Musicality’s Phantom of the Opera
Putting on one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most popular Musicals is no easy feat and on their opening night, Nottingham’s Musicality certainly rose to the task.
Throughout the show there was constant contrast between the lighter comedic passages and the Phantom’s dark, menacing moments. The comic duo of Richard Firmin (Jack Scott-Walker) and Giles Andre (Kishan Soni) supplied a much-needed light-hearted distraction from the Phantom’s terror.
Prima Donna Carlotta (Bethany Lamb) showed incredible vocal dexterity, which she used to maximise the farcical nature of her character and when partnered with the gregarious cloak whipping Ubaldo Piangi (Greg Link) it was hard not to laugh.
Performed at the Nottingham Arts Theatre, the gothic themed staging, use of organ pipes, wax dripping candles and the iconic chandelier were fittingly imposing and the Phantom’s mask, sculpted almost like a gargoyle, accentuated his ominous and mysterious character.
Christine (Lizzie Jerjian) displayed absolute poise and control. Her soaring sustained upper register floated effortlessly over the whole theatre which contrasted effectively against the intricate runs and created an emotional powerhouse of a performance.
The Phantom (Simon Kale) explored and expressed the deepest corners of the eponymous beast’s mystique and created a fantastically foreboding character. Similarly to Christine’s higher register, the Phantoms falsetto was pure and piercing and accentuated his enigmatic character.
The choreography was creative with parts of the Ballet impressively on pointe and the extremely tight trousers exhibited by the male dancer Jon Walker must also get a mention as they will no doubt be a hit with the ladies in the coming shows!
The highlight of the performance came in Christine (Lizzie Jerjian) and Raoul’s (Andrew Bond) beautiful duet ‘All I ask of you’. They created a true sense of their love, which was natural and believable – uncommon in an amateur production.
If you enjoy copious streams of dry smoke, dramatic lighting, passionate music and a load of truly superb singers then you are in for a treat.