New Production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies Unmasked in Australia May 21

News   New Production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies Unmasked in Australia May 21 A newly revised production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies, the sequel to his international hit The Phantom of the Opera, begins performances May 21 in Melbourne, Australia.

Anna O'Byrne and Ben Lewis
Anna O'Byrne and Ben Lewis

Priscilla Queen of the Desert director Simon Phillips is helming the Melbourne production, which includes revisions to the script and score since the musical debuted to mixed reviews in London in 2010.

Love Never Dies has a score by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tony nominee Glenn Slater (Sister Act, The Little Mermaid). The book is by Lloyd Webber, Ben Elton and Slater. Phantom lyricist Charles Hart is also credited with additional lyrics for the latest incarnation of the sequel.

A completely new design team has also been assembled to give Love Never Dies a darker, more menacing physical approach. Tickets are currently on sale through Aug. 7 at the Regent Theatre.

Ben Lewis, who appeared in the original Australian casts of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Spamalot, stars as the Phantom, opposite Anna O'Byrne as soprano Christine Daaé. O'Byrne previously played the role in an Australian tour of The Phantom of the Opera.

Joining them is Sharon Millerchip, who originated the role of young ballerina Meg Giry in the Australian premiere of Phantom, and returns to the role for the sequel, with Simon Gleeson as Raoul and Maria Mercedes as Madame Giry. Young performers George Cartwright Bush, Trent Heath, Lachlan Kelly, Jack Lyall and Kurtis Papadinis alternate in the role of 10-year-old boy soprano Gustav, with Emma J. Hawkins as Fleck, Paul Tabone as Squelch and Dean Vince as Gangle.

Completing the ensemble are Andrew Broadbent, Renee Burleigh, Colin Dean, Andrew Dunne, Giordano Gangl, Stephanie Grigg, Erin Hasan, Matt Holly, Ben Hudson, Erin James, Adele Johnston, Claire Lyon, Kristy Mackenzie, Matthew McFarlane, Jessica Mechielsen, Meredith O'Reilly, Adam Rennie, Lisa Reynolds, Pharic Scott, Kathryn Sgroi, Ellen Simpson, Tod Strike and Brendan Yeates.

Love Never Dies has choreography by Graeme Murphy, with new set and costume designs by Gabriela Tylesova. The production has lighting by Nick Schlieper (War of the Roses, Priscilla Queen of the Desert), with original London sound designer Mick Potter and orchestrator David Cullen also on board. Guy Simpson (The Phantom of the Opera) serves as musical supervisor.

Set ten years after the conclusion of The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies follows soprano Christine Daae to New York's Coney Island, where she is invited to perform for the mysterious Mr. Y. Characters from her past begin to emerge, including one with whom she shares a dark secret.

Australia has always been part of the international plan for Love Never Dies, which premiered in London in March 2010. However, critics were cool on the lushly scored musical, which was to premiere on Broadway in November 2010 but has since delayed its arrival. The London production also went on a brief hiatus last fall to undergo structural changes.

The original London production of Love Never Dies debuted in winter 2010 at the Adelphi Theatre, where it continues its run. That production was directed by Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien and has choreography by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell. Bob Crowley rendered the original West End production designs.

Visit the Australian site for Love Never Dies.

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