A NEW and ‘darker’ production of Broadway’s longest running show The Phantom of the Opera is hitting the stage in Leeds.
Leeds Grand Theatre is playing host to Cameron Mackintosh’s version of the show that is bringing brand new sets and a new design to the famous musical that has won more than 60 major theatre awards.
The story tells the tale of a phantom who lurks beneath the stage of the Paris Opera.
He falls in love with a young soprano Christine and he becomes devoted to training her to be a star.
But things turn ugly when a love triangle develops and Christine rejects him for her childhood friend.
Katie Hall is playing the role of Christine after starring in the BBC’s I’d Do Anything and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search for the Eurovision entry in the BBC’s Your Country Needs You.
Katie, 21, said: “Christine is very young and innocent and she’s very dreamy, she gets lost in her own little fantasy world and ends up doing all these awful things because the love triangle is very exciting in her fantasy.
“I think everybody can relate to parts of her, for example we find out that she lost her father at a young age - I think there are always parts of all characters the audience can relate to.
“This is a brand new production, we’ve reinvented it all. The set design is brand new, although we’ve kept the original costumes, but it also goes a little deeper into the characters so it’s slightly darker I think.
“The characters become more three-dimensional rather than just being the prince and the monster.”
John Owen-Jones, who has played the phantom in the West End, will be taking the lead role alongside Katie in the show that is bringing the musical up-to-date with today’s latest technology and pyrotechnics - but retaining Maria Bjornson’s award-winning costumes.
Katie added: “This show has been going for 25 years so now we have new technology we can use, so it reflects those changes.
“And I think audiences appreciate going further into the characters, they seem to want something a bit more real.
“It’s amazing, people should definitely come and see this production, but don’t come with any preconceived ideas of what phantom is because it’s completely different - it’s such a great piece of theatre.”
The new twist on the musical is being showcased at Leeds Grand from Thursday, August 8, until Saturday, September 15.
Tickets cost between £19 and £55 and are available from the Box Office on 0844 848 2705 or from www.leedsgrandtheatre.com.