SPEECH MARKS / The things they say about Aspects of Love . . .

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Aspects of Love returned to the West End last night after two years. To delight or despair?

'Certainly Andrew Lloyd Webber's best so far.' Daily Telegraph, 19 April 1989.

'For all the dozens of scenery shifts . . . the show is actually standing still. Lloyd Webber may be critic-proof, but is he audience proof?' Mark Steyn, Independent, 19 April 1989.

'Two curtain calls and a stage showered with flowers demonstrated that Britain's most commercially successful composer had not lost his golden touch.' Nigel Reynolds, Daily Telegraph, 19 April 1989.

'The music strikes me as experimental.' Michael Coveney, Financial Times, 19 April 1989.

'I swear I spotted only two tunes.' Lester Middlehurst, Today, 19 April 1989.

'It generates about as much heated passion as a visit to the bank . . . Lloyd Webber should stick to shows about cats, roller skating trains and falling chandeliers.' Frank Rich, New York Times, 9 April, 1990.

'Easily the best musical currently on Broadway.' Clive Barnes, NY Post, 9 April 1990.

'(It) is such an impulsive musical that if we do not say we like it - firmly and frequently - I fear it could very well throw itself down the stairs.' David Richards, Washington Post, 9 April 1990.

'A relentless, heartless attempt to create another hit.' Howard Kissel, Newsday, 9 April 1990.

'Whatever the critics say, you can't ignore those advances. The public loves it.' 'Aspects of Love' star Michael Ball, Today, 10 April 1990.

'Aspects of Love is to end its three- year West End run next month because of box office demand . . . In the past few months, it has been playing to half-empty houses, with estimated losses of pounds 100,000 a week.' James Delingpole, Telegraph, 14 May 1992.

'The composer's spokespeople were yesterday putting a different gloss on the closure, emphasising that it's 1,325 performances were a record-breaking run 'at the Prince of Wales Theatre'.' David Lister, Independent, 14 May 1992.

'The good news about the production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love, which opened last night at the Kennedy Centre, is that it's a completely new staging from the show done on Broadway two years ago . . . Nonetheless, Aspects of Love remains pretty silly.' Lloyd Rose, Washington Post, 28 August 1992.

(Photograph omitted)