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Review round-up: Love Never Dies

Clare Spencer | 09:45 UK time, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

loveneverdies226.jpgAndrew Lloyd Weber's musical Love never Dies is the sequel to the Phantom of the Opera. Theatre critics gave it their score.

Charles Spencer in the Telegraph gives the performance four stars:

"What I have no doubt about whatever is that this is Lloyd Webber's finest show since the original Phantom, with a score blessed with superbly haunting melodies and a yearning romanticism that sent shivers racing down my spine."

The Guardian's Michael Billington gives the piece three stars, as he says it lacks narrative tension:

"There is much to enjoy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical. The score is one of the composer's most seductive. Bob Crowley's design and Jack O'Brien's direction have a beautiful kaleidoscopic fluidity. And the performances are good. The problems lie within the book, chiefly credited to Lloyd Webber himself and Ben Elton, which lacks the weight to support the imaginative superstructure."

The Times' Benedict Nightingale misses the old Phantom, so gives the piece only two out of five stars:

"But then this Phantom is not the phantom we knew. The "poisoned gargoyle who burns in hell" has clearly taken an anger management course in New York... Where's the menace, the horror, the psychological darkness? For that I recommend a trip to Her Majesty's, not the Adelphi."

Bloomberg's Warwick Thompson gives three out of four stars for an implausible plot:

"Some snippety wag has already named the show "Paint Never Dries." It's true that unless you can bring a sense of amusement to the bizarre mechanics of the plot, you'll be nonplussed. If you can, there's plenty to enjoy."

Paul Taylor at the Independent awards a "phantastic" five stars:

"This mix of the heart-stopping and the stomach-lurching (a true kinaesthetic experience) characterises some of the best sequences in Love Never Dies."

Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail says the show takes too long to get going:
"So: a hit? Not quite. It is too much an also-ran to the prequel, and its opening is too stodgy. But if it is a miss, it is -- like Christine -- a noble miss, noble because Lloyd Webber's increasingly operatic music tries to lift us to a higher plane."

The Sun's Bill Hagerty says the show doesn't live up to the Phantom of the Opera:

"Sets and special effects cannot be faulted, the singing is terrific.
Director Jack O'Brien cranks up the melodramatic tension to a stunning ending.
But phantastic? Afraid not."

Links in full

TelegraphCharles Spencer | Telegraph | Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre, review
SunBill Hagerty | Sun | Opera Phans
GuardianMichael Billington | Guardian | Love Never Dies
TimesBenedict Nightingale | Times | Love Never Dies at the Adelphi, London
IndependentPaul Taylor | Independent | Love Never Dies, Adelphi Theatre
see alsoWarwick Thompson | Bloomberg | Phantom's Love Gets Messy in Sequel
MailQuentin Letts | Daily Mail | Stodgy Phantom sequel not quite a hit

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