One of my favorite West End shows, “Love Never Dies” is set to close on August 27, 2011. This musical’s brief history (it was launched a little over a year ago) has been one of controversy and ups and downs. Love Never Dies is a sequel to the much beloved “Phantom of the Opera” and purist Phantom fans (or Phans as they call themselves) were opposed from the beginning to a sequel for this love story which was penned by French writer Gaston Leroux in the early 1900s and turned into a stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1986.
Although many have called the score of Love Never Dies one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best, the production was marred from the beginning by negative reviews and low earnings. It was suspended for a week last year to go through a number of modifications.
I saw both versions, the one before and the one after the changes and although I agree that the first one had some shortcomings, I enjoyed it. What got me were the production (one of the best theatrical productions I’ve ever seen) and the music. If like me, you’re a sucker for impossible love stories, the song “Beneath a Moonless Sky” will become your anthem.
The “Love Never Dies” storyline itself leaves a bit to be desired, and that’s where I understand the Phans’ reservations. The plot is predictable, and, most importantly, there’s too little tension in the love triangle. Also, what’s with the title? Couldn’t they have thought of something more imaginative?
Still, if you’re in London I highly advise watching this musical. I saw it in May for the second time and I’m tempted to go again before the show closes. On the other hand, if you’re in Sydney, you can treat yourself to an apparently better version.