Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Phantom of the Opera & Her Majesty's Theatre - Part 2

Welcome back to Part 2 of Access London's posts on the fabulous Phantom of the Opera. To read more about the show and also the access to Her Majesty's Theatre, please see our previous post.

Phantom of the Opera opened in London in 1986 with the Phantom played by Michael Crawford and Christine by Sarah Brightman. Since then many amazing actors have taken the parts of these wonderful characters and spent time making the role their own. Previous Phantoms include: Peter Cousens, Dave Willetts, Peter Polycarpou, Earl Carpenter, Ramin Karimloo and Scott Davies. The role of Christine has since been played by: Rebecca Caine, Rachel Barrell, Leila Benn Harris, Robyn North and Gina Beck.

The current cast sees the amazingly talented John Owen Jones reprise the role of the Phantom, having played the role previously between 2001 and 2005. Christine is currently being performed by Sofia Escobar and Raoul by Will Barrett.

Access London had the 'Phantastic' privilege to ask the Phantom himself, John Owen Jones, a few questions recently - so here's what the man behind the mask had to say.

AL: Phantom is a huge role in musical theatre and has been played by some amazing actors. What attracted you most to the role?
JOJ: I thought it would be interesting to explore the reality of a person who's basically a sociopath. It was unlike anything I'd ever done before.

AL: In your opinion, why do you think audiences fall in love with Phantom of the Opera and come to see it time and again?
JOJ: Probably because it's one of the most perfect theatrical experiences that you can have - the music, the story, the design, the direction....

AL: Phantom has lots of technical elements and special effects. Do you have a tale to tell of any mishap during a show?
JOJ: Many things have gone wrong but, one that I remember vividly was when the boat broke down and we had to 'walk on water' to reach The Lair!

AL: You have played two of the biggest roles in West End Theatre (The Phantom and Valjean). If you could choose any other musical role to play, what would it be?
JOJ: Sweeney Todd, Billy Flynn in Chicago, Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, George in Sunday in the Park with George....

AL: How do you prepare yourself before a show and going on stage to perform?
JOJ: I do a gentle vocal and physical warm up and then I listen to heavy rock music - Very Loud!

Access London would like to offer a huge Thank You to John Owen Jones for taking the time to talk to us and we hope you all enjoyed hearing what he had to say as much as we did.

John also performs alongside other West End stars (of Phantom fame) in The Three Phantoms concerts. To find out more and to see when future events are taking place, please see http://www.threephantoms.me John also has an amazing self-entitled solo albumn out. To find out where you can buy or download the albumn from, please see http://www.johnowenjones.com You can also follow John on Twitter @johnowenjones

John is in Phantom of the Opera until September 2011, so please go and watch him, Sofia and the rest of the cast perform this 'Phantastic' show. For tickets call: 0844 412 4653. For Access tickets call: 0844 412 4648.

Access London continues with Phantom of the Opera for one last post tomorrow, featuring another special interview, this time with Sofia Escobar (Christine Daae), so we hope you will come back and join us for that.

Finally, here is a short video that was filmed during Children in Need 2010 where you can see John performing the famous song from Phantom 'The Music of the Night'.

Please feel free to leave a comment and follow us.

COMING NEXT: Phantom of the Opera Part 3 - Christine's Interview
COMING SOON: The National Gallery and The 39 Steps

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