Love Never Dies (but the West End musical has)

By Rob Sharp,Arts Correspondent
Sunday 23 October 2011 02:33

Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, which has divided fans and critics throughout its brief history, will close in London's West End in August after just under 18 months playing at the Adelphi Theatre.

A spokesperson for the production confirmed that the show would close after it was revealed yesterday that another show, One Man, Two Guvnors, currently playing at the National Theatre, would transfer to the Adelphi from November.

The spokesperson said: "I can confirm that the show's run will end on 27 August." A spokesperson for Lord Lloyd-Webber's Really Useful Group refused to comment further.

The lavish production, which cost £5.5m, has had a troubled run, not least because of Phantom fans objecting to the production through a Facebook group and a website, The group has branded the show a "train wreck" and a bastardisation of the original early 20th century story by the French writer Gaston Leroux, subsequently made into a 1986 hit musical composed by Lord Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Charles Hart.

According to The Stage theatre critic Mark Shenton, the show, which stars Ramin Karimloo as the phantom and is set 10 years after the original story, "suffered from a series of production miscalculations". These included Lord Lloyd-Webber's "hubristic" plans to open the show simultaneously on three continents, something which never materialised.

Lord Lloyd-Webber later admitted it was a mistake to continue with the show in the wake of his cancer diagnosis in October 2009. "I had a unique issue because I got cancer in the middle of all of it," he said this month. "With hindsight we should have said, 'Let's put the whole thing on hold until I'm 100 per cent again.' Frankly I wasn't feeling very well."

In the same interview the impresario admitted that the show suffered from the lack of an outside producer to help steer its progress.

The show received mixed reviews when it opened last year, with one critic branding it "Paint Never Dries". In November it was postponed for changes to be made, and it bounced back from early box-office jitters to pick up seven nominations at the Olivier Awards this year.

In October it was reported that a planned Broadway run of the show was "indefinitely postponed". In May an Australian version of the show opened to more positive reviews than the original.

Shenton said: "I can hear the gloating already from the mad 'Love Should Die' lobby of Love Never Dies detractors, who have run their disgraceful campaign of intimidation and aggravation, lies and deceit around the show since before it even opened. But now they are finally getting their wish."

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments