Tonight we had the privilege to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most famous show, “The Phantom of the Opera”.

The evening was amazing for two reasons:

  1. The fact that tonight, 30 years ago, Phantom made its global debut and;
  2. Phantom made its debut right here, in Her Majesty’s Theatre.

So let’s start with the theatre:

Her Majesty’s Theatre is a West End theatre situated in the City of Westminster. The theatre is so centrally located that it’s only 5 mins away from Piccadilly Circus and you can even see the House of Parliament’s roof top from the front door. The theatre opened 311 years ago, in 1705, as the Queen’s Theatre and consists of the main floor level and 3 balconies giving it a total capacity of 1270.

But let’s put this theatre’s age into perspective:

  • this theatre opened 53 years after Jan van Riebeeck arrived in South Africa
  • when America became independent in 1776, this theatre was 71 years old – already a pensioner
  • the night the Titanic sank in 1912, the theatre was 207 years old
  • for the last 30 years, since 9 October 1986, only one show has been running in this amazing theatre – Phantom

Today the theatre is still in perfect condition and is a must see for any visitor to the London that appreciates architecture.

Now let’s talk about Phantom:

Phantom is based on the French novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra. The plot of the show evolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius – the Phantom. As mentioned before, the show opened in 1986 on West End and two years later, in 1988, on Broadway in New York. Phantom is the most financially successful show to date and it has been seen by over 130 million people in 145 cities across 27 countries and continues to play in London and New York on a permanent basis.

Tonight, we were lucky enough to be in the audience not only to watch the show but to celebrate its 30th anniversary in the original theatre, in the original city.  For Phantom, it simply doesn’t get any bigger than this.

Happy birthday Phantom!

hmt3

hmt2