In this essay, I’m going to share my impression about the play ‘Phantom of the Opera.’ One of the best-known plots nowadays, it’s based on the novel of Gaston Leroux and was immortalized in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and two movies, dated 1925 and 2004. This is a proof of the ever-lasting interest to the story about the Phantom, hiding his deformed face in the darkness, young actress whom the Phantom loves and promotes, and girl’s admirer. This classic love triangle in an unusual interpretation has been moving people’s hearts for almost a century now.
The play I have seen was a fairly good production. The actors seemed passionate about acting, and the performance went smoothly. However, being charmed by the story, I couldn’t help noticing minor drawbacks. First of all, the actors tried to stick to the most traditional interpretation of the story and didn’t offer any new perspective. Secondly, several details lacked explanation and were comprehended only by those familiar with the plot. The positive feature was the ably created atmosphere of menace build-up. Let me elaborate on the strongest and weakest sides of the production.
The beginning of the play was powerful. As you probably know, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ opens with a scene of auction, where the chandelier figuring in the Phantom’s mystery, is being sold. Before the beginning, the stage was complete darkness and silence. All suddenly, the light flashed, and the auctioneer said in a loud and steady voice ‘Sold!’ The beginning of the play immediately took hold of audience’s attention.
Another strong side of the production was the masterful use of voice by the actor playing Phantom. Appearing on the stage only in the closing scenes, the Phantom was probably the most noticeable character. His use of various tones and modes conveyed more than other authors could do with both voices and bodies.
However, the weakest side of the performance was the vague explanation of the love triangle and inner life of the characters. Christine, who should have acted a girl torn apart by her feeling to Raoul and curiosity to the mysterious stranger, put little emotion in her acting. Therefore, the focus of the play was shifted from her to the main male characters, the Phantom and Raoul.
Another drawback was that certain details were not carefully explained and vividly illustrated. For instance, the phrase ‘Raise up your hand to the level of your eyes’ means that the Phantom will be unable to throttle them with his magical lasso if their hands are at the level of their eyes.
Therefore, the performance aroused mixed feelings in me. From one side, certain moments were truly memorable. On the other hands, there is much space for improvement. The reason for that, probably, is the fact that the actors had very different potential. Yet in general, the play presented the story clearly and accurately, which was definitely pleasant for the aficionados of ‘Phantom of the Opera.’
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