Musical Director: Anthony Gabriel
Director: Earl Carpenter
Reviewer: Catherine Lewis
The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton is the perfect setting for a “night at the opera”. The plush surroundings and opulent decor all add to the magical atmosphere. The Three Phantoms, Matthew Cammelle, Stephen John Davis and Glyn Kerslake, do not disappoint, each giving strong individual performances and as they come together, their voices blending in breathtaking harmony. It is definitely a relaxed evening of music, with onstage banter as we gather round the piano for night of good old fashioned entertainment. Even the pre-show announcements are delivered tongue in cheek, positively encouraging the audience to take photos and join in.
The show itself is a rich mix of musical highlights, which, we are a told, come from a grand total of twenty-one West End and Broadway shows, featuring among others West Side Story, Chicago, Kiss Me Kate and of course the ever enduring Phantom of the Opera. We are told, “If you took the trouble to go and see them all it would set you back in excess of £2000”. Such details are in abundance as we are taken backstage to hear anecdotes spanning each of our stars’ long and eventful showbiz careers.
This gives the production a sense of intimacy, so much so that one could imagine oneself not in the theatre but rather at an after show party. West End fans will be delighted by Rebecca Cane’s powerful renditions from musical theatre including ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’, ‘Think of Me’ and ‘Sing for Your Supper’. The added bonus of the night is the inclusion of a fourth anonymous Phantom who spends his time trying to get recognised in a comic if cliched manner. His moment finally comes in the second half with his endearing comedic version of ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry.’ Les Miserables gets the biggest share of the night with a medley of hit songs involving the whole cast. Nobody is taking themselves too seriously in this production; it’s a light hearted, feel good tour of modern musical theatre, a great value for money night out.
Reviewed on 14 September, on tour till the 29th October
Picture: Sheila Burnett