I just walked in from seeing The Phantom of the Opera at Star City. It’s the third time I’ve seen it, once when I was rather young and once overseas. Both of those times were before year 10 – sub-14 years old, and over 6 years ago. I have little memory of those showing’s details, but do remember that it was rather ho-hum.
Then the film came out, and I quite liked it. I know that people criticised it for the actor’s singing, that it looses its ‘feel’ as a Hollywood production, etc. But I liked it nonetheless. After watching it a few times I thought it to be better than the stage production. Maybe it was because I had seen it more recent, maybe it’s because I had seen the film version as an adult, or maybe it’s because my appreciation for the story had developed, but I preferred the film more.
Anyway, after the curtain went down on the performance tonight, I had quickly changed my mind. I now see that the performance far surpasses the film version if only because there’s something far more special in seeing live theatre. I’m no theatre critic, and one might have negative things to say about the show I saw (or Phantom in general), but I liked what I saw quite a bit. It was extremely enjoyable, albeit the whole ‘theatre atmosphere’ that I was brought up in as a child, seems to have taken a slide down middle-class slope. I could go on a snobbery-filled rant here, but I’ll hold myself back. Yes! Thomas is showing restraint – how bizarre!
I think I enjoyed it more because I was better able to appreciate it as a performance, better relate to the story, and with a working knowledge of the techniques employed (all things I learned in later high school and university, so I guess all that effort payed off for once) . I was more engaged with the story, whereas as a kid (or early teenager) you’re used to films and television, and engagement wasn’t a skill I possessed at the time. I understood the story in different terms, and thought it extremely poignant. Though, that might just be me.
This isn’t an overly long post because it’s rather hard to write (for me) the sort of post for this as I would a film. Also, I accept that the theatre is a very quirky thing, in terms of taste, attendance, and review. And I am certainly out of my depth in all 3 of those categories. And thus, anything I might say positive or negative could be an invite for e-attack. So I’ll leave it at this: I liked the show very much, and on that criteria alone, I recommend seeing it.