By Kenneth Jones
31 Mar 2011
The production would follow the template of Mackintosh's recent newly designed and rethought revival of Les Miserables, which toured the U.K. and then spawned a current North American production. Les Miz is still running in London's West End in its original signature staging directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.
Harold Prince's original 1986 Phantom continues in London and on Broadway, with no end in sight. Over 100 million people have seen the show worldwide. It has grossed over $5 billion. The long-running North American tour closed in fall 2010, which makes the U.S. road fertile territory for a newly branded staging.
Mackintosh — who, with The Really Useful Theatre Company Ltd., produced the original Phantom in London and on Broadway (and around the world) — told Daily Variety that the new Phantom of the Opera would be directed by Laurence Connor (co-director of the rethought Les Miz tour). The creative team will reportedly include set and costume designer Paul Brown and War Horse lighting designer Paule Constable.
A complete, official statement has not been released by the Mackintosh office, as details are still being worked out. There are currently five Prince-directed productions around the world; the next confirmed international opening is South Africa in January 2012.