The Herald Sun
April 29, 2011
Link to actual article
Shadow Over The Phantom of the Opera sequel Love Never Dies
A PLOT to derail the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera has been exposed in Melbourne.
The producers of Love Never Dies, opening next month at the Regent Theatre, discovered this week that die-hard fans of the original musical were planning a poster campaign to discourage audiences from seeing the new show.
A similar spoiler campaign, by a small band of Phantom fanatics online, preceded London's 2010 premiere of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical.
Producer Tim McFarlane called it an "attack on creative freedom".
"I find it amazing that they can take it on themselves to say, 'We have the right to decide what should be done with the Phantom'," he said.
"Surely that's Andrew's call. He's the composer, the creator, and he's upset and bewildered as to why a small group of people would want to try and stop him doing what he does."
The UK campaign also featured antagonistic Love Never Dies "reviews'' posted on the net by people dedicated to protecting the original Phantom as a one-off.
The Melbourne production is being "re-imagined'' by an all-Australian creative team led by director Simon Phillips and choregrapher Graeme Murphy.
McFarlane, CEO of the Really Useful Company Asia Pacific, said: "To try and stop a creative interpretation of this relatively new show is perplexing when this is such a fantastic opportunity for all the people involved.''
Murphy described the Love Never Die-haters as "archaic people who don't want change".
"Everyone is investing so much in this new baby, which I feel sure will be the most beautiful revelation,'' he said. "How strange others want to judge something that hasn't even been born yet.''
Love Never Dies advances the Phantom story by 10 years and is set in New York's Coney Island fairground in 1907.
McFarlane said: "At the end of the day, the public should have the right to decide whether they want to go to it or not. If you disagree with it, well don't go. Don't come out and say we're going to censor other people, including the composer himself, from working with his music."