Call it a Phantom haunting The Phantom.
The current Dublin production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera has been encountering some minor hobgoblins off-stage.
The "Phantom" apparently struck twice during a Saturday matinee performance (Nov. 7), when the sound system failed and the stage mechanics jammed, bringing the show to a premature end.
It was the second glitch to befall the Dublin production, which opened Oct. 7 at the Point Theatre. In October, the alternate for the part of Christine Daae, Kristina Murphy, was performing one of her two performances in the week and fell visibly ill on stage. However the swing for the part of Christine (Emma Edwards) was also sick with a chest infection, and the actress who plays Christine six performances a week (Zoe Curlett) was whisked out of her bath, across the city and to the theatre, where she continued the performance after a fifty minute delay.
Management at The Point have been eager to dispel any rumours that a ghoulish force is at play. But many staff members wonder if there is, indeed, "something out there." "Since the show started there have been all sorts of weird things happening," said one employee. "The cleaning staff are convinced their Hoovers are starting all by themselves."
In a strange case of life imitating art, the show was interrupted on Saturday (Nov. 7) by a faceless voice announcing tales of woe. It wasn't the Phantom himself but an unfortunate Point employee who had to explain to the 2,500 capacity crowd that the show had to be, at first, delayed, and finally cancelled.
The first interruption, lasting about 15 minutes, occurred shortly after the show began. Someone apparently unplugged the computer system which operated the orchestra keyboards. Who? The mystery remains.
The second incident occurred during the interval when the computers which operated the scenery for the show crashed, leaving the audience, some of whom had traveled across the country, trailing home early. Asked about the glitch, Chris Roche, a spokesperson for the Point theatre, said, "There is nothing suspicious about it."
So far, no word on whether audiences have begun eyeing the chandelier long before the first act curtain.