REVIEW: Phantom of the Opera, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York

Phantom of the Opera
Phantom of the Opera

This was an ambitious musical to stage, and only the second production for York Orchard Musical Theatre Company, but it carried it off with professionalism and passion.

This is a company to watch out for; there were some outstanding performances from the three lead characters, Ria Williams, Christine Daae, Sam Lightfoot-Loftus, Raoul, and Scott Goncalves, The Phantom, as well as a strong supporting cast. Robert Fisher followed up his excellent performance as Jekyll and Hyde last year, with a delightfully comic portrayal of Ubaldo Piangi along with Megan Conway’s vibrant portrayal of Prima Donna Carlotta Giudicelli.

There was a great rapport too, between the opera’s new owners, Monsieur Firmin, Matthew Dangerfield, a name to watch out for, and Monsieur Andre, Sam Lightwing, with some lovely light moments to relieve the general intensity of the musical.

Musical director Ben Papworth and his Orchestra’s wonderful music sent shivers up the spine; the whole theatre vibrated with the deep, menacing notes of the keyboard at one point, when the Phantom raged – brilliant. Atmospheric lighting, a stunning set design, Luke Hutchinson, and a well-rehearsed cast in the safe hands of talented young director Justine Hughes, made for an outstanding production, where we all enjoyed the Music Of The Night.