Presented by The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of SA
Reviewed 27 September 2018
The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of SA gave the audience a splendid performance of The Phantom of the Opera tonight, and their pleasure and enthusiasm was reflected in the sustained applause which was richly deserved.
The team of Director and Set Designer David Sinclair, Assistant Director Brock Roberts, Musical Director Jillian Gulliver, and Choreographer Jamie Jewell presented a sophisticated production with a technically complex set with great success which, I’m sure, will be even better when a few opening night glitches are ironed out.
All the principles gave us fabulous performances but Serena Martino-Williams as Christine, Jared Frost as Raoul and Adam Goodburn as the Phantom deserve special praise for their soaring voices producing superlative singing. They were well supported by the wonderful ensemble, ballet chorus and the brilliant orchestra led by Jillian Gulliver, all bringing the audience an exciting and moving production.
The complex set, including scrims and back projection, contributed greatly to establishing different atmospheres for different scenes but I felt the smoke machine was used a little too enthusiastically. The set dressing and lighting in the Phantom’s lair was excellent – producing a feeling of menace and madness. I especially liked the chair in the finale, an excellent part of very sophisticated set.
The story and the music really tugs at the heart strings as we watch the power of love sharply contrasted with the evils of obsession and jealousy. I also enjoyed the moments of comedy which were well handled regarding timing and pace. My favourite song in the show was the production number Masquerade when the costumes competed with the singing to be the stand out. Costume Co-ordinator/Dressmaker Helen Snoswell and her team did an amazing job on such a wide variety of styles, colours and outfits which nonetheless formed a coherent whole. Costumes throughout the show were outstanding.
The Phantom has been running on Broadway for over 30 years and has toured the world countless times. But whether you are, like me, one of the few who hasn’t seen it before or an ardent fan, this is a production not to be missed. All involved deserve the highest praise for a wonderful production.
Reviewed by Jan Kershaw
Venue: The Arts Theatre
Season: 27 September to 6 October
Duration: 150 minutes
Tickets: Adult $40, Conc/senior $35, child $25
Bookings: Contact Paula on 8447 7239 or visit www.gandssa.com.au