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Reviews

May 1984: "The Phantom Of The Opera, Stratford East" by Anthony Masters
The Times (London). One of the only reviews I have managed to find for the Original (after the show was updated) 1984 Stratford East production. Interesting review - the author did not enjoy the production though.

March 1987: "'Phantom' works like good, spring tonic" by Frank Hunter
The Clayton Citizen Journal. The only review I have seen from the American premiere production for the Ken Hill Phantom. Talks about the set design, and a lot of the cast members' performances in turn. Thanks to Sal Mistretta for sending this.

September 1988: "The Other 'Phantom' Lands in S.F." by Joshua Kosman
The San Francisco Chronicle. One of the first US reviews for Ken Hill's Phantom of the Opera from a sort of "preview" run in San Francisco, US before the tour began in 1989. The success of this production launched the First US Tour.

December 1989: "Ken Hill's Version of the 'Phantom:' No Holy Terror" by Dan Sullivan
The Los Angeles Times. Early US review from the First US Tour which began in 1989, just at the time which the Webber production had opened in Los Angeles also. A disappointing review but I do agree with a lot of points raised in it. The show was always intended for the smaller theatre, I feel, and it would indeed have trouble filling larger ones.

March 1991: "What? Phantom Arrives Again" by Eva Marusak
The Daily Cougar (University of Houston). US Tour review with Steve Blanchard as The Phantom, from this university student newspaper. Outlines the basic storyline of most "Phantom of the Operas" and talks about the two leads.

December 1991: "The Phantom Of The Opera (The Original Stage Musical)" by Ian Shuttleworth
City Limits Magazine. A short review of the short-lived West End run of Ken Hill's Phantom of the Opera at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Seems to look at the show in comparison with the Webber version.

December 1991: "The Phantom Of The Opera, Shaftesbury Theatre" by Benedict Nightingale
The Times (London). Compares to the Webber production and describes some of the scenes, more than the actors, a style which differs from other reviews.

January 1992: "The Phantom Of The Opera, Shaftesbury Theatre"
The Sunday Times (London). Very short review for the West End run of Ken Hill's Phantom of the Opera. Comparisons with the Webber production as expected and praise for Peter Straker, the Original Phantom of the Opera.

March 1992: "It's a 'Phantom' for Folks Who Love to Laugh" by Victor Williams
Fun and Gaming Magazine (Reno). One of the best reviews from the early US Tour period with Steve Blanchard as The Phantom. Written with the local publication in mind so naturally relates to the local theatrical venue more than the tour itself.

November 1992: "Stylish 'Phantom' Scores Hit at Bair" by Christene C. Meyers
Billings Gazette (US). This review was submitted by US Tour Phantom: Todd Alan Johnson. Shows that this particular stop was sold out! And also praises Johnson's "Phantom" extremely highly.

September 2000: "Phantom of the Opera (Ken Hill)" by Emma Edgeley
WhatsOnStage.com. A favourable review, which apparantly gave it four stars! Doesn't really manage to overcome the need to make comparisons between the Webber version and the Hill version, but approves of the casting.

November 2000: "Ken Hill's Slapstick Phantom A Right Carry On" by Peter Magill
Coventry Evening Telegraph. Another short 2000/2001 UK Tour review. They mention a running time of "90 mins", yet other sources say "2 hours" or "2.5 hours". Not sure which one is correct but I would be tempted to say "2 Hours" not including interval time.

November 2000: "An Own Ghoul" by Alison Jones
The Birmingham Post. A bad review from the Coventry stop of the 2000/2001 UK Tour. Again in a Birmingham newspaper for some reason.

2001: "Ken Hill's Phantom of the Opera"
BBC Nottingham. An encouraging review from the BBC website about the 2000/2001 UK Tour. It talks about changes made to the show to poke fun at the Webber version. However, I see no evidence in the script or the score to support that theory - so not sure how the reviewer came up with that!

January 2001: "Phantom of the Opera - review" by Nigel Bell
BBC Nottingham. Another great review from the BBC - people who seem to love the show! This is from 2001 when Thor Kristinsson was The Phantom on UK Tour - and he is even compared to Meatloaf!

March 2001: "First Nights: Phun And Games" by John Slim
Birmingham Evening Mail. Short review from Wolverhampton on the 2000/2001 UK Tour. Compared to the Webber production but still called a "WOW" show.

March 2001: "Comedy Night At The Opera" by Martyn Leek
Sunday Mercury (Birmingham). This one is from the Wolverhampton stop and seems to enjoy the show.

April 2001: "Phantom with a Twist"
The Weekender (Torquay Newspaper). Briefly skims over the origins of Ken Hill's Phantom of the Opera. Praises Thor Kristinsson's portrayal of The Phantom.

May 2001: "Phantom Menace"
Wandsworth Guardian. Briefly skims over the origins of Ken Hill's Phantom of the Opera. Praises Thor Kristinsson's portrayal of The Phantom.



1992: US Tour Review - Reno - Steve Blanchard As The Phantom
A fan review from a Lloyd-Webber Phantom fan who didn't enjoy the show at all. We like to include all reviews, good or bad, and we firmly believe the show is great, so feel free to read!

2000: National UK Tour - Michael McCarthy as The Phantom
A review by a Michael McCarthy fan, who clearly enjoyed the 2000/2001 UK Tour.