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Phantom Of The Opera - Review by David Heppell

Taken form David Heppell''s London Trip PHANTOM OF THE OPERA - Her Majesty''s

It''s always nice to revisit an old favourite - particularly after the release of the much-awaited film (now out on DVD). It appears that (as with Chicago) the film has regenerated interest in the show rather than have any negative effect and I gathered there were many first-timers in the audience. On the strength of this visit, the phantom will be with us for a while yet - even achieving a standing ovation on this occasion. Though I did feel this was a little generous, it was a very good performance. Earl Carpenter''s phantom is much more menacing, more dramatic, more crazed, more poignant, more hurt and angrier than the last incarnation. He''s a little questionable on the top notes and does tend to over-annunciate, but these are small blemishes on a performance which gets to the very essence of the phantom''s tortured soul. The supporting cast does well too - none worthy of particular praise, but none letting the side down either.