the bottom of the staircase to the left (from the audience's point of view), it is instead on the other side of the staircase and further up. That'll be why I wasn't able to see it last time, as I was sitting on the same side of the Upper Circle so the proscenium would have blocked my view of the dummy.

Also, I was delighted to hear the ballet girls count in French, just like in the Copenhagen production, during 'Angel of Music'. Fiona Morley tells me that is the intention (i.e. for it to be in French) most of the time, but sometimes it depends on who's doing it apparently. So there you go.

Haven't watched the CIN appearance yet. I'll watch it on iPlayer, but has anyone uploaded it to YouTube yet?

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Re: The London production 2

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:04 am

Scorp wrote:I'll watch it on iPlayer, but has anyone uploaded it to YouTube yet?
Yeah, head over to the YouTube thread.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  operafantomet on Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:07 am

Scorp wrote:I was front row centre of the Upper Circle and it was a fantastic seat. I've sat there before but I'd forgotten what it was like. I may actually go there more often now that the stalls are getting so expensive. You got a fantastic view of everything, without the need to dodge heads or lean forward or even use opera glasses.
Agreed. POTO is a show I enjoy seeing from various angles. The design is so superb.

After a brief hiatus of not seeming to care any more, the HMT staff are back to shouting at people taking pictures during the interval and before the show. One poor woman had her phone out and wasn't even using it to take pictures during the interval and got shouted at an usher from miles away, who said: 'YOU THERE WITH THE PHONE! NO PICTURES! I CAN SEE YOU'VE GOT A PHONE! I WILL COME AND KILL YOU!'.
Oh Lord... I still have nightmares about that usher gal with red, curly hair...

Get a dull Phantom and you get a dull show. Get a great Phantom and it's a completely different experience. JOJ also gets bonus points for telling me: 'I never forget a pretty face'. Razz
I second this. Both comments. Wink

Oliver Eyre was Raoul and he did a great job. It's nice to have a decent Raoul understudy as well as a decent principal Raoul. Perhaps the trade-off for excellent Phantoms and good Raouls are subpar Christines... How I would love for Gina Beck and Rebecca Lock to come back.
That might be true. I've never seen a fantastic trio in London. I've seen a fantastic Phantom and Raoul with sub-par Christine, I've seen a great Phantom and Christine with sub-par Raoul, and I've seen a wonderful Christine and Raoul with a dull Phantom. But three strong leads has slipped me, I think. Though that is of course based on personal preferences...

I have solved the mystery of whether the London production has the Lon Chaney dummy during 'Masquerade'. The answer is that it DOES, but it's in a completely different position from where it is in other productions. Instead of being at the bottom of the staircase to the left (from the audience's point of view), it is instead on the other side of the staircase and further up. That'll be why I wasn't able to see it last time, as I was sitting on the same side of the Upper Circle so the proscenium would have blocked my view of the dummy.
Cool to get it confirmed! Good spotting. I've seen him being placed there in other productions too. You never know where Lon Chaney will show up...

Also, I was delighted to hear the ballet girls count in French, just like in the Copenhagen production, during 'Angel of Music'. Fiona Morley tells me that is the intention (i.e. for it to be in French) most of the time, but sometimes it depends on who's doing it apparently. So there you go.
THAT is cool. It's one of the small details I loved in Copenhagen. Interesting that it depends on the dancer in London.

Glad to hear JOJ is as fantastic as ever. He really is a powerpack compared to some of the previous Phantoms. I did like David Shannon, cause he had moments of greatness. But alas I though he had more moments of restraintness (if that is a word...). He was always one with lots of potential, but I don't think it was fulfilled. And whereas Ramin Karimloo had a grand voice, I second the too-young-and-slightly-odd interpretation. I loved Earl Carpenter, however. He's one of my favorites. But JOJ on a good day is hard to match. Very Happy

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Re: The London production 2

Post  starryeyed on Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:52 pm

I always feel very sorry for David Shannon. The last 2/3 performances I saw of his he was absolutely fantastic and his final lair alone I would have paid to see but people had written him off long before then so it was too little too late. I really liked David, I would actually say he was more likeable than Scott Davies on reflection but then the first time I saw Scott was such a phenomenal show I think that's why I tend to think I preferred him to David. I liked SJD but didn't feel he really did all that much to really make the role his own, fantastic voice though.

I've not seen JOJ yet but I wasn't a fan of him at all as Valjean and those who loved (and raved about him) as Valjean seem to love his Phantom so I'm not getting my hopes up. Maybe with lowered expectations I might really enjoy his performance (when I get round to seeing him) as I think perhaps that's why I didn't get his Valjean, he had been so hyped up to me there was no way he could possibly match my expectations. I wasn't crazy about the CiN performance and everyone raves about that, I really think I seem to be the odd one out and have a real acquired taste when it comes to performers as I really enjoyed Simon Bailey's early Raoul whereas most people hated it and I thought he did improve tremendously and then everyone loved him but there was something from his earlier performances that was missing. His last performance really captured what he had done earlier in his run and was hands down the best performance by a Raoul I've ever seen.

This has turned into an odd sort of ramble of thoughts (I've missed posting on here!) so I'm just going to say thanks for the reviews as I liked reading them and I promise to be around here a bit more again.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:50 pm

Shannon is a tremendous actor, and has a decent voice. I much prefer his Valjean to JOJ's. But from what I have experienced of his Phantom, it's strangely underwhelming. I guess he is an understated actor and singer, much subtler than most Phantoms, so maybe it doesn't come across well unless you're right there live.

I really like a lot of what JOJ does as the Phantom. I think his Final Lair, while sometimes maybe a little too over-the-top, is gut-wrenching. And his MOTN is very seductive and has a soft lullabye quality at the appropriate times.

I've always liked Davies quite a bit too. He adopts a lot of Peter Karrie mannerisms, both physically and vocally, which is nice.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  operafantomet on Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:25 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:Shannon is a tremendous actor, and has a decent voice. I much prefer his Valjean to JOJ's. But from what I have experienced of his Phantom, it's strangely underwhelming. I guess he is an understated actor and singer, much subtler than most Phantoms, so maybe it doesn't come across well unless you're right there live.
Well, I was right there live, and I must admit it didn't come across then either. Minus a couple of scenes, where he was really great. I saw two performances back in December 2009, and I had the feeling it was an excellent Phantom in making, and that all he needed was a couple of weeks. But judging from the reviews, he only came across the very last weeks of his run. Very odd. I don't know what held him back. Maybe it was right what someone suggested, that the resident director instructed him to downscale certain scenes which made him a bit restrained, but that he sort of didn't care the last weeks? It's a pity, cause in the scenes he was good, he was really, really good. But his overall Phantom performance was nothing like the quality of his Valjean.

I second the Scott Davies comment. He does a dangerous Phantom. Which is a compliment in this neck of the wood. Smile

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Re: The London production 2

Post  starryeyed on Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:24 pm

Perhaps you are right in the last few weeks he didn't care. The thing was DS clearly took on board what the directors told him to do and SD was very open about the fact he would listen to what they told him then ignore it. So I don't think DS really got to do all he wanted to with the role which is a shame.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Helen on Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:58 pm

operafantomet wrote:I saw two performances back in December 2009, and I had the feeling it was an excellent Phantom in making, and that all he needed was a couple of weeks. But judging from the reviews, he only came across the very last weeks of his run. Very odd. I don't know what held him back

I saw him in December 2009 also, and I agree that he did seem like he would become an excellent Phantom given time. I saw him a second time in July this year, but I didn't think he'd improved awfully much and he seemed even more restrained than he did the first time. I had very high expectations of his Phantom, as I'd loved his Valjean.

I've not seen JOJ yet but I wasn't a fan of him at all as Valjean and those who loved (and raved about him) as Valjean seem to love his Phantom so I'm not getting my hopes up. Maybe with lowered expectations I might really enjoy his performance (when I get round to seeing him) as I think perhaps that's why I didn't get his Valjean, he had been so hyped up to me there was no way he could possibly match my expectations

I've heard a few people make similar comments. I saw him as the Phantom first and I thought he was great. Strangely enough, when I saw him as Valjean, I didn't actually realise that it was the same actor until afterwards.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  starryeyed on Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:53 am

If anyone likes keeping up with previous cast members many of them having concerts coming up over the Christmas period including David Shannon, Robyn North, Gina Beck, Rebecca Lock and Rebecca Caine. Oh and so does Ramin, I always forget he was in the original for some reason (it genuinely slips my mind.) Also Simon Bailey is going into Striking 12 over the Christmas period.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Scorp on Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:46 pm

Not confirmed, but I have reason to believe that Geoffrey Ferris, who was for many years the resident director at Her Majesty's has passed away. If true, this is slightly creepy as it was only today I found a brief mention of him in Patti LuPone's autobiography...

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Re: The London production 2

Post  operafantomet on Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:34 pm

Scorp wrote:Not confirmed, but I have reason to believe that Geoffrey Ferris, who was for many years the resident director at Her Majesty's has passed away. If true, this is slightly creepy as it was only today I found a brief mention of him in Patti LuPone's autobiography...
It is indeed true. Cast and crew on HMT seems to have been very fond of him. Sad

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Re: The London production 2

Post  starryeyed on Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:49 am

Yes sadly, it is true.

More previous cast member news, after playing Khashoggi in the UK tour of WWRY Earl Carpenter will play Peron in Evita.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  auctioneer on Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:33 am

Glad to hear that Mr Owen-Jones is doing so well in his run so far. Can't be surprised at that, I must say. I look forward to seeing him soon. I have to agree with comments above that Mr Shannon had flashes of brilliance. I believe I wrote on this forum earlier that his performance in his last show in September during the final lair was nothing short of spectacular. It was as if he gave it his all. More than any other performer in the role, his interpretation could change very much from one performance to the next. My sense from JOJ's performance from his last run (during which I saw him many times) was that he didn't change very much from one performance to the next - but each performance was strong.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  starryeyed on Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:47 am

David Shannon's "Final Lair" especially towards the end of his run was just, fantastic, it really was, quite heartbreaking I found. I loved how he could be threatening but then also sort of snap out of it as if he was asking himself what he was actually doing.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Scorp on Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:15 am

starryeyed wrote:Yes sadly, it is true.

More previous cast member news, after playing Khashoggi in the UK tour of WWRY Earl Carpenter will play Peron in Evita.

Where? That Kenwright tour?

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Bric on Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:46 pm

Does anyone know how long JOJ's contract runs? I'm supposed to be in London the last week in April and would like to see him---have tickets for April 28.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  starryeyed on Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:59 pm

It's until September so you'll see him unless he is on holiday/ ill. Sorry I can't be of more help, all I'm aware of holiday wise is the fact he has none in January.

And, Scorp I'd assume it's the Kenwright tour.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  Bric on Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:04 pm

Thanks, that is all I could expect to know at this time and more than I knew. Smile

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Re: The London production 2

Post  SenorSwanky on Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:20 pm

Yeah, I don't think anyone could predict when he'd be sick. Laughing

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Re: The London production 2

Post  starryeyed on Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:36 pm

One of my friends has tried to see him in three seperate shows on numerous occasions and he's been sick everytime so we could always hazard a guess using tha technique. Ha.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  starryeyed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:02 am

Sorry for the double post but wanted this to come up as a new post since it relates to today and not to the date I last posted.

Simon Bailey (previous London Raoul) opens in Striking 12 today, it is running until 2nd January with no performances on a Monday and no performances 25th, 26th, 27th December at the Waterloo East Theatre. It runs for 1 hour 30 minutes with no intermission.

More info can be found here: Striking 12

ETA: And Will Barratt is absent this Thursday - Saturday incase anyone is going to see Phantom.

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Re: The London production 2

Post  operafantomet on Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:13 pm

Still no new London brochure? Neutral

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Re: The London production 2

Post  starryeyed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:35 pm

Nope. If we compare to last year it should be out next week.

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Re: The London production 2

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