lnd copenhagen

7

I still think the Danish production of “Love Never Dies” deserves a lot more praise. Stunning visuals and very strong cast. (design by Paul Farnsworth)

anonymous asked:

How do you view Love Never Dies as POTO's sequel? Also, which version do you prefer (Original London or Revised Australian)? Sorry if you don't entertain LND questions! ;)

I much prefer the Australian version, as the storytelling was tighter and the role of Meg way more balanced. It was also here they acknowledged that LND was a Phantom sequel, and not a “standalone piece” or “AU Phantom”, as Andrew Lloyd Webber tried to sell it as. 

I liked the cast of the London version, and I’m in the minority also liking the visuals. But in its concept state they tried way too hard to mirror the structure in POTO, both in scenes and in characters (the addition of Squelch, Gangle and Fleck seems solely to be there as a replacement for André, Firmin and Meg - as Meg has become Carlotta). They didn’t develop it in its own rights. And by the time they started reworking it, it had already opened. In my opinion they really should have spent half a year more or so on getting the libretto right. 

What bugs me the most about LND is that it’s way off in understanding the characters and the end scene of the original. I don’t see how any of the original characters could develop into what we see in LND. Not just from my personal preferences, but also in logic. Especially the Phantom/Christine relationship, where a tremendous redemption and letting go happens in the Final Lair, and then we’re presented to two who’s apparently learned nothing. Lobotomized is the word I’m looking for. But Raoul as a drunkard and Meg as a jealous murderer also feels like a poor excuse worthy of a fanfic. 

There’s furthermore the issue of what Gaston Leroux actually tells us happened with the characters - Erik dying, Meg becoming Countess de Barbazac, Christine and Raoul fleeing together. But the general comment on that is that LND is not a sequel to Gaston Leroux’s “Phantom of the Opera”, but rather to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s perception of his stage musical (which, should be added, differs from original director Hal Prince’s perception). 

I saw LND in Copenhagen some years ago. Libretto wise they followed the Australian version, but they had their own design and a very intense directing. It was a very good version, stunning design, fab cast, and the music was haunting. I mean, everything pointed towards a good night at the theatre. 

And yet - the musical can’t escape that the libretto is left hand work and very underdeveloped, that the lyrics are maybe the worst of any ALW musical, and that the characters doesn’t make sense and their story could be told in 30 minutes instead of two hours and 30 minutes. It just isn’t good theatre. And the stuff that needs to be changed is what ALW refuse to change. So I think LND is forever doomed to be a musical which never got it right.