Phantom’s freaky night at opera
The longest-running Broadway show Phantom Of The Opera opened at Milton Keynes Theatre last night, and the Herald & Post managed to persuade the mysterious phantom to lift his mask for a chat before the show.
It’s not the first time actor Earl Carpenter has stepped into the Phantom’s robes, as he also played the part in the West End earlier this year.
However, the show at Milton Keynes is a new production by Cameron Mackintosh, which is described as much darker by Earl and his co-star Katie Hall (Christine).
Earl said: “It’s not like a return to the same character for me so much because it’s a different production. It’s very exciting, and to get an opportunity to revisit something in a new way is fantastic.”
Before Earl took on the role of the Phantom it was played by John Owen-Jones, so Earl was able to watch the entire show while his predecessor was still treading the boards.
Earl said: “It’s rare to have the opportunity to watch the show you are going to be in before you start. It enabled me to look at the big picture and see how I fit into the production as a whole. John and I are very different performers and I have been given the opportunity to do what I feel is right for this show. I’ve got an understanding of how the audience sees it all, which was very valuable.
“The original play was very melodramatic, and I think this production is more realistic. We revisit it and make it a little darker, which is very exciting. It’s the 26th year of the show and it’s very rare to have something still in existence after so long that you can put your own stamp on. When Cameron first saw it in rehearsal he realised quite how emotional it is.” Mackintosh’s show is a “gigantic” production, with 22 40ft trailers just for the incredible new set.
It’s a big show and a fantastic role for Earl. He said: “Being a baritone, it’s one of the toughest singing roles. Every show is quite a marathon so you have to look after yourself as you do get the fatigue. It’s like being part of musical history and we really feel quite a pressure to be part of that.”
When he does get a moment to relax, Earl enjoys a good cup of coffee, and appealed to Herald & Post readers to help him find the best local coffee while he’s here, so if you know anywhere, tweet or email us.
Earl said: “This is Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of the show, that says it all. You can’t get a bigger guaranteed evening of entertainment than that.”
Phantom Of The Opera is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday November 24. For tickets call 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes.
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