Andrew Lloyd Webber’s fantastic follow up to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies. Filmed in the stunning Regent Theatre in Melbourne, Australia, this is a spectacular production, and the DVD includes a special features ‘Making of’ segment, with interviews with the cast, crew and Lloyd Webber himself.
Set ten years after the end of The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies is set in Coney Island, New York, in 1907, and is just as powerful a story as the original musical. Filled with impressive musical numbers, and with an extremely talented cast, this show does not disappoint. What is most impressive, however, is the production itself – the set, costumes and make-up are out of this world, and ensure that you don’t want to take your eyes off of the screen for a second. The set is several stories high and vibrant, colourful and entrancing. It encompasses the magic and mystery of the Coney Island setting, while being able to disappear into the background in an instant when the focus is left on just one or two actors at the front of the stage. The costumes are dazzling, adding to the mystique, and the make-up is perfect, creating the many unusual Coney Island inhabitants who form the backdrop for the main characters.
The acting is also commendable – Ben Lewis takes the role of the Phantom, with Anna O’Byrne starring as his long lost love Christine and Simon Gleeson as her husband Raoul. Particularly impressive is Jack Lyall, the actor who plays Christine’s young son Gustave. One of five young actors who took on this role (the gruelling eight show a week schedule being far too much for any one child actor to handle), he has a stunning voice and is very much a presence on stage, playing the part perfectly alongside a group of talented adult actors. The music is breath-taking and will definitely prove a hit with any die-hard Lloyd Webber fans.
The story of the musical is a classic love triangle and follows on from the original, with the Phantom living in Coney Island but still pining for Christine who he left behind in Paris. When Christine and her husband and son arrive in New York for a one off performance, she is reunited with the Phantom, and is forced to choose between her husband and the man (and his music) who captivated her over a decade before. Fans of the original story and fans of this age-old theme (Love Never Dies is, of course, a very apt title) will delight in this tale of ever-lasting love and the complexities of human relationships.
This is not only a must-see for fans of Andrew Lloyd Webber, but also for anyone who enjoys the musical genre in general. This production is simply stunning and the set and costumes will not fail to blow any viewer away.