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New London Production

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Post  Raphael Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:09 am

There's been a lot of news about the reopening of the London production and it NOT being "The Brilliant Original" despite what RUG and Cameron Mackintosh have said in the press. With what was the largest pit orchestra in the West End cut to 14 musicians and the original show and its cast sacked and replaced by Cameron Mackintosh's new UK Tour, we may very well have seen the last of Hal Prince's production on the West End. Since this is essentially a pared-down version, I thought it might be wise to split it off from the London Production thread.

If any long-time London phans happen attend this new Phantom production, I'd be curious to hear your opinions.

R.

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Post  Raphael Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:10 am

Here's an article of Cameron Mackintosh attempting to justify the changes made to the London Production:

R.

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Post  Raphael Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:15 am

The only bright side in all this has been the announcement of Lucy St. Louis as the new London Christine - and the first black actress to play the role in the West End:

Although the cynic in me thinks that with the rest of the cast I believe being identical to the recent UK Tour, that would mean they bumped the previous principal Christine to alternate to make this cast change to divert attention away from any blowback from Mackintosh's horrendous quotes in the What's On Stage article.

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Post  Raphael Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:55 pm

New London Christine Lucy St. Louis and her new costumes:


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Post  MarySkater Mon May 03, 2021 9:37 am

When I read through the cast list, I was surprised to see Manon Taris as an ensemble player. She can do more than that! She was alternate Christine in the cancelled Paris production. In the famous "party" on the steps of the Opera House with the Paris cast, she took over singing the high notes at the end of the title song, when Sierra bottled out.

I'll know more when the programme for the new production is published, but I hope Manon is at least credited as an understudy for one of the principals, Carlotta if not Christine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrwQlEG3OtA
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Post  Raphael Mon May 03, 2021 11:31 pm

I'm honestly not entirely surprised. Several of the US productions have had incredibly talented and versatile ensemble members who have proven they are on par with the principals. I know a few never graduate to the lead roles because they are considered by the creative team to be too valuable in covering lots of tracks.

That being said, would love to see Manon as the principal Christine at some point!

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Post  GlassPrism Mon May 03, 2021 11:36 pm

MarySkater wrote:When I read through the cast list, I was surprised to see Manon Taris as an ensemble player. She can do more than that! She was alternate Christine in the cancelled Paris production. In the famous "party" on the steps of the Opera House with the Paris cast, she took over singing the high notes at the end of the title song, when Sierra bottled out.

I'll know more when the programme for the new production is published, but I hope Manon is at least credited as an understudy for one of the principals, Carlotta if not Christine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrwQlEG3OtA

I believe Manon Taris was set to be the understudy Christine in Paris, not alternate (that was Anne-Marine Suire). That said, Manon Taris was in the London production before it shut down due to COVID-19, and she was cast as the Carlotta understudy and even went on a few times, so I would not be surprised if she's the understudy for that role again!

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Post  auctioneer Thu May 27, 2021 1:35 pm

Yes, it is all very unfortunate, but absolutely no surprise. One of my favorite parts of this wonderful production has been the orchestra, and I have frequently in the past posted about my marvel at the original musicians who played in the pit from 1986 right up until March 2020. There are also folks on the crew who have done the same, and we all know of long-serving cast members Philip Griffiths and Ellen Jackson.
None of this can be held against the new folks who will move into orchestra, cast, and crew roles. Musicals are a business, after all.
I can understand needing to modernize, but the reduction of the orchestra is by far the biggest shame.
Sadly, the mainstream will not care. I remember the same outcry when Les Miz reduced their orchestra twice - firstly when they moved to the Queen's from the Palace, and then again when they brought in the new production. It was from a small but vocal group, but it all died off within a few weeks. Sadly it will here, too.
My kudos and thanks to all the long-serving musicians, cast, and crew who now find themselves out of work.

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