Little Theatre Company

Live theatre in the heart of Burton upon Trent

The Phantom of the Opera

by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart & Richard Stilgoe

Performed: March 2016

(LTC Youth)

The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart & Richard Stilgoe

Review by Caroline Kay - Burton Mail

A few years ago I interviewed musical theatre star Ramin Karimloo,

Now at the time I knew little of him, or the fact that his main claim to fame was having appeared as both The Phantom and Raoul in Phantom of the Opera.

The interview went swimmingly, he was charming and I gave him the impression that I had followed his career for years and knew all there was to know about one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's finest achievements – which I didn't.

Fast forward four years (almost to the day) and I finally have the opportunity to find out what Phantom of the Opera is all about courtesy of Little Theatre Company (LTC) Youth.

Sold out before the opening night, I obviously wasn't the only one who was excited about this classic West End and Broadway show finding its way to The Brewhouse Arts Centre, in little old Burton and I am sure the company could have sold the tickets 10 times over.

I love the fact that LTC Youth push the boundaries – Phantom is an ambitious piece of musical theatre, however, the uber-talented ensemble gave a performance worthy of the West End or Broadway stage .

The cast and creative at the fictional Opéra Populaire tell the tale of Christine Daae (Emmie Doyle) and her loathing and love for The Phantom (Jack Hawkins). Raoul (Oliver Last) is Christine's childhood sweetheart and they begin a love affair which angers The Phantom and bizarre things, including murder, begin to happen at the Opéra Populaire.

Resident soprano prima donna Carlotta (India Burnton) refuses to continue to perform and so Christine, a Swedish chorus girl, takes over in the lead role after having singing lessons from the mysterious Angel of Music (The Phantom).

Throw into the mix new owners of the opera house the hilarious Monsieur Firmin (Edward Watchman) and Monsieur Andre (William Pearson); along with the Opera's ballet mistress Madam Giry (Katie Ireland); her daughter and best friend of Christine, Meg (Georga Ratcliffe); Ubaldo Piangi (Aaron Titterton), the Opéra's principal tenor, and you have an award-winning production.

The song and dance numbers are spectacular with fantastic scenery and expert musical direction from Katie Hailstone and choreography by Katie Haywood.

However, it is John Bowness who sits in the director's chair and has, again, pushed the cast to a standard higher than I have seen on any amateur dramatic stage.

If I ever get the opportunity to interview a star from Phantom of the Opera again, I might have to point out that Burton has many shining and rising stars of its own.

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