The principal characters of The Phantom of the Opera continue their stories in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s LOVE NEVER DIES, currently playing at The Adelphi Theatre London. From the Gothic surrounds of the Paris Opera House to the dazzling heights of New York’s Coney Island – the Phantom returns. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spectacular new musical reunites the masked Phantom with his only true love and musical protege, the stunning beauty Christine Daae. Love Never Dies is a roller coaster ride of intrigue, obsession and romance – where little is as it first appears.
With Madame Giry’s help the Phantom escaped the Paris mobs to construct a glittering brand new empire in the new world. For ten long years the Phantom has hidden himself amongst the freaks and sideshows nursing his broken heart along with yearning for his true love to return.
Now, blinded by money and also the bright lights of Coney – Christine, with Raoul and their son Gustave, is lured to America to perform one last time. But Christine quickly detects the real identity of the mystical impresario that has lured her across the Atlantic Ocean. As aged pains are reopened and forgotten memories unlocked – The Phantom sets out to prove that, without a doubt, Love Never Dies. The Adelphi Theatre was founded in 1806 by merchant John Scott and his daughter Jane. The original title was Sans areil (French for ‘unique’ or ‘without comparison’) Jane had been a performer, playwright as well as British theatre manager during the time. They created a theatrical company and by 1809 the theatre was licensed for musical entertainments, pantomime, together with Burletta (is a musical expression typically denoting a brief comic Italian (and also afterwards English) opera. She wrote more than fifty stage pieces in a variety of styles: melodramas, pantomimes, farces, comic operettas, historical dramas, as well as variations. Jane Scott retired to Surrey in 1819, marrying John Davies Middleton (1790-1867). On 18th October, 1819 the theatre reopened under its present name, which was acquired from the Adelphi Buildings opposite.
Within the early years, the theatre was recognized for melodrama, referred to as Adelphi Screamers. Lots of Charles Dickens tales were being adapted for the stage here, in particular John Baldwin Buckstone’s The Christening, a comic burletta, which opened on 13th October, 1834, based on the story The Bloomsbury Christening. This is certainly considered to be the earliest Dickens adaption performed. Succeeding classics included; The Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby as well as the Old Curiosity Shop.
With significant enhancements to the building necessary, the out of date theatre was demolished, and on 26th December 1858 The New Adelphi was indeed opened. The new theatre could seat 1,500 individuals, along with standing space for another five-hundred. The interior was lighted using a Stroud’s Patent Sun Lamp, a brilliant array of gas mantles passed via a chandelier of cut-glass.
During the middle 1800s, John Lawrence Toole proved his reputation for comedies at the Adelphi. Additionally during the mid-1800s, the Adelphi held many French operettas which includes La belle Hln. In 1867, the Adelphi hosted the first public performance of Arthur Sullivan’s first opera, Cox and Box. William Terriss, an actor who performed frequently at the Adelphi ended up being stabbed to death on 16th December, 1897 as recorded on a plaque upon the wall by the stage door. Richard Archer Prince (also called William Archer Flint) a bit-part actor perpetrated the murder. It’s alleged that Terriss’ ghost haunts the theatre. Terriss’ daughter was Ellaline Terriss, a famous actress, as well as her husband, actor-manager Seymour Hicks managed the Adelphi for many years at the end of the 19th century.
The theatre re-opened on 11th September, 1901 as the Century Theatre, although the name reverted to the Adlephi in 1904. This theatre was built by Frank Kirk to the design of Ernest Runtz. George Edwardes, the dean of London musical theatre, took over the management of the theatre in 1908. In the early part of the 20th century, the Adelphi was home to a number of musical comedies. The present Adelphi opened on 3rd December, 1930 being re-designed in the Art Deco style by Ernest Schaufelberg. It was named the ‘Royal Adelphi Theatre’ and re-opened with the hit musical Ever Green, by Hart and Rogers. In 1940 the theatre’s name reverted to The Adelphi. The theatre continued to host comedy and musicals.
A proposed redevelopment of Covent Garden by the GLC (Greater London Council) in 1968 saw the theatre under threat, along with the Vaudeville, Garrick, Lyceum and Duchess theatre. An energetic campaign by Equity the Musicians’ Union and theatre owners under the auspices of the Save London Theatres Campaign thankfully led to the scheme being abandoned. In 1993, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group bought the theatre and completely refurbished it before to the launching of his adaptation of Sunset Boulevard.
In November 1997, the Adelphi became home to the London production of the musical Chicago which was the venue’s longest ever running production during its eight-and-a-half year run, which also made it the longest running American musical in West End history. In April 2006, Chicago transferred to the Cambridge Theatre. Since then, the theatre has hosted Evita, Pet Sounds and Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, with the lead part (Lee Mead) being cast by the BBC’s show Any Dream Will Do. Love Never Dies opened in March 2010.