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Comedy Night At The Opera

March 25th 2001
Written for the Sunday Mercury (Birmingham) by Martyn Leek


I HAVE to admit that I'd never gone to see a musical at the theatre. So I asked the advice of a colleague on whether I'd actually enjoy Ken Hill's version of Phantom of the Opera. His wise words were 'You'll love it!'. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I certainly enjoyed Birmingham-born Ken's light-hearted adaptation of Gaston Leroux's novel far more than I expected. Although I vaguely knew the plot, it still had a few twists and turns I hadn't been aware of. At the very grand Paris Opera House, a disfigured man wages a terror campaign to make sure the subject of his affections gets the lead role in Faust. The girl in his sights, Christine Daee, was played by Sarah Ryan, who had a great voice and looked like the typical heroine. Thor Kristinsson, who played the Phantom, wasn't that terrifying but, basically, Phantom is a good old-fashioned romp - and is thoroughly enjoyable. You can catch it at the Birmingham Alex all this week.