‘Phantom of the Opera’ was impressive.
Ipswich Musical Theatre Company presents the longest-running Broadway classic, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ at Ipswich Civic Centre, proving that love stories still touch the hearts of modern audiences.
Based on the 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of the legendary Phantom, a musical genius who dwells deep beneath a majestic opera house in Paris. Shunned by society for his facial deformity, he takes a promising young soprano, Christine, under his wing and grooms her for operatic fame, all the while falling deeply in love with her. As Christine grows successful, and a handsome young man from her past begins to successfully court her, the Phantom descends into a jealous rage and terrorizes the opera company. With the closing of the long-running Broadway production in April of this year, IMTC’s production of the Andrew Lloyd Weber classic proves that the show is still a hit with Musical Theatre audiences.
The unique Ipswich Civic Centre space, while small, was transformed by the impressive musical direction of Robert Clark from the first moments of the Overture. The overall impact of the performance was enhanced by the exceptional live orchestra, who were playing from a room below the theatre.
Overall, set design was reliable and functional for the modest stage space, showing off some clever use of fire and explosive effects. Direction was adequate, with large set pieces and considerable ensemble numbers a delicate balance with limited space.
This show was a joy to watch due to the exceptional lead performers – Nathan Kneen as The Phantom and Bryleigh Parsons-Pope as Christine. Kneen’s previous experience playing Phantom was clear through his captivating stage presence and character development. 21-year-old Parsons-Pope is not to be missed in this role. Russell Morgan was thought-provoking in his take on Raoul, showing light and dark to his character.
The Phantom of the Opera score is easily some of the most recognisable, even amongst those who aren’t fans of musicals. Ipswich Musical Theatre’s rendition of ‘Phantom’ will not disappoint for fans of those spell-binding tunes.
‘Phantom of the Opera’ performs until Sunday, 17th September 2023 at Ipswich Civic Centre. For more information visit their website.