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 Gerry in London at Love Never Dies world premiere

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PostSubject: Gerry in London at Love Never Dies world premiere   Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:05 pm

There is also a review at the link for those interested.

Love Never Dies: Celeb 'phans' turn out for Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical sequel

By Ben Todd and Katie Glass

As the most popular musical ever made, it was always going to be a tough act to follow.

But even so called 'phans' of Phantom Of The Opera are in uproar over Lord Lloyd-Webber's sequel, branding it 'illogical, irrational, offensive and frankly stupid'.
Last night Love Never Dies had its West End premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in central London, which was attended by a host of stars, including Sheridan Smith, Joanna Page and Trinny Woodall.

The show is arguably the most eagerly anticipated theatrical ever.
However, die hard Phantom fans, who turned Lord Lloyd-Webber into one of Britain's richest men and were salivating at the prospect of a sequel, have been left bitterly disappointed by previews.

And clearly irked by their criticism, Lord Lloyd-Webber has hit back saying they are ‘a sad culture' of people 'who live only by the old Phantom of the Opera.'

His comments came after some devotees said it should be called Paint Never Dries and others set up a Facebook group called Love Should Die as a platform to voice their animosity.

Their mission statement reads: 'We feel strongly that Love Never Dies is a completely misguided venture that is a detriment to the story of the original The Phantom of the Opera novel and musical of the same name.

‘Virtually everything about the show strikes us as illogical, irrational, offensive and frankly stupid.'

As a result of their words, it appears 61-year-old Lord Lloyd-Webber - who has a fortune estimated to be worth £750 million - has turned against them.

But as he arrived at the premiere last night, Lord Lloyd-Webber refused to be drawn on the controversy. He said: 'I am looking forward to the show. It's great to have my family with me.'
Phantom Of The Opera was not an immediate hit either

He said the production was 'an expensive show' and revealed that producers will need to make £30 million just to break even. However, he also revealed the show has now taken £10 million in advance bookings.

Phantom Of The Opera, which premiered in 1986, has gone on to be the world’s most successful musical. To date, it has been seen by more than 100 million fans. It has generated around £3.3billion for Lord Lloyd-Webber's Really Useful Group.

But loyal Phantom fans are not the only people attacking the show.

Since the beginning of previews for the play – which is set in Manhattan in 1907 a decade after the original story - a series of vitriolic verdicts have been given on the musical, with one Internet site labelling the show Paint Never Dries.

In the new musical, the Phantom – now played by Ramin Karimloo - has escaped to New York with Madame and Meg Giry and found success in the fairgrounds of Coney Island as a magician and entertainer.

When he builds a new opera house, he persuades his old ingenue Christine Daae (Sierra Boggess) now a huge star and married to her old flame Raoul, to sing for him once more.

Scott Matthewman, assistant editor of renowned theatre journal The Stage, was the first person to review the show, immediately after the first preview performance on February 22 - two days after the original had preview show had been cancelled.

Using his Twitter account, he wrote simply: ‘Love Never Dies = S*** Never Flushes. Just Awful.’

On the What’s On Stage? website an astonishing 87-pages of comments have been made on the sequel - and they have not made pleasant reading for Lloyd-Webber, with three times more negative reviews than positive ahead of last night’s official premiere.

One reviewer wrote: ‘The set is cheap... the story is a bit stupid... I didn't particularly care who lived or died. I just wanted to go catch the train home.’

Another said: 'The performances were great, that I can't fault, but the book must have been scribbled on the back of an envelope, it was so predictable and lame.’

And there have been other setbacks in the build-up to the opening night.

When he first announced the sequel in December 2008, Lloyd-Webber said the show would premiere on three continents simultaneously – in London, New York and Shanghai.

But by last October, when the date of the world premiere of the show was made public, plans had been scaled back to more traditional theatrical models.

The show would open initially in London before Broadway followed soon after. Shanghai was then replaced by Australia.

The negativity surrounding the show comes after Lloyd-Webber battled back to health.

It was less than five months ago that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and immediately had surgery.

In mid-January, he announced he had, after treatment, been given the all-clear.

But that left him with less than two months to prepare for, arguably, his most important professional event since the Phantom Of The Opera premiered more than 23 years before.

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Permanent Resident of the Home of the Sanely Insane

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PostSubject: Re: Gerry in London at Love Never Dies world premiere   Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:06 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Gerry in London at Love Never Dies world premiere   Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:38 am

My my, we leaned in to cheek/air kiss George's hussy?

Brave boy. Rolling Eyes
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