Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon chatted to Matt about returning to The Phantom of the Opera.
Hi Matt – how does it feel to be part of The Phantom of the Opera again? Hey! I am genuinely absolutely delighted to be back as part of the Phantom of the Opera family. And I call it that because it really does feel like one, it’s one of the most welcoming, kind and generous companies I’ve ever been a part of and that’s really special. Being able to return to the show after a six year break to play the part I understudied previously feels incredible.
What do you love the most about being part of the show? I could go on and on here honestly… the music, the costumes, the people?! What is not to love… I think for me it’s the score. The songs are so timeless and iconic and they stay with you long after you’ve left the theatre. I’m singing them every night and I’m still humming them when I get home! Getting to hear our amazing orchestra every night play such classics. It’s a pinch me moment!
Have you a favourite moment in the show? Can I have two?! The Rooftop section I look forward to every evening; it’s a moment of conflict but also resolution for Raoul and Christine. Raoul finally gets to release all his inhibitions and show Christine how he really feels about her, but they have to shed all those layers of societal pressure first. It’s wonderful to be able to go through that every evening working opposite such a generous and classy actress as Lucy St Louis, she makes my life very easy! Secondly it’s always the Final Lair. The whole show builds to this moment of release and all that tension from the Phantom, Christine and Raoul gets exposed. I don’t want to spoil anything by saying too much! It’s really one of the only moments where the three of us get to really interact with each other face to face, and being able to really work with Killian and Lucy in that moment is special.
What do you think the enduring appeal of The Phantom of the Opera is? I think themes of the show are timeless – romance, jealousy and desire. These are just as prevalent now as when the show was written. Audiences are still identifying with the plight of the Phantom or with the almost hopeless romanticism of Christine and Raoul.
For those who have yet to experience the show – how would you describe it? Oh wow no pressure! Okay… I would describe the show as a two and a half hour wave of emotion that sweeps you away and takes you on a journey of passion and desire. The Opera Populaire is full of characters that you will love, and some you love to hate. It’s an enduring love story for all time accompanied by a truly world class score of songs.
By Emma Clarendon
The Phantom of the Opera continues to play at Her Majesty’s Theatre. To book tickets click here or visit: Love Theatre.com, From the Box Office, London Theatre Direct, Theatre Tickets Direct or Last Minute.com.