The London production 1

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Post  starryeyed on Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:39 pm

Simon Bailey started rehearsals for Passion today.

Also rehearsals for the new cast of Phantom started today. The principal trio from September - November are confirmed as Scott Davies/Sofia Escobar/ Will Barratt.

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Post  operafantomet on Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:01 pm

starryeyed wrote:Also rehearsals for the new cast of Phantom started today. The principal trio from September - November are confirmed as Scott Davies/Sofia Escobar/ Will Barratt.
Cool, so cool! I will miss many of the current cast members for sure, but I love all these three in the roles and I'm sure they'll be even better when doing it fulltime.

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Post  Helen on Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:31 pm

I don't think I've seen Sofia Escobar, so I'm looking forward to seeing her. I saw Will Barratt as Raoul again last Tuesday, he was very good. He's changed his portrayal quite a bit since I saw him in March. I can't wait to see what he does with the role when it's his full time.

I won't do a proper review of last week's show. I'll just make a few comments here instead. As I said, I saw Will Barratt as Raoul. I haven't managed to see Gina and Simon together this cast which is a bit disappointing, but Will and Gina work well together too. I saw David Shannon as Phantom. I can't decide whether I like him or not. In the Mirror scene and the Wandering Child scene, I loved him, his voice and acting were very hypnotic. I found him a bit too restrained in Stranger Than You Dreamt It, although he did run into the monkey and knocked it over! Someone took a photograph of him when he was in the angel, just as it began to move for the chandelier drop. I think the flash put him off a bit. There was an announcement just before act 2 started, reminding everyone not to take photos. I love Gina's Christine. Her Think of Me and Wishing... were gorgeous and her acting was great. She was brilliant in Final Lair. I'm really going to miss her when she leaves. Rebecca Lock is another one I'm going to miss. She totally stole the show for me. I loved her, the rest of the audience loved her and on the way out, my friend and I wished we could go back the next day, just to see her. Emma Harris is fast becoming my favourite Meg. She's adorable, and she's got a lovely voice. Rohan, Barry and Gareth were just the same as usual. I wasn't keen on Nicky Adams as Mme Giry in act 1. I couldn't hear her at all in Prima Donna and she said a lot of her spoken lines really fast! I liked her more in act 2, especially in the second managers' scene. Her voice was really powerful in the "madness" bit and her acting was good. The ensemble were great and worked well together. Hula Girl and the fish were on in Masquerade.

Also rehearsals for the new cast of Phantom started today. The principal trio from September - November are confirmed as Scott Davies/Sofia Escobar/ Will Barratt.

Is anyone else confirmed as joining in September?


Last edited by Helen on Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  FutureOnTheWestEnd on Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:10 am

Who's going to be Christine's alternate? It should be interesting to find out...



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Post  auctioneer on Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:40 pm

I believe that it will continue to be Tabitha Webb.

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Post  FutureOnTheWestEnd on Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:16 pm

auctioneer wrote:I believe that it will continue to be Tabitha Webb.

Oh, D'oh!
I dislike Tabitha Webb a bit, even though she's gorgeous. Anyone knows who will be playing the rest of the parts? How about Meg and Mme. Giry?

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Post  auctioneer on Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:27 pm

I have heard nothing about either Giry, though starryeyed is more likely to be in the loop than I am. Since rehearsals have started, I guess that news will be out soon.

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Post  PMB1034 on Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:29 pm

Stephen John Davis has certainly been donning the mask rather a lot this week, is David Shannon okay?
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Post  operafantomet on Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:14 pm

Was Julie Steincke ever in the London or UK tour cast? I know she was Madame Giry somewhere in Europe in the late 90s (between 96 and 99 sometime), but I cannot figure out which production it was. For the record, I think she was an understudy and not principal.

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Post  Scorp on Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:19 am

An actor called Brian McCann tweeted that he was having a Phantom mask made. This had led to speculation on WOS that he'll be either one of the Phantom understudies or the new standby. Anyone know anything about him?

People on WOS have also been speculating that Rebecca Caine will rejoin the London production after all these years as Carlotta. I can now tell you these rumours are all FALSE and there is zero chance of this ever happening.

Who has seen Sofia Escobar and what is she like? I hope she's good. I seem either to adore the Christines they cast in London these days (Gina Beck, Rachel Barrell) or to find them completely unsuited to the role (Leila Benn Harris, Nicky Adams, Katrina Murphy).

By the way, I remember starryeyed calculated this for us ages ago and now I can't find the relevant post. What was the date we decided on for the 10,000th performance? Can anyone remember or find what we came up with or do we need to calculate this all over again?

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Post  SenorSwanky on Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:29 pm

I think someone said in a previous page of this thread that McCann will be a Phantom understudy.
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Post  JW89 on Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:56 pm

Stephen John Davis will be the next Phantom I think..being very cryptic on his Twitter page, and refused to deny it.

He's amazing!

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Post  Scorp on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:27 pm

JW89 wrote:Stephen John Davis will be the next Phantom I think..being very cryptic on his Twitter page, and refused to deny it.

He's amazing!

He is but I doubt he's the next Phantom, just based on what he's told me previously... I would love it to be him though.

I'm even sceptical about the JOJ rumours since it didn't seem Phantom was remotely on JOJ's radar when I asked him about upcoming projects in Paris. He could have course been very professional and kept the whole thing top secret.

When do people reckon we'll find out who the next masked one will be?

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Post  Helen on Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:19 pm

Scorp wrote:An actor called Brian McCann tweeted that he was having a Phantom mask made. This had led to speculation on WOS that he'll be either one of the Phantom understudies or the new standby. Anyone know anything about him?

If I'm thinking of the right guy, he was in the show a few years ago in the ensemble and was the understudy for Piangi. I saw him once. His voice was excellent.


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Post  starryeyed on Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:34 pm

That's him Helen you're right!

And a little aside from Tuesday's performance. Me and a few others around me were hit by some things falling from the Grand Circle, I didn't actually see what it was but it was black. Most hillarious, we got some ice cream and a drink though Smile I only had a diet coke though.

And I'm really sad David Shannon is leaving. He has gotten so into his stride now, his final lair was breathtaking on Tuesday.

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Post  Helen on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:15 pm

starryeyed wrote:
And a little aside from Tuesday's performance. Me and a few others around me were hit by some things falling from the Grand Circle, I didn't actually see what it was but it was black. Most hillarious, we got some ice cream and a drink though Smile I only had a diet coke though.

I wish that had happened to me. I bought a diet coke when I was there a few weeks ago, and it was probably the most expensive diet coke I've bought in my life! I'm pleased to hear that David Shannon was so good. I did like him in the Mirror scene and in Wandering Child and some of his Final Lair was good, but I wasn't fussed on the rest of his performance.

Do we know yet who the new Mme Giry will be?

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Post  Scorp on Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:13 am

starryeyed wrote:That's him Helen you're right!

And a little aside from Tuesday's performance. Me and a few others around me were hit by some things falling from the Grand Circle, I didn't actually see what it was but it was black. Most hillarious, we got some ice cream and a drink though Smile I only had a diet coke though..

Was it stuff from the ceiling? I've noticed they've put up netting to stop (presumably plaster?) falling from the ceiling. ALW and his company are really bad at looking after their theatres compared to Sir Cammie... I was at the Noel Coward Theatre yesterday seeing Enron and I'd forgotten just how amazingly well kept that place is. The seats in particular are very new and comfy...usually when I sit in Her Maj's I get uncomfortable extremely quickly!

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Post  starryeyed on Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:29 am

From what I've heard it was actually something from the column where the lighting person sits. It reminded me of once when we were in French at school and some plaster randomly gave way from the ceiling and went everywhere, you can imagine the commotion that caused in a classroom.

I've actually noticed with HM's that the Royal Circle and perhaps even Grand Circle seats are far comfier than those in the stalls.

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Post  justin-from-barbados on Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:33 pm

Scorp wrote:
starryeyed wrote:That's him Helen you're right!

And a little aside from Tuesday's performance. Me and a few others around me were hit by some things falling from the Grand Circle, I didn't actually see what it was but it was black. Most hillarious, we got some ice cream and a drink though Smile I only had a diet coke though..

Was it stuff from the ceiling? I've noticed they've put up netting to stop (presumably plaster?) falling from the ceiling. ALW and his company are really bad at looking after their theatres compared to Sir Cammie... I was at the Noel Coward Theatre yesterday seeing Enron and I'd forgotten just how amazingly well kept that place is. The seats in particular are very new and comfy...usually when I sit in Her Maj's I get uncomfortable extremely quickly!

I saw that netting a while back too and wondered what it was for, looks too small to be there to stop bits of the roof falling off, maybe it is something to help with the new sound system?
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Post  Scorp on Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:45 pm

justin-from-barbados wrote:
Scorp wrote:
starryeyed wrote:That's him Helen you're right!

And a little aside from Tuesday's performance. Me and a few others around me were hit by some things falling from the Grand Circle, I didn't actually see what it was but it was black. Most hillarious, we got some ice cream and a drink though Smile I only had a diet coke though..

Was it stuff from the ceiling? I've noticed they've put up netting to stop (presumably plaster?) falling from the ceiling. ALW and his company are really bad at looking after their theatres compared to Sir Cammie... I was at the Noel Coward Theatre yesterday seeing Enron and I'd forgotten just how amazingly well kept that place is. The seats in particular are very new and comfy...usually when I sit in Her Maj's I get uncomfortable extremely quickly!

I saw that netting a while back too and wondered what it was for, looks too small to be there to stop bits of the roof falling off, maybe it is something to help with the new sound system?

Hmm, I don't think it's to do with the sound system as I'm pretty sure that netting was there back in 2007, which was before the digital upgrade. I can't think what else it is therefore other than to stop bits of the ceiling falling on the audience? Either that or to cover up some massive problem in the ceiling...

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Post  Mandrake on Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:10 pm

I've thought for a while that HM's needed a bit of a refurb. It's beginning to show its age, compares quite badly with the Delfont Mackintosh theatres that have been newly refurbished. The new seats I've seen in Queen's/ Novello are very comfortable, lots of space. Though I like the red velvet at HM's & hope they keep that when/ if it's renovated.

Isn't there now a small restoration levy on tickets for RUG theatres, too, as there used to be (maybe still is) for Delfont Mackintosh? I thought I noticed one last time.

Also, yes, drinks are much more reasonably priced at Delfont Mackintosh! Drink prices are shocking at HM's, almost to the point that I've considered smuggling G&T in an Evian bottle :-)

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Post  EarlFan on Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:21 am

starryeyed wrote:And I'm really sad David Shannon is leaving. He has gotten so into his stride now, his final lair was breathtaking on Tuesday.

Great to hear that he's improving though, when I saw him he really didn't impress me at all. Do we know what he will do after Phantom?

Scorp wrote:
ALW and his company are really bad at looking after their theatres compared to Sir Cammie... I was at the Noel Coward Theatre yesterday seeing Enron and I'd forgotten just how amazingly well kept that place is. The seats in particular are very new and comfy...usually when I sit in Her Maj's I get uncomfortable extremely quickly!

It's pretty bad they can't take better care of their theatres, especially since I really like the exterior of HM's, they should really do something about the interior. And I totally agree that the seats are not very comfy!
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Post  operafantomet on Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:08 am

I do agree that the theatre should be taken care of, but I can see why it haven't had a major overhaul these last couple of years... The problem with Her Majesty's Theatre is that they can't just close Phantom, not even for a week. All those other theatres have breaks between their shows, Phantom is playing non-stop. Their only bet would be to work on Mondays and before/after shows, and clean everything out for the performances. That would cost a LOT, wouldn't it?


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Post  justin-from-barbados on Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:44 pm

They did mention in the program that they managed to replace the roof while the show was still running, but I guess that was the outside roof.

Im sure if they really wanted to they could rig up something in the slow months and close off the balcony and sides of the upper circle and do some maintenance and still run the show.
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Post  auctioneer on Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:59 pm

Yes, I imagine that it would be quite difficult to redo the indoor ceiling while the production is running. Maybe the producers will think of doing what they've done with Priscilla and have a two week shutdown when all the crew/cast take vacation. If they work 24/7, maybe two weeks would be enough - though I'm not an expert in these things, that's for sure. Knowing the way things seem to work at Phantom, the producers would instead run nine shows a week for four months to make up for the lost revenue!

On another note, I'm still waiting for the JOJ announcement. I still don't know it to be 100% true, but I believe that it's going to happen. I guess it'll be early September before we hear anything official.

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Post  operafantomet on Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:09 pm

auctioneer wrote:On another note, I'm still waiting for the JOJ announcement. I still don't know it to be 100% true, but I believe that it's going to happen. I guess it'll be early September before we hear anything official.
Listened to a lot of JOJ songs yesterday, and I must say that when he's good, he's GOOOOOOOD! I knew that, but I had forgotten about just how good he is. I did see him on an off day too once, and that was rather bland. But that was in the middle of his long run as the Phantom, after he had some vocal issues. A "returned" JOJ would probably be pretty energetic! Very Happy

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Post  Aled_Boyo on Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:51 pm

Does anyone know how the JOJ rumours began? How much information is confirmed at the moment? I'm getting quite excited, as I'd love to see him again. But I don't want to build my hopes up too much, just in case it turns out to be merely a rumour. I also heard from a friend of a friend on the Les Mis tour that Earl Carpenter was approached again!

Interesting choices, either way. Would love to see what Earl could do with the role in an extended stay. Really hoping it's JOJ, though. Failing that, someone brand spanking new could be good for the show, too, like a non-previous Raoul or anything like that - completely fresh.
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Post  operafantomet on Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:08 am

OK, I ought to know this, but...

1. When exactly is the cast change? September 4th?
2. Do Scott Davies have some planned performing dates in the mean time?

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Post  auctioneer on Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:07 am

Last day of current cast is Saturday 4 September, and new cast start on Monday 6 September. I believe that Mr Davies is performing for September and October until J...errr....the new Phantom starts.

Incidentally, this is the first time in a while that I can recall that we'll be getting new Phantoms in London and New York! I remember a few years ago JOJ saying that he would go back to Phantom if he could do it in NYC.

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Post  SenorSwanky on Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:50 pm

auctioneer wrote:Incidentally, this is the first time in a while that I can recall that we'll be getting new Phantoms in London and New York! I remember a few years ago JOJ saying that he would go back to Phantom if he could do it in NYC.
And that got me thinking earlier...could we be seeing another cultural exchange like there was in Les Mis...Cudia to London and JOJ to Broadway?
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