Three Phantoms Festival Theatre

A melodic melange of popular and less well-known songs from an eclectic range of musicals, performed by an incredibly talented cast. Three former phantoms in their human forms of Matthew Camelle, Steven John Davis and Glyn Kerslake provided the central cast of nine on stage. These talented singers were joined by the powerful soprano voice of Rebecca Caine who created the original role of Cosette in Les Miserables, the soprano Mandy Watsham Dunstall and the alto Annette Yeo. (A running joke throughout the concert was in the shape of the talented ‘newcomer’ Alistair Barron as he was ‘shooed’ off the stage by the principals between numbers).

The title suggests an evening of total Phantom indulgence in triplicate, particularly given the pedigrees of the three principal performers. Homage was, of course, paid to Andrew Lloyd Weber’s most famous musical, but aficionados were made to wait until the final quarter of the show for this. The format of the show resembled more that of a concert: each item introduced by way of a humorous and often self-deprecating anecdote which might allow a tiny insight in to the professional performing lives of Messrs. Cammelle, Davis and Kerslake.

The audience were left in no doubt as to the musical quality with solos, duets and complicated harmonies in arrangements of hits from musicals, such as Miss Saigon, Chicago, The King and I, and The Jersey Boys as well as Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera. Given the quality of the performances, it was sad to see that the theatre was not even half full. In defence of those empty seats, however, the performance was very static and some of the numbers, though musically complex and beautifully sung, were obscure.

Audiences are led to expect all singing, all dancing, and lavish productions in the current round of musicals. Perhaps the way that this production does not fit easily into a particular niche, coupled with the fact that it is a little difficult to see who it is aimed at, accounts for the attendance being less than the performance deserved.

Maureen Dalgleish