|Photo by Catherine Ashmore|
Speaking exclusively to Playbill.com, Ian revealed that an extensive U.K. tour will begin in late February 2014. Currently, 75 to 80 weeks are being booked, with the prospect of returning the show to the West End if all goes successfully. Ian also spoke of hopes to take to the production to other territories, including North America and the Far East.
The production will be based on the revised Australian version of the show that premiered in Melbourne in May 2011, before moving to Sydney in December 2011. That version was subsequently filmed for DVD release and shown in some cinemas. The production, directed by Simon Phillips (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in the West End and on Broadway, and now touring in the U.K. under the auspices of David Ian), features choreography by Graeme Murphy and set and costumes by Gabriela Tylesova. The Australian cast was led by Ben Lewis as the Phantom, with Anna O'Bryne as Christine.
Love Never Dies, which updates the story of The Phantom of the Opera to Coney Island a decade later, has lyrics and book by Glenn Slater, with Ben Elton and Frederick Forsyth also credited for contributing to the book. Charles Hart is credited for additional lyrics.
In a press statement by producer Tim McFarlane of the Australian branch of Really Useful, he commented at the time, "This is only the second production of Love Never Dies ever to be staged in the world, and Andrew has ranked it among the top three productions of his work that he has ever seen. It stands with Evita and the first ever production of Phantom of the Opera." No dates or casting are yet available for the U.Kk tour.