The Phantom of the Opera UK and Ireland tour cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak

28 May 2020, 12:13 | Updated: 28 May 2020, 12:16

The Phantom of the Opera UK and Ireland tour cancelled following the coronavirus outbreak
The Phantom of the Opera UK and Ireland tour cancelled following the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: The Phantom of the Opera

By Helena Asprou

The 14-month tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic West End show starring Killian Donnelly and Holly-Anne Hull has been cancelled “with great sadness”, say producers.

The Phantom of the Opera’s UK and Ireland tour has been cancelled, in a bid to keep audiences and cast members safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starring Killian Donnelly as the Phantom and Holly-Anne Hull as Christine, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit stage musical had been planned for several cities over the coming 14 months – including London, Cardiff, Manchester and Dublin.

But although the opening night at Leicester Curve on 22 February was a success, new coronavirus lockdown measures have meant that it is no longer possible for the remainder of the tour to go ahead.

In a statement, the show’s producers said: “It is with great sadness that due to the current state of complete shutdown of the British theatre by the government because of COVID-19, Cameron Mackintosh and the Really Useful Group must announce that their new UK and Ireland tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, which had only played its opening date prior to a 14 month tour, will not reopen.”

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The statement continued: “The great uncertainty around the duration of social distancing requirements and the perilous financial situation in which many regional theatres find themselves have conspired to make rerouting an entire major tour such as Phantom impossible for some time as so many existing tours are needing to reschedule.

“While it is heartbreaking for us as producers as well as for our wonderful cast, orchestra and crew who had all worked so hard to create this truly spectacular but tragically short-lived reinvented staging of the original production, we are determined that the disappearance of the Phantom from the British regional stage will not be forever and that when theatre is back thrilling audiences again the ‘Music of the Night’ will soar once more from the orchestra pit.”

The news comes after Lloyd Webber recently livestreamed Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s 2011 stage adaptation of the show for free via YouTube channel, The Shows Must Go On, to help keep Broadway and West End fans entertained during coronavirus theatre closures.

The National Theatre has also warned it may be forced to let go of up to 30 percent of its staff unless it receives Government aid, after losing more than 75 percent of its income. 

The Phantom of the Opera, which debuted in the West End in 1986 and is the longest-running musical in Broadway history, tells the story of a phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House and becomes mesmerised by young soprano, Christine.

Popular melodies include ‘The Music of the Night’, ‘All I Ask of You’ and ‘Angel of Music’.

Ticket holders for The Phantom of the Opera tour will be contacted directly by their point of sale.