EARL Carpenter steps into one of the most famous roles in theatrical history.
He plays the Phantom in a new touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera which opened at Milton Keynes last night (Thursday, October 25) and follows on from 25 years after its original showing in the West End.
Speaking to the Daventry Express prior to the show, Earl said: “It is extraordinarily different to the versions which have been performed in London.
“In the West End productions, there has been a lot of focus on the costumes and the melodrama of the show.
“With this new version that we are touring with, we have gone for something which is a little more naturalistic. But there are still all of the great designs, costumes and the sumptuous score written by Andrew.”
It is a part that Earl is familiar with having played the part three times over the past 10 years but one that he had wanted to play for years.
He said: “It is a fantastic part, I remember when I was very young and got the LP of the original Phantom of the Opera when it was originally done. I had known Michael Crawford as Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and I thought it was wonderful. I listened to it so many times.
“So when I was offered the opportunity, I grabbed at it with both hands and saw it as a challenge rather than something to be scared of. I wanted to play it simply because it is such an iconic part.”
However there are many challenges in the role and not helped by having a new mask for the show.
Earl said: “It is a very demanding role this, and a lot of hard work, but there are challenges that you do not get with other musicals.
“I obviously play the Phantom who wears a mask and it is a new one so it stays on a lot easier than previous productions of the same show. But you have to be very careful about what angles and how you hold yourself as the character and be aware of what the audience can see of you.
“However it is a great part and one that I am looking forward to bringing to Milton Keynes.”
The show runs until Saturday, November 24 with performances running at various times. Tickets for the show cost between £18 and £51 and can be booked by calling the box office on 0844 874 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes.