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The Phantom Of The Opera


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#1 ABowlerHat

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:09 AM

Couldn't find a thread that was just for the West End production but wanted to post about seeing this on Saturday night.

As you can probably tell it is one of my favourite shows and the London production really is the brilliant original. It was great to see it after seeing the tour several times. The tour is great, but it's not the original production.

The cast at the moment are so good, that it really is at its best. The only exception being Marcus Lovett. I was excited when they announced that he was going to play the role and I really wanted to love it (bad pun intended) but his voice is just completely shot. His acting is great, and up there with some wonderful Phantoms but when you don't have the vocal power to support that it's a difficult performance to watch. I know he is an older Phantom and has been in the business for a long time, but he now has very little control over his voice so is very warbly. He just about gets away with it in his lower register but when he goes for the high notes he's very hit and miss (a couple of the top A flats were not even A flats). This was a shame as, like I said, I was really excited to see him in the role. His acting was great except for when singing "an eternity of this before you eyes", he pulled a really weird face that made some audience members laugh. Making audience members laugh is not really an option in that scene and I find it unacceptable. It makes me wonder how Marcus got this job. He seems like a lovely man and everything but there are actors in this country who could actually sing the role properly.

I was fortunate enough to see Anna O'Byrne as Christine. WOW. This is the third time I've been to see the show whilst Sofia has been in it and it's the third time Sofia hasn't been there. Not that I'm bothered because it's hard to imagine her being better than the perfection that is Anna O'Byrne. Incredible acting, incredible singing and right up there alongside Katy Treharne as my favourite Christine.

Despite Marcus' shortcomings it was still a great night at one of London's best shows (special mention to the orchestra which is, perhaps, the best orchestra in London) but if it had been John Owen-Jones as The Phantom it would have been perfection.

#2 zcfthf8

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:43 PM

Sadly I, and many others it would seem, agree with you about Marcus.

He does seem like a very nice chap who is loving playing the role, but vocally he's not up to it.

In terms of his acting, I enjoyed him thoroughly and appreciated having an older phantom who also acted older, moving away from the sexed up phantom we have been subjected to on occasion.

But his vocals leave a lot to be desired. Listening to recordings of his phantom in the early 90's, it seems his voice has deteriorated quite badly and there seems to be no support to his voice.

The most obvious example of this is after the unmasking after PONR and on the line "Anywhere you go, let me go too...." the warble is terrible and sounds very amateurish.

This does beg the question as to how he got the role - the fact is there are ensemble members with more powerful voices and whilst I know it isn't all about the voice (look at Earl Carpenter for instance, who isn't the strongest vocally but is a mesmeric Phantom) you would expect to see the creme de la creme as the Phantom - it's arguably the biggest West End male role (Valjean aside) and I can't understand how someone who isn't a fantastic vocalist can get the role.

I don't mean to slate Marcus, because as I say, his acting is fantastic.

Funnily enough, Peter Joback has really grown on me  - no idea why as I wasn't thrilled when I watched him live, but his voice has grown on me.

#3 musicalover

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:02 PM

I haven't seen Marcus perform, so this news makes me sad. You are right. The Phantom needs to be up to it vocally, and there are plenty around who are. I always thought Stephen John Davis, who was an alternate Phantom was much better than David Shannon, or Peter Joback, and I don't understand why Stephan is always the understudy. Don't know if I will want to see this production again , after the reviews, until a cast change. I've seen the touring version twice, once with John Owen Jones, and once with Earl, and I really think I prefer that version and cast, sad to say.

#4 djp

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:45 AM

View Postzcfthf8, on 18 December 2012 - 03:43 PM, said:

Sadly I, and many others it would seem, agree with you about Marcus.

He does seem like a very nice chap who is loving playing the role, but vocally he's not up to it.

In terms of his acting, I enjoyed him thoroughly and appreciated having an older phantom who also acted older, moving away from the sexed up phantom we have been subjected to on occasion.

But his vocals leave a lot to be desired. Listening to recordings of his phantom in the early 90's, it seems his voice has deteriorated quite badly and there seems to be no support to his voice.

The most obvious example of this is after the unmasking after PONR and on the line "Anywhere you go, let me go too...." the warble is terrible and sounds very amateurish.

This does beg the question as to how he got the role - the fact is there are ensemble members with more powerful voices and whilst I know it isn't all about the voice (look at Earl Carpenter for instance, who isn't the strongest vocally but is a mesmeric Phantom) you would expect to see the creme de la creme as the Phantom - it's arguably the biggest West End male role (Valjean aside) and I can't understand how someone who isn't a fantastic vocalist can get the role.

I don't mean to slate Marcus, because as I say, his acting is fantastic.

Funnily enough, Peter Joback has really grown on me  - no idea why as I wasn't thrilled when I watched him live, but his voice has grown on me.

Its all a bit odd. We had ALW dissing the entire UK male acting community on Superstar. Then we had had the comments about Phantom being played by someone  too young in LND. Then we get overseas imported Phantoms. Now we have a London Phantom cast that contains a cast that seems to meet ALW's criteria for LND with the older  Phantom and an older  alternate Christine who actually played Christine in LND. Meanwhile,  the tour has gone out with two of the  very best UK  Phantom's available,  and a young Christine who can sing and act the role brilliantly  while she is actually the same age as the character. Does the  London cast have the next LND leads  in waiting?  When are they going to let one of the excellent UK young males who have understudied the Phantom and similar roles loose on the lead role?

#5 ABowlerHat

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

View Postmusicalover, on 18 December 2012 - 07:02 PM, said:

I've seen the touring version twice, once with John Owen Jones, and once with Earl, and I really think I prefer that version and cast, sad to say.

For me, that was part of Marcus' disappointment. If it wasn't for him, this would be the best Phantom cast I've seen. Overall, they were pretty near perfect and Anna was such an incredible Christine, Katie is not even worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence. If Earl or John had been in this cast it would have been pretty definitive for me.

#6 Morten Aagaard

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:05 PM

When will Marcus Lovett's contract end?
Morten Aagaard (DK)

WEST END:
Phantom of the Opera x17 | Love Never Dies x3 | Lion King x2 | Wicked x3 | Oliver x2 | Evita x2 | Wizard of Oz | We Will Rock You | Sister Act | Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat | Sound of Music | Les Miserables | Sunset Boulevard | Spamalot | Thriller Live | Avenue Q | Hair | Spamalot | Hairspray | Billy Elliot | Priscilla Queen of the Desert | Dirty Dancing | Sweeney Todd | Matilda x2 | Top Hat | Book of Mormon | Stephen Ward | Once | Charlie and the Chocolate Factory |

FRINGE:
Aspects of Love (Menier Chocolate Factory) | The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory) | Titanic (Southwark Playhouse) x2 | Urinetown (St. James) | The Beautiful Game (Union) |

BROADWAY:
Phantom of the Opera x2 | Evita | Jesus Christ Superstar |

COPENHAGEN:
Phantom of the Opera x4 | Les Miserables x2 | Beauty and the Beast | Love Never Dies |

#7 craftymiss

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:41 AM

I'm sure he tweeted a week or two ago that he finishes in June. I'm desperate to see Anna OByrne, IMHO she is so much better than Sofia (I'm basing this on You Tube/LND).  I'd love to see a new Phantom, give someone else a chance.  I still like John Owen-Jones, he's my favourite phantom

#8 The Scorpion

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:54 AM

View Postmusicalover, on 18 December 2012 - 07:02 PM, said:

I always thought Stephen John Davis, who was an alternate Phantom was much better than David Shannon, or Peter Joback, and I don't understand why Stephan is always the understudy.

Let me second your praises of Stephen John Davis. I was really enthralled by his acting as Buquet, which he turned from a non-entity of a role to something very interesting, and so decided to see him perform as the Phantom and came away very impressed. He had the right voice for the part and, while young, didn't project himself as young when playing the role -- I got the impression I was watching The Phantom, which is what I want when I see the show. This is not something I ever got from the likes of Ramin, who IMHO was never able to act in the elegant, mature, majestic and noble manner that the Phantom ought to have. But SJD managed this very well and I can't fathom why people who aren't up to it get cast over him.

As for the tour vs the West End production, I think the tour production itself in terms of its design and direction is a complete mess, but I agree the casting of the principals is way stronger. But it's very difficult to top John Owen-Jones, who is pretty much perfection. My suspicion is that Cameron felt that the tour had to have a strong cast to compensate for the dearth of creativity on the design/production front. At least with the West End production, you can still admire Hal Prince's impeccable direction and Maria Björnson's gorgeous designs even when the cast is bad.

#9 Emcee

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 02:47 PM

Does anyone know the dates when Scott Davies is expecting to be on as Phantom please?

#10 theatre_kirsty

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 06:57 PM

I am one of the very few then who quite liked Marcus as the phantom. I thought his acting was very good, i got  very emotional watching him in Stranger than you dreamt it. I thought his singing was quite good, i certainly prefer him to Scott Davies who i have seen 3 times in the last 2 years and he has cracked his voice several times whilst he was singing  which was not good to me. I have seen Sofia and the 2nd cover Ashleigh (who was splendid!) whilst Anna was away but I do need to return soon as I really want to see Anna!




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