(Paul Taylor's review appeared in the Independent, March 10.)
First Night: Love Never Dies, Adelphi Theatre, London
'Phans' of the original are outraged that Andrew Lloyd Webber has written a sequel to the most successful musical of all time. But Love Never Dies – which opens in London tonight – is phabulous, says Paul Taylor
At the annual St Giles' Fair in Oxford, there used to a Big Wheel. I could never get enough of this attraction, because here was a magical machine that bore you to the top of its circuit and then gave you a snatched, rapturous view of the dreaming spires (viewed over a college roofscape) just before it made your insides turn a somersault as it plunged you back down again.
This mix of the heart-stopping and the stomach-lurching (a true kinaesthetic experience) characterises some of the best sequences in Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Webber's much-heralded follow-up to The Phantom of the Opera. This latter was – and is – the most commercially successful show in theatre history and, by virtue of that fact, is not an easy piece for which to write a sequel (the fans – or "phans" – are very possessive about the original) nor is it one which self-evidently demands a dramatic extension.
Review roundup from the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/mar/10/love-never-dies-reviews-reviewed
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