"Phantom" is one of many productions and theaters that have closed down due to a lack of emergency funding during the pandemic.
After 34 years of playing out obsession, madness, vengeance, and heartache on the stage of Her Majesty's Theatre, which dates back to 1700s London (the current building was constructed in 1897), The Phantom of the Opera has taken its final bow.
Or has it?
Due to coronavirus, the entire theatre world has taken a huge hit. In the UK, the government has not provided emergency funding to keep productions alive, effectively suspending or closing several performances.
The Phantom of the Opera closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19, and in July, producer Cameron Mackintosh announced that it had sung its final notes.
"Andrew (Lloyd Webber, composer) and I have had to sadly permanently shut down our London and UK touring productions of The Phantom of the Opera," Mackintosh wrote in a column for U.K.'s Evening Standard, expressing his frustration with the current COVID-19 protocols. "With no endgame to this crisis in sight, last week I had to follow through with the awful, distressing downsizing of my organisation to ensure my company’s survival. When Covid hit, all my eight theatres were packed with hit shows including some of my own. We are all raring to go back to work. But we need the money to survive and a realistic period of time to plan wisely so that the curtain stays up once we reopen. We are fed up of no business, we want to be back in show business."
It may not be curtains, however, for all productions. Mackintosh said he hopes that he can get most of his productions and theaters back up and running by Easter. Though, the speculated that if the closures go on much longer, that timeline may not extend to next summer. He also said that he hopes Phantom can come back to London.
And, like the Phantom himself, the man behind the masterpiece is determined to come back with a vengeance.
"As far as I’m concerned Phantom will reopen as soon as is possible" - ALW— Andrew Lloyd Webber (@OfficialALW) July 29, 2020
What do you think? Did you see Phantom in Her Majesty's Theatre (It's truly an experience you'll never forget)? Let us know in the comments!