You’ve read what the theatre critics have to say about LOVE NEVER DIES - the trainwreck sequel to The Phantom of the Opera...now hear what audience members have to say...
Contrary to what Andrew Lloyd Webber believes, and what LND fans say, there are thousands of theatre patrons who HAVE seen LOVE NEVER DIES - including Love Should Die members - and the following quotes are directly lifted from their publicly published reviews online. These reviews have been published on twitter, theatre discussion boards, and news articles from around the world. Sources for each quote are provided at the end of the list. Be prepared to laugh and cry for all the wrong reasons...
The most recent audience reactions are retweeted on our Twitter:
---------- Updated January 16, 2018 -----------
"Love Never Dies is absolute trash and I left at intermission."
"Just watched Love Never Dies...it needs to. I couldn't tear my eyes away from that terrible excuse for a sequel. #phantomneedsnosequel"
"We left at intermission - Love Never Dies (Paint Never Dries?)"
"I just got back from a production of Love Never Dies, the sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera. What’s that? You didn’t know there was a sequel to that show? There’s a reason for that: the show is absolute trash."
"The more I watch #phantomoftheopera, the more I am shocked by just how terrible #loveneverdies is. I would love to know at which point Christine had the time to have a once night stand with the Phantom. Also, Gustav is lovely."
"love never dies was such a mess that we didn’t even stay for the second act..."
“Thought Love Never Dies should be put out of it's misery. The Phantom was amazing but score, lyrics, acting - pretty much all drivel.”
“Watching a review of "Love Never Dies." Still can't figure out why a fanfiction became a musical sequel.”
"@loveneverdies is an abomination that hates its characters and makes @PhantomBway worse by its very existence."
“Love Never Dies? Bitch never Dies more like! Get on with it and DIE!! One big premature ejaculation- one good song does not make a musical!”
"Love never dies should’ve never been written, let alone produced and put on tour."
“This just in- ALW's sequel to the Phantom sounds cheap and tawdry. Like a Mills and Boon novel.”
"sometimes you just gotta listen to the “love never dies” musical soundtrack (the sequel to phantom of the opera) and whisper wtf"
“"Love Never Dies" should be dead already.”
“I was once stabbed in the leg with scissors. But I'd rather relive that then go to a viewing of Love Never Dies.”
"the sequel to the phantom of the opera sounds like a real and true mess. she rly loves the man who treated her like shit, killed ppl to get her attention and almost forced her into marriage. gross"
“Wow. Love Never Dies was one of the funniest bits of theatre I've seen in a long time.”
"At intermission for Love Never Dies, a sequel to Phantom of the Opera that manages to erase all complexity and charm of Phantom. It might be the most terrible sequel to ever sequel. (@ajaromano, you were so right all those years ago!)"
“Love Never Dies was less than a third full last night. The public, it seems, has spoken: "It's over now, the music of the night."”
"GG, why does Phantom need a sequel? I think they wrapped the story up efficiantly. Plus they didn't call it Phantom 2 Electric Boogaloo."
“You know...It almost seemed like a showoff of clever magic tricks and some great sets :-) Like the story wasn't important”
“Love never dies has the most free seats I have ever seen in a London theatre.”
“Just saw video clip of the Love Never Dies rehearsal in Australia. WTF! Has Phantom lost his dignity? looks more like a pansy now! Epic Fail”
“Every character has had a personality transplant. The sequel reverses the development & impact of the original's final scene.”
“The sequel also contradicts the spirit of Leroux's original novel. His estate is rightly against it. It's all bad fanfiction.”
"I feel like he gave absolutely no fucks when he was writing Love Never Dies and secretly enjoyed it being a hot mess."
“I listened to Love Never Dies last night. It's the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. It was horrible.”
“Times two-star rating is being kind”
“I can't believe there is a "Phantom" sequel. Perhaps we should stop being called artists and take the title of farmer. #milkingmycashcow”
“Love never dies. Your book is horrendous, whoever wrote it needs a lesson in characterisation and plot development. Ugh.”
“...Lloyd Webber is officially losing it...”
“'Love Never Dies' Adelphi Theatre London was such a huge disappointment that I asked for my money back. Did I get it? NO #notgoodenough”
“The book it's based on is horrific. Don't quite know what ALW was thinking with a sequel for phantom!”
“Paint Never Dries so far. Hmmmm, just hmmm. Moments of emotional genius, & Karimloo is dominating it. But also moments of utter boredom/shit”
“Saw #loveneverdies last night. As someone who loves pretty much all musical theatre: meh. I had free tickets, I wouldn't want to have paid.”
“So far, so turgid at #LoveNeverDies. Fantastic staging but oh god the lyrics are so banal and the music so forgettable.”
“Bravo to Simon Phillips & team, & the performers; shame Sir Andrew didn't write a dramatically/musically strong show. #loveneverdies”
“Cannot, in good conscience, recommend "Love Never Dies". Great cast and production design but that's not enough.”
“Worst. Musical. Ever.”
“Intermission of Love Never Dies. Production values marvellous. Score riffs off original with none of the classic quality. Story pure fanfic.”
“#loveneverdies is like the hot guy or girl who has a horrible personality and no brain. Underneath the pretty facade, there's no substance.”
“Well that was highly forgettable.”
“Confused by critics insisting that 'Love Never Dies' is "a must-see", despite flaws in music, script, lyrics. A must-see-don't-listen?”
“Confused by critics insisting that 'Love Never Dies' is "a must-see", despite flaws in music, script, lyrics. A must-see-don't-listen?”
“Love Never Dies: that Phantom sure does love his tight vests and puffy shirts. Not nearly enough cloak swooshing for my tastes though.”
“Love, it appears, DOES die. At the end of August. Which is good. As it was buried a while back and beginning to smell... ”
“I am not surprised that Love Never Dies is closing in the West End. It's surprising that it lasted this long.”
“Phantom of the Opera is sheer class and a Andrew Lloyd Webber high point. Love Never Dies is NOT.”
“Back from #LoveNeverDies at Regent Theatre. Anna O'Bryne & Ben Lewis were great but shame about the actual story/plot/music.”
“Since people seem to have forgotten, it's not a real sequel. Love Never Dies is nothing more than glorified (and horrible) fan fiction.”
“Love Never Dies is dead boring... I know it is a musical but please stop singing!”
“Sometimes I'll put on Love Never Dies (Webber's Phantom fanfic) thinking it couldn't *possibly* be as bad as I initially thought #ItAlwaysIs”
“Why ruin one of the best musicals of all time with a pointless and unwanted sequel?”
“It is telling about the quality of #loveneverdies vs #phantomoftheopera, just based on how RUG treats the fans of each show...”
“Matinee today was Love Never Dies, looked about 3/4 full. Great cast, nice staging and a reasonable score, but the book is awful.”
“Was forced to listen to the Love Never Dies soundtrack. I'll give ALW one thing: 'Til I Hear You Sing' was rather lovely. The rest was tripe”
“Love Never Dies clearly a marmite show not for me makes Phantom look like Mozart's Requiem great lighting though”
“Okay, I don't even *like* Phantom and even I think Love Never Dies is sickening derailment.”
“...bored by this show - It feels like all spectacle and no soul.”
“Im pretty sure in the new version 2nite, they just put all the scenes in a bag, pulled them out 1by1 & viola new show”
"Phantom's last line? It's over now the music of the night. Stick to your word Webber & end this nonsense"
“The plot was lacking not to mention terrible and the music was a disappointment”
“Saw lyrics from Love Never Dies as someone's status on fb and I died a little inside. Why Andrew Lloyd Webber, why?”
“Sixty seven quid to watch Love Never Dies! I dont think so Lord Andrew Lloyd Robber”
“Just give it a rest ALW seriously. You are just rearranging deck chairs on the titanic."
“In other words, the changes made a bad thing worse."
“Thought Love Never Dies should be put out of it's misery. The Phantom was amazing but score, lyrics, acting - pretty much all drivel.”
“astounded at how the characters have been changed so much without any plausible explanation."
“Decided to ease into the workday by listening to "Love Never Dies". Shame on me. Now I'm all lethargic and uninspired”
"Not sure I loved the changes in LND felt contrived now, & a forced sequel instead of standing on it's own."
"The problems lie within the book...which lacks the weight to support the imaginative superstructure.”
“has to admit that the Phantom of the Opera is wayyy better than Love Never Dies.”
“Just got offered last minute tickets for Love Never Dies. I'll pass, and #TEABAGwith my friends instead”
“Love Never Dies - The most abysmal tripe ever to be vomited onto the stage by a millionaire with no talent left...thank god for comps.”
“fascinatingly bad. Not worth a penny of the ticket money...and I had comps.”
“What a waste of an evening. Glad the ticket was comped. Set and lighting was amazing. Acting &singing amazing. Score= crap."
“Saw Love Never Dies last night.. sounds a bit soft, was actually brutal”
“riddled with plotholes and some of the worst fanfiction cliches that exist..."
“WITHOUT its lavish staging to distract from the flaws, Love Never Dies is an unsatisfactory piece of work”
“debating on seeing the new Love Never Dies cast to see how I feel but I would really rather spend the money on seeing Phantom again...”
“Saw 'Love Never Dies,' while in London and I was surprised to find it was 100x worse than I expected :( I Hope it never comes to Broadway.”
“Oh, Andrew, what were you thinking?!”
“Ahhhh Phantom.....can't believe Paint Never Dries is about the same characters....it's so atrocious.”
“I could have done without Webber's Phantom sequel...Love Never Dies was lavishly vulgar.”
“Many good performances...but what I left with was a sense of the sheer waste of skills and talent." Love Never Dies does not deliver!”
“I saw both shows back to back and I just don’t see the connection. No way they’re the same characters”
“I hated the ending (the death scene was way too long) and I ended up leaving very disappointed.”
“Seeing Love Never Dies in London was the worst night of my life.”
“Went to see Love Never Dies. Won't do that again. Great shame, 'cos I really enjoyed Phantom”
“I hate Love Never Dies because it makes a mockery of a story that changed my life.”
“It makes no sense, and musically it's mediocre at best."
“Dude LOVE NEVER DIES Needs to just DIE. I have realized that Love Never Dies destroyed the magic of PHANTOM.”
“Wasn't keen. Stupid plot. Music was ok but nothing special. Certainly isn't as good as Phantom.”
“In making LOVE NEVER DIES, ALW has shown his blatant disregard not only for the original show, its characters and its message..."
“With the way meg is in phantom. You wouldn't expect her to turn into a pshyco like she does in love never dies”
“Love Never Dies. Lots of singing and fancy costumes. Wish I was at home.”
“Way to shoot yourself in the foot, ALW. LND has a rotten story & that's all there is to it.”
“How could you, Andrew Lloyd Weber? How could you write that pile of crap, Love Never Dies and try to pass it off as palatable?”
“Went to see love never dies with the mother- she thought the phantom was Christine’s dad. Fail.”
“A 'ten year' time gap doesn't mean you can just do whatever you want to the characters to make them fit some bizarre plot”
“Well that was the most painful thing I’ve seen in a while...”
“…left at the interval.”
“…went to see love never dies. Mmmmm... No my cuppa tea.”
“…ruining the original Phantom of the Opera storyline!”
“Love Never Dies? On its arse, I'm afraid. Beautiful numbers but the plot makes no sense! Audience all very confused in the foyer! A shame...”
“A complete 180 on so many characters. And generally what a terrible end for everyone involved. I don't ever want to see this.”
“Can't wait for the Australian production of Love Never Dies....not.”
“So... Love Never Dies...? What to say... How about schizophrenic, bizarre, totally lacking in emotion, irritating and a bit shit...”
“After seeing Love Never Dies, I can't watch the final lair in Phantom in quite the same way anymore.”
“…the show is a travesty and we need more people who speak their minds…”
“Love Never Dies is a sign that Lloyd Webber's having a breakdown. Mind you, the Phantom singing 'Can't Touch This' MC Hammer style was fab.”
“Nothing compares with Love Never Dies - The worst second part ever!”
“Tried to listen to a song from Love Never Dies called "The Beauty Underneath". What a load of ear-splitting crap!”
“Well...at least Till I Hear You Sing was good! But that's a band-aid for a broken leg. I'm calling it now: This Phantom sequel is a dud.”
“I'm afraid the verdict aint good, Love Never Dies didn't even come close to how good Phantom was. Sorry Andrew!”
“…it butchers all the characters and themes of the original…”
“I felt bits of the story didn't hang together & that the end was wrong.”
“I've just vocalised Love Never Dies thoughts after seeing the revamped version and ironically, I find it is disjointed now.”
“…felt contrived now, and a forced sequel instead of standing on it's own…”
“then again the cheap deal I got sent the other day for love never dies would never entice me back!”
“it's not the score that bothers me, but more the deformation of the characters and inconsistencies Phantom”
“Leroux’s work is mysterious and filled with underlying tensions; the sequel is filled with adolescent petulance....”
“Spiderman the Musical and Love Never Dies... two things that would be better to never happen...”
“...an obvious plot, little dramatic tension & an ending that lacks any real emotion"
“…suffers from all the sequel blues…”
“Got more free tickets for Love Never Dies - now underscored with original 1986 music…still flogging a dead horse.”
“Absolutely horrible! The plot was lacking not to mention terrible and the music was a disappointment.”
“Christine has less of a backbone than she started out with the original stage production”
“The Phantom has been reduced from a mysterious, murderous genius to a two-bit blackmailer”
“Paint Never Dries - even with a second coat to hide all the defects!"
“What a waste of an evening. Glad the ticket was comped. Set and lighting was amazing. Acting &singing amazing. Score= crap."
“No matter how many changes are made, it won't make up for the fact that ALW destroyed the magic of the original."
“Two thumbs down – way down”
“I did enjoy Love Never Dies, but I enjoyed drinking gin and giggling hysterically with my cousins and sister more. Original Phantom for me!”
“…mutilates ALL the original characters…”
“Worst musical ever. Period!”
“2010 musical theatre disappointment!”
“Utterly disappointed! Obviously nothing compared to Phantom!”
“The changes simply raise more questions than before.”
“Just have Raoul, Christine and The Phantom have a threeway."
“Raoul looks even more pathetic and less of the OMG BAD CHOICE than he did before."
“Love Never Dies opened again last night. So much for changes. Oh well, it will never open on Broadway.”
“The most annoying thing about the show is that the title song, Christine's big aria, is note for note recycled from another ALW show. Bah!”
“Wait - Love Never Dies is still playing in London? As in, people are paying to see it???”
“I wonder what Gaston Leroux would make of that ear-splitting shite offered to us by Andrew Lloyd-Webber”
“Just saw 'Love Never Dies' ...that's how you're gonna end the legacy of Phantom... REALLY??? So upset”
"Just wish, apart from a very few highlights, that it wasn't so boring!"
"It will only be a hit in the sense that people will want to see it because they like the first... It tries to be seriously dramatic when there isn't much tension. I could not believe any of the characters became what they did."
"The lyrics are terrible"
"I didn't particularly care who lived or died. I just wanted to go catch the train home."
"The story is...stupid. And I didn't like the way they make up some distant encounter 10 years ago where Gustave was conceived. Seemed really sloppy way out of the problem of the Phantom & Christine never having a sexual relationship."
"There aren't that many memorable tunes"
"...it just plods on until any emotion you felt is replaced by boredom!"
"The sets are soooo boring."
"It's as if ALW read all the fan posts regarding Phantom, where all the girls say "she should have chosen the Phantom instead of that twit Raoul" and he decided to give them the ending they wanted. Except I don't think they, or anyone else, really does want that to happen. You might wish it could, but you know really that it can't."
"Nothing happens to Coney Island. We haven't a clue what happens to it. You hardly see it in the show."
"We just get Meg holding a dead Christine, as Phantom And Son stand around while every dreary tune we've heard 50 times already gets played again in the background."
"The story is pointless other than to say 'let's have another go so she can choose again'. She's spoilt!"
"The lyrics were awful"
"It was like Starlight Express meets the Ghost Train at Thorpe Park."
"It was quite a disappointment"
"The idea that [Christine] would go back to [the Phantom] after she'd just risked life and limb and got away with Raoul, gone back for a quickie, then sodded off again is just silly."
"Honestly, I dont think they could change what's wrong with it because it's everything."
"There is so much in the show that is laughable. Sorry Andrew."
"I was talking to two people in the queue, they said the same as me. One said 'like WOMAN IN WHITE'."
"It's always just gonna be an inferior POTO all over again but with a different outcome. They can't fix that, and it's the biggest problem."
"Phantom has also been made a little too prosaic – show boss and bartender are roles I would have preferred not to see him in. Something also which I don’t think has been mentioned but which rather upset me was that the new Raoul has been sold down the river and has very little redeeming qualities. This is not the same man who sang All I Ask Of You and I’m not sure why it was necessary to make him so unlikeable."
"Still recovering from the horrific trauma of seeing this yesterday. I went with an open mind (I had to, I'd bought incredibly expensive tickets!) and was left wondering whether this was some sort of elaborate April Fool come a month or so too early. Everything about this execrable.
"The story is simply a rehash of the original which changes the ending so fangirls can get their wish fulfilled of a lovey dovey Phantom getting together with Christine. The score is awful and Lloyd Webber at his worst. When the melodies aren't recycled, they're completely inappropriate."
"Go see it if you want to see what it must be like to be on a drug trip or for some moments of comedy. Don't go and see this if you actually like Phantom (the original) and would like to keep a bit of respect for ALW."
"It's a colossal expensive turkey."
"I love Andrew Lloyd Webber and many of his shows are amongst my favorites and I so hoped to love this. I found it to be a dull dull mess."
"The ending is terrible"
"Some people stood up at the end but not that many and I thought the applause somewhat muted."
"So bad – it’s bad! Really bad."
"The story is so poor and 'soap-opera'."
"I pray and hope this is [ALW's] last show."
"It won't last on Broadway in its current form. The noble lord should have a long think before taking it across the pond."
"Ben Elton and Frederick Forsyth are the real villains of this piece! I could have done a far better job of this!"
"An unholy mess...the book must have been scribbled on the back of an envelope, it was so predictable and lame, and I'll be buggered if I can see where they've spent $20m on it."
"Sorry Andrew, I wanted to like it, I really did, but your music was a mish mash of everything you've ever done before, thrown together in a musical pot-pourri, a mess to look at, and stinks to high heaven."
"I just do not care about any of these characters. They are also clearly not the same people as in the original. They are not developed. I don't understand them."
"Listening to the score of LND was almost like listening to an ALW boxset compilation. Did he just not bother after the cat deleted the score from his electronic piano?"
"Love Never Dies takes the Phantom to where he was never meant to go - out of the mysterious and into the realm of mere mortal normality."
"Among a host of horrible, horrible atrocities in LOVE NEVER DIES, th[e] rewriting of the first show is one of its worst."
"It was beyond awful."
"[Ramin Karimloo] sings it brilliantly and holds that final note for much, much longer than in the videos! Acting-wise, he's a terrible phantom."
"One massive mess."
"The Phantom's entourage of three misfits who look like they walked off the set of Wicked and had their costumes retailored by Marilyn Manson. At one point they enterriding in Cinderella's glass coach to pick up Christine, Raoul, and son to take them to the Phantom. At a later point they actually come down in a hot air balloon. Eeech!"
"To sum up it up in two words, Love Never Dies is chintzy and cheap."
"Love Never Dies made me very, very sad. And it also made me laugh out loud. And both, for all the wrong reasons."
"Gustave is the sort of one dimensional child you've seen in everything from The King And I to Mary Poppins, except infinitely more annoying. He mopes about singing "Beautiful, beauuuuuuutiful, Beautifuuuuuul" until you just want to yell SHUT UP!!!!"
"Both leads were exceptionally strong vocal performers...only problem is the moment they stop singing you realize what thin material they got to work with..."
"You really notice how poor the book is in act one...people come half way around the world to sing for a total stranger because hubby got some gambling debts?"
"You almost feel like you are listening to the Phantomized version of Queen's We Will Rock You...which makes sense since the book for LND is by Ben Elton the creator of the dreadful We will Rock You Queen Musical"
"The score was awful, nothing flowed at all and lots of songs were just out of place! The rocking robot at the end of the first half generated a huge laugh (unintentional) from the audience for the sequence, and the opening number of the second act was just ridiculous and totally out of place.
The lyrics were terrible all the way through and even the main showstopper song (surprisingly called Love Never Dies!) was instantly forgettable, nowhere in the same league as anything in Phantom."
"The story really cheapens everything that happened in phantom and will disappoint a lot of people. I didn't hear a good word from anyone about it on the way out."
"I felt uncomfortable at some of the characters, mainly Raoul and Mme Giry. Whilst I felt that Mme Giry knew more in the original show, she appears to have lost her subtlties and gained the upper hand here which undermined the Phantom's character somewhat. Some of the scenes in the show made me think she'd have been better off in Wicked than LND."
"Coney Island is no Opera House and I missed the Phantom's unpleasantness and violent streek, which he seems to have lost completely in favour of becoming a loving, caring who is free to rome the town and go to local bars etc. This was perhaps the change that I found the most difficult to swallow along with Raoul's change from being a hero in POTO to a drunken unpleasant man in LND."
"It's totally bereft of a decent plot, poor characters that are a mere shadow of their former selves, the phantom has become a very shallow character, a very poor score with some truly terrible songs that really are out of place, the sets are underwealming and the props are laughable (mainly the skeleton table, whatever the rock organ/man thing was supposed to be and definitely the glass carriage! - which was laughable in it's lack of movement and plastic look!!). The ending was dreadful and topped off a spectacular failure in my eyes. In fact I found myself laughing through most of the important scenes due to the "Jeremy Kyle" nature of the plot twists. Very obvious twists and very disappointing in thier reveal. Yes, POTO is a thin plot, however it is of course a classic love story. This continuation makes a mockery of everything that Christine, Raoul and the Phantom went through in the original."
"I sat and cringed through the whole thing from beginning to end: it was excruciating."
"I was left wondering how on earth the show had reached this stage without someone blowing the whistle."
"The more I really think about it, the more I wonder how they really got it so wrong."
""As an ALW fan, I found it hard to believe how weak this is terms of the material, both story-wise and musically. This is Lloyd-Webber trying to have his cake and eat it: (ab)using the characters from one of his most successful shows in trying to tell a new story, but one in which they are mostly unrecognisable as their original selves so they might as well be new characters. He can't pretend that this show could exist without Phantom, so to treat it with such disrespect in retrofitting events to make LND work leaves quite a funny taste in the mouth ... at these prices, neither glass nor smoke horses could make me return to the Adelphi."
"Ghastly. Really really awful. Waste of time. Waste of money. Very disappointed indeed. I think it was the worst show I have ever seen anywhere."
"I saw the first preview performance. This show was ridiculously bad... I wish I could get my money back. Not only was the plot absolutely horrendous, laughable, and unbelievable, but the music was highly disappointing, especially since it is a sequel to Phantom. I loved the first one, and was hoping to fall head over heels for this one, however, epic fail. Sorry Andrew Lloyd Webber, but your career may be coming to its end."
"Nothing more I care to say other than, on every level for me, it was very disappointing."
"I saw it Monday night...and felt the same thing: a BIG ZERO. Most of the story is totally illogical (Christine sleeping with the Phantom on the night BEFORE her wedding....who in HELL would buy that crap???). ..and the music....recycled ALW... A wasted evening."
"ALW was in the auditorium and looked positively horrified when he saw the audience's muted response at the end. Some stood, but I think that's just because they wanted to get their coats on and get out quick."
"The show though, in my opinion, was quite awful…the story just didn’t do it for me and to myself, I have re-titled the show ‘The Phantom of the Soap Opera’. It can be compared to a musical version of Jeremy Kyle (Jerry Springer)."
"Let’s just say that in the years after the first Phantom was set, something terrible has happened to just about every character…not in terms of personal tragedy, but in the way in which the characters are just so different…wrongly so."
"The ending had the sheen of dishwater, may induce spontaneous group suicide and went on and on and on and on and on and….and it didn’t live up to the scene setting ‘explained’ in the first scene…I was expecting some explosive tragedy, some disastrous event, something exciting yet terrible…instead, I was provided with an opportunity to yawn with the only ‘surprise’ being that that was the long-time contemplated ending of choice."
"The show has the badge of ‘Phantom of the Opera II’ but it doesn’t earn the right to wear it."
"I cannot remember the last time I went to something that is so lazily written - spent the evening playing spot the musical - so far up to 15! If it wasn't Lloyd Webber I doubt it would have made it to the stage!"
"I'm just baffled as to what Lord Lloyd Webber means regarding the story when he says it just 'clicked' when Ben Elton got involved. What just 'clicked?' The part where Christine chooses the Phantom over Raoul or the part where Meg kills Christine?"
"As one who was hoping to see this creative team at the top of their game I was greatly disappointed."
"There are flourishes in the direction that are so OTT and would work to certain effect if this were an opera, but as a musical they are cringe-inducing... At this point, I knew I was watching a show in serious trouble."
"The audience is expected to buy shifts in character and plot that seem contrived and under-developed. "
"I can't believe they've saddled the show with such a crazy plot, or that there's no set to speak of."
"This almost makes me wonder if ALW is trying to pull a "Springtime For Hitler" stunt and there's some financial advantage in it for him if he makes the show so bad it's guaranteed to fail?"
"Would rather see Phantom 100 times than this again - and I don't even like Phantom!"
"Performances would have deserved a standing ovation but the rest of the show just didn't sell it. Very few people stood."
"This show had very few real thrills, tension or emotion."
"I went to last night's preview and it was the most awful show I have ever seen. I can only assume that the people interviewed here are being very polite. The music was terrible - there was no spectacle on the stage, the plot absurd and, at times it felt like we were watching an amateur dramatics group.
Most of the audience around me were cringing all the way through - and there were only polite applause - but a lot of sniggering at the terrible lyrics and apallingly trite scenes."
"I thought the production was one of the worst professional things I've ever seen."
"This is an awful, awful show. ALW has written some nice music for it, in places, but even that's negated by his use of the only hit from "Beautiful Game" (a show I didn't completely love but did admire a lot). He's Andrew Lloyd-f**king Webber. He couldn't have come up with a new melody for the big stupid set-piece second act number?"
"I have lost so much respect for one of my favorite directors."
"What a shameful waste of talent."
"SHOCKING! Love Never Dies will get its own chapter in ‘Not Since Carrie’. It’s the original cut ‘n’ paste show: Sideshow to Miss Saigon via Evita! At least Whistle Down the Wind had a book!"
"This is a disaster. Two good melodies with suitable orchestrations but then? Nothing. and it all starts with the book which is an insult to anyone who ever loved Phantom. The Coney Island idea is simply stupid - would the phantom really go from the Paris Opera to the honky tonk world of Coney Island? Can we talk about Madame Giriy’s wardrobe - she hasn’t changed clothes in 30 years (though it’s only 10 years later? - huh?) and poor Joseph Millson - such a fine actor… he should fire his agent. The set design is god awful and especially when you consider that the first Phantom, even if you didn’t like it, you had to admire its sheer theatricality. This was all pretty pedestrian and spare. The lighting was unfocused and dark (where is Katie Mitchell when you need her?) The lyrics? Really, really bad - I was so grateful that we couldn’t understand a lot of them. But it all comes down to the ‘book’, because there is no real story here, no underlying theme… I believe this is a disaster...the horror, the horror."
"The Phantom’s lyric “Time keeps moving on” had Phil looking at his watch. Was the Phantom sure? Surely it had stopped."
"Dull. Like watching paint dry, and as we all know, paint never dries."
"The show is a total turkey. With stuffing, cranberry sauce and chipolatas."
"The plot is unbelievable (can you swallow, for example, the idea that the Phantom had sex with Christine before releasing her to marry the boy she loved? Gaston Leroux who wrote the original story must be turning in his grave). There are no laughs - it's all shade and no light. The songs are just awful - A.L.W has forgotten how to write memorable tunes. The audience tittered at what should have been the tense dénouement. Applause throughout was lukewarm and shortlived.
I am not one of Theatreland's sneering snobs who routinely dismiss Lloyd Webber. I love Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Sunset Boulevard and the original Phantom. But please, if you are thinking of spending £50 of your hard-earned money on a West End musical, don't waste it on this bum-numbing tosh."
"Saw LND last night and have to admit I was sorely disappointed. The "sets" are awful as the projection still is not developed enough to be visually stunning and the rest of the sets are astonishingly poor - especially when Christine performs the big number. Direction is also very weak, but then the storyline is so predictable. The production team are clearly not up to it anymore. I will not even mention the score as frankly there is nothing to mention."
"Long awaited, much anticipated, and sadly lacking."
"...it all fell flat. The Phantom is no longer as sensual as he was in his youth."
“appalling, appalling, appalling”
"I was really shocked how passive the Phantom is compared with his character in The Paris Opera House 10 years earlier, the Phantom did not possess that spine-chilling potency he once did, he just came across as a ordinary guy with a deformed face, he did not have that magical power, indeed is arrival and his non disappearance at the end was a non event compared with the 'Phantom of The Opera'"
"...the song and set for ‘Bathing Beauty' was awful and unnecessary."
"I had a strong urge to fall asleep but the seats were so uncomfortable after a couple of hours I didn't sleep for more than a few seconds at a time."
"This musical is just plain appalling."
"Well I went again last night, to see how much it had improved from the first preview.
I was disappointed, it had barely changed at all!
There was a bit of a musically dramatic moment when the the French doors open and Mr Y comes through them, but any drama was lost in the hammy acting by Sierra (I'm not blaming her, I'm blaming her director) it was like watching some 1920 silent melodrama - hand to the mouth, silent scream etc.
The Silver Gorilla thing with multiple arms is still there, banging away on the odd looking organ (look at the extreme left hand - it looks like he's masturbating a balloon whisk in a jam jar) and the end of Act 1 is just appalling. Poor Liz Robertson, with the over dramatic arm waving (again fault with the direction, not the actor) she looked like Nosferatu risen from the coffin.....and speaking of endings, the throwing of a childs jacket down a stairwell has got to be the flatest ending to an act in the history of musical theatre.
"It does seem to me that LND is a work created by committee. Four people are credited with the book. Did they ever sit around the same table and 'thrash out' the logicalities of not only this story but the way it links back to POTO? I anticipate that they didn't - and it shows."
"To think of opening it here, without starting afresh, is a folly, to think of opening it on Broadway and beyond, in it's current form, is plain laughable. It would be slaughtered. The reaction I witnessed was a polite British reaction. It was the closest I have personally ever come to hearing an audiences dissent in a London theatre. You could sense the dissapointment, and indeed could hear it in the interval and at the end."
"The woman next to me told me I was being "silly"...and should allow for "theatrical license".The Phantom should be in his late 40's early 50's...not a young handsome man. It is ABSURD."
"Pretty dire, a bit slow in parts and didn't really get anywhere"
"Ultimately it left me totally cold"
"Many good performances, even highly competent in many ways, but what I left with was a sense of the sheer waste of skills and talent."
"Is the Phantom getting younger? Maybe ALW has been watching too much Benjamin Button."
"[Ramin Karimloo] had no real menacing presence at all"
"It was a shocker of a show, so lame and so boring."
"Shame about the show, acting and staging was really good, let down by the music and story line. Andrew Lloyd Webber must be too busy with making TV shows to bother writing good music any more."
"A risible piece of awfulness."
"Spent nearly £70 to see this as a MASSIVE fan of the original, and was devastated at how appalling it was. Dreary, poor set...wasted opportunities with the ensemble...lifted melodies from an already established ALW show (sorry...trying to convince us as a paying public that it was ALWAYS meant for a Phantom sequel just doesn't wash - no matter how many lyric rewrites or new arrangements it gets). The ONLY real musical excitement came with a complete (even orchestration) lifted TWISTED EVERY WAY motif, showing the power of the original score and how crap the new stuff is....tunes lifted from that hideous movie...a phantom with an obvious accent (and far too young to convince me that it's 10 years on from the original...
The story is ridiculous and unbelievable and makes mockery of Gaston Leroux's work ...who we all seem to be forgetting."
“I will not even mention the score as, frankly, there is none to mention.”
"A cheap history rewrite."
"The lyrics, awful!"
"The story was just dull and predictable and it just sort of plodded on."
"I saw an early preview and thought it entirely lousy."
"There were a few things that were just totally criminal as well, I'm talking plastic unicorns for instance? I sort of gave up when that trotted on stage."
"The final big closing scene was perhaps the biggest let down, a bare set, lots of blubbering, the annoying pasty faced stage school child and by then I didn't really care who was zooming who, whether love lived or died or who was going to be the daddy. I don't think it's going to run for 25 years, its definitely not worth £70 and if you want to see the Phantom go and see the original, it's like Levis, it never goes out of fashion, just saying."
"Empty, lacking tension, passion and great music."
"Christine is almost a nonentity of a character here. She is insipid and makes minimal impact."
"Christine was in love with a physically handsome and courageous man to whom she was going to lose her virginity (presumably) on her wedding night. Is it really believable that she would seek out the disfigured monster that had threatened to kill her fiance and for whom she felt pity for a 'quickie' before she had sex with her new husband?"
"What we have is the characters from POTO transported into something like a soap opera – a mind numbing domestic drama, devoid of poetry, real emotion or any kind of psychological depth."
"Mr Y (the Phantom) has lost all of his freakiness – I couldn't believe that he's introduced so casually to Gustave in the hotel scene in act one. Here is the man who kept Christine prisoner in a dungeon, whilst simultaneously half seducing her, inspiring her to be a singer and murdering a few people along the way, and Christine introduces him to her ten year old son as if he was just an old family friend."
"It's like a bad Hollywood film. The characters are thin or non-existent (Squelch and Gangle don't actually have personalities – they're just ciphers), the plot mind-numbingly predictable and the Phantom's magic has been lost."
"May be a nail in the coffin of [Andrew Lloyd Webber's] career."
"I thought it was a pile of self indulgent rubbish. The plot was poor, the music was either rehashed fom other shows or so obscure it made my ears bleed. The set was shoddy (except the projections). All in all a waste of a good and talented cast. Shame on you Lord Lloyd Webber!"
"I am a massive ALW fan and lost count of the number of times I saw Phantom, however, I went to see Love Never Dies last night and I am afraid to say, I was disappointed. The music was repeated too much through out the show, not a very good plot... Can't say I will be rushing back to see it. "
"I don’t think the songs are anywhere near as good as the original."
"The implausible storyline...includes complete character transformations in the case of Madame and Meg Giry, the pointless freaks who we never get to know, lots of continuity errors...and the strange decision to allow the Phantom to lose his mystique and appear quite often without his mask. The ending I saw had Meg accidentally shoot Christine, but the Phantom, a man who has lusted over Christine for all these years, written arias for and enticed across an ocean, stands there like a wet fish and finds immediate solace in the fact that he now has a son? You have to wonder what has happened to ALW’s judgement."
"There was no palpable tension, no drama, no magic..."
"It is an evening of almost tuneless sung dialogue with little to recomend... The storyline is extremely contrived, some characters are still firmly placed in Paris, some have moved on in a manner totally out of character and the Phantom on Coney Island running a weak freak show just didn't hold water... I did enjoy the special effects but they seemed to be icing disguising a tastless cake somehow."
"Never have I seen a show where so much vibrato happens over sod all. Nothing happens. Halfway through I was crying out for Joel Schumacher to crowbar in a pony where it wasn't needed just for something to go "Ooh! Eh?" at."
"God knows the cast do their best to inject some life into a plot whose thinness is such that no metaphor can come close to doing it justice. But no matter how good the songs are – and, by and large they are very good – they come across as ludicrously overblown given the lack of any emotional context. There’s just no real conflict for the characters to get their teeth into."
"The anticipation that makes Phantom of the Opera so addictive, the build-ups and motifs running throughout it, is absent here, making the motifs The Lord has borrowed from Phantom even more saddening. There’s two, maybe three really good musicals in Love Never Dies, but in order to become one truly brilliant one Ben Elton, who "unlocked" the story, needs a slap and to lock it back up again, and the plot needs serious work. That’s why people are complaining about LND and that’s why Lloyd Webber needs to stop sulking and pay some attention."
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