Statement from Mr. & Mrs. Timmons
The LSD Campaign is, and has been, the collective effort of a global team to which we were the most recent additions. We’d like to reiterate the intention of the group was to counteract the perception (painted by Lloyd Webber and his creative team) that all Phantom Phans around the globe were waiting with breathless anticipation of the new sequel. It was never the intent of the team to dismantle the show.
We’ve been following the creation of the sequel closely since the first rumour began to circulate. The reporter failed to mention that our displeasure centres on the plot with which we’re quite familiar as we’ve read the libretto and listened to the soundtrack in its entirety.
We have never targeted members of the cast or LND fans. In fact, in speaking with the reporter, we made particular effort to mention that we thought the cast were very talented, hard working, and we wished them all the best - a point that was conveniently ignored for the article.
Although we’ve been painted as the poster boy & girl for the LSD campaign, we are not the masterminds - we were simply the only members of the team the reporter was able to track down. We had donated funds to the team to assist in the creation of the LoveShouldDie website.
The fact that the Love Never Dies team had posted the article immediately on their Facebook page was disappointing. For a large organization (RUG) to reduce themselves to targeting loyal Phans (of the original Phantom of the Opera) of their own production, is simply regrettable.
Jeff & Rebecca Timmons
Statement from the LSD Team
Oh what a circus, oh, what a low. Really Useful has gone to town over LSD.
This is a quick response from the LSD team to the article from today’s DAILY TELEGRAPH that the Really Useful Group has chosen to bring to the attention of its followers via Facebook and Twitter.
We firstly would like to state categorically that Mr and Mrs Timmons are no more the founders of LSD than any of our other team members. They were, in fact, the most recent additions to our team. The LSD team has nearly a dozen members living in Europe, N. America, Central America and Australasia. There is no way any one person would be able to manage our operations (how else, for example, could we monitor our Twitter in every timezone?). It is and has always been a team effort. Mr Timmons kindly volunteered to pay for the domain www.loveshoulddie.com. It is through tracing that domain that the DAILY TELEGRAPH got in contact.
Mr Timmons has informed us that Anita Singh has misquoted him (as can be expected) and Mrs Timmons and has deliberately omitted considerable information in order to paint a picture of an obsessed lunatic, which we know our readers are intelligent enough not to fall for. This is merely an extension of Lloyd Webber’s previous comments that fans against the sequel are “sad”, in order to argue that their opinions cannot possibly be taken seriously.
We have reason to be suspicious of the DAILY TELEGRAPH. Earlier this year, the journalist wrote an article in this very paper (‘Poor show, Andrew?’) describing the tensions arising between Phantom fans and RUG as a result of the sequel. In this article, he claimed the fans against the sequel were in effect ‘emotionally vulnerable’ housewives who led short lives induced by heart attacks coming from the strain of the seeing the original too many times, always in costume and always ‘buying another ticket on the way out’. We needn’t comment further on how ridiculous a picture this is. Even prior to that, Andrew Lloyd Webber himself, who frequently writes for the TELEGRAPH, a right-wing newspaper whose political views he supports, ‘guest edited’ a supplement to THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH. This ‘supplement’ amounted no less to an entire magazine devoted to promoting LOVE NEVER DIES, in which his noble Lordship claimed that Glenn ‘empty as a tomb’ Slater was the best lyricist he had worked with since Tim Rice (!) and that the original Phantom story was ‘the biggest piece of hokum ever written’, in a bizarre attempt to disparage the original show in order to present LOVE NEVER DIES as a much worthier alternative.
When Mr Timmons was contacted by THE TELEGRAPH, therefore, it came as no surprise to him that there was a likelihood his views and character would be completely misrepresented in order to feed the monster that is the publicity machine for LOVE NEVER DIES. What was perhaps, surprising, is that RUG publicly endorsed this seemingly-PR-conceived article by posting it on the Twitter and Facebook for LOVE NEVER DIES.
The result is what you would expect: a howling chorus of LOVE NEVER DIES fans condemning Mr and Mrs Timmons as (we quote verbatim), “sad”, “pathetic”, “idiot losers”. Of course, we doubt they would be saying this had the article described the Timmons promoting LOVE NEVER DIES instead of criticizing it. This is quite possibly the first time we have ever heard of a producer actively inciting hatred and insulting comments to fans of its own shows in order to counteract disappointing sales. That RUG have endorsed this comment can only be interpreted as a very uncivilized ‘faux pas’ by an organization that has more than enough problems with its image in how it deals with its fans and promotion. We will not react as they may wish us to by denouncing the fans of LOVE NEVER DIES, even though there is ample material with which to work (fans of LOVE NEVER DIES include several known to have seen the show already in double digits, despite it having only opened in March). They have every right to like the sequel, just as those who follow us have every right to dislike it. Love Should Die’s comments have always been directed at the material of the sequel itself – in particular, its abysmal book – and not at those who are fans of it.
It is perplexing that a show that would apparently be seem to be doing so well (the article in question states it plays to “packed houses”) feels the need to condemn publicly those who do not support in order to generate yet more publicity and, moreover, dismissively marginalize dissenters’ opinions. Could it be that LSD actually does have an effect on ticket sales? We have no information, but the article in question claims that ticket sales are 20% below what had been estimated, amounting to a £8 million loss. How a show that plays to “packed houses” every night can also suffer damaged ticket sales is beyond us. Perhaps this theory makes sense to an organization who claim that 1907 is ten years after 1881 and that only “four or five” people writing on the Internet do not like LOVE NEVER DIES, rather than the 1,400 fans of this Facebook page, not to mention the theatergoers who post on message boards throughout the Web. We perhaps would even be flattered if we were responsible for the full extent of this damage, but we doubt it. Our aim was never sabotage, and in any case, how can a small group of fans with a niche interest seriously contend with a mult-million dollar international corporate entertainment venture? Apparently enough to frighten the powers-that-be to resort to such shameful and tasteless smear tactics.
It is true that Mr and Mrs Timmons have never seen LOVE NEVER DIES. Other members of our team more closely located to London have done, however. That is besides the point. It is not necessary to see the show to know the plot and the music and the lyrics. This is readily available to anyone possessing the concept album released in March. For all the tweaks in the staging that have been implemented since March, not one of these changes the fundamental element of the musical: the story. It is this to which we have always objected. Some of our members even enjoy Lloyd Webber’s music, but it is the story that is so repulsive to them that ruins the appeal of the show for them. Seeing the show on stage does not change the story. And if seeing the show were a requirement to hold any opinion on LOVE NEVER DIES, we must assume that the thousands of fans LOVE NEVER DIES has on Facebook are similarly forbidden from liking the show due to their lack of having seen the show on stage.
By the way, it may interest you to know that the journalist who wrote this magnificent piece of propaganda also claimed not to like LOVE NEVER DIES. Could it be that it is not any one internet campaign that is the cause of poor ticket sales, but just the plain simple fact that people in general do not wish to see LOVE NEVER DIES?
Would that RUG spend more time thinking about what is wrong with their show than attempting to expose those who do not like it to unwarranted ridicule.
If you are appalled by these tactics, we urge you to write to RUG and THE TELEGRAPH.
22 Tower Street
Letters should be sent to email@example.com (Daily Telegraph) or firstname.lastname@example.org (Sunday Telegraph). Please include name, address, and work and home telephone numbers.
We also urge you to bring this shameful activity to as many people as possible. Those wishing to defend Mr and Mrs Timmons from the vile and unfounded criticism unleased by RUG on the LOVE NEVER DIES fanpage can do so here:
We need your support more than ever. And we’re proud of Mr Timmons and Mrs Timmons.
- LSD Team 2010.
Love Should Die © 2010 All rights reserved. LSD logo images are recreations and breach no Intellectual Property Rights of RUG Ltd.